If you are one of those who usually eat in the car, you may want to rethink that habit. The latest study of Scrap Car Comparison, carried out by researchers from the School of Biosciences at Aston University, reveals that our vehicle can be dirtier than your average toilet.
To conduct the study, the researchers took samples of two toilets used for 24 hours. On the other hand, studied five vehicles between 17 and two years old. The results are, to say the least, interesting, especially to find out which are the dirtiest areas of our car.
The dirtiest areas of our car
The study reveals that the trunk it is by far the dirtiest place in our car. Yes, curiously, it is the place where we store, for example, the supermarket purchase. The investigation uncovered no less than 1,425 fecal bacteria in the trunks, a fairly high figure.
What’s more, in all the cars tested, the trunk significantly exceeded the bacterial contamination levels of an average toilet. It is followed in second place by the driver’s seat; as well as the gear lever, the dashboard or the rear seat. The cleanest part seems to be, curiously, the steering wheel.
The most worrying thing is that the vast majority of vehicle surfaces tested contain more bacteria than our toilet bowl. That means that we may not be cleaning the interior of the car as we should. Logically, the results show that, in general, bacterial contamination correlates with vehicle age.
The older models used for the study exhibited a higher bacterial load, so if you’re thinking of buying a used car, don’t forget clean it thoroughly once it’s yours. These were the specific results of the study:
- Trunk: 1,425 bacteria identified
- Driver’s seat: 649 bacteria identified
- Gearshift: 407 bacteria identified
- Back seat: 323 bacteria identified
- Dashboard: 317 bacteria identified
- Steering wheel: 146 bacteria identified
What are the common types of bacteria in the car?
- E. coli (Escherichia coli): it is a fecal coliform (known as enterobacteriaceae), a bacteria in the intestine that does not have to be bad.
- Pseudomonas (Pseudomonas aeruginosa): this is a ubiquitous organism found in many places in the environment. It is a bacterial species of increasing concern due to its infectivity to humans and animals.
- Bacillus (Bacillus subtilis): can be found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and ruminant animals. It does not normally come from the environment and, fortunately, it does not pose a threat to humans.
- Staphylococcus Epi (Staphylococcus epidermidis): skin microbes found on the hands. They can cause infections in immunosuppressed people.
- Staphylococcus aureus (Staphylococcus aureus): found in the upper respiratory tract (mainly in the nose), but can rarely be found on the skin. They are more likely to be associated with coughing and sneezing.
- rhodotorula (Rhodotorula mucilaginosa): environmental yeast (soil, water, milk, fruit juice…). It can sometimes cause infections in immunosuppressed people.
How often should we clean the car?
Dr. Jonathan Cox explains that We should not panic and go all day with the bottle of hydroalcoholic gel in the hand. The objective of the study is none other than to show that dirt is not always visible and that we could make a greater effort to keep our car clean.
Ultimately, it is about reduce the risk of getting sick. We are unlikely to eat in the trunk of the car, but we often consume food in the driver’s seat. The best advice, wash your hands before eating. Also, knowing where microorganisms can reside will make us rethink our habits when we drive.
Some recommendations that Dr. Cox gives us are:
- Clean the interior of the car as well as the exterior.
- Do not rely only on appearance, use specific products and clean thoroughly.
- Use an antibacterial for the parts most likely to have bacteria. It is also recommended clean upholstery With some frequency.