Out of sight may be out of mind, but lurking down the various plug holes in your home is a myriad of germs.
According to research carried out by the Global Hygiene Council , kitchen sinks have over 17,000 bacteria per square inch while a further 13,000 can be found around the handles of the tap. The vast majority of these bacteria are harmless but some professionals have pointed to kitchen sinks as hotbeds for dangerous bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella.
Plugholes tend to be warm, dark and wet places, and are the ideal breeding ground for germs. While many householders will clean their toilets on a regular basis, they often neglect to take steps to keep plugholes in their home clean and free of dangerous bugs.
The NHS has even stated that the average kitchen sink contains 100,000 times more germs than a bathroom or lavatory, despite most people thinking that the toilet is the most contaminated part of the house.
The International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene , a leading scientific authority on home hygiene, has also pointed to the U-bends and plugholes of baths and hand basins as breeding grounds for microbes, which can include potentially pathogenic species such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Hospital investigations have also shown that ‘splash back’ from unclean plugholes can lead to the contamination of sink and bath surfaces. Reassuringly, the forum says many of these organisms are not usually harmful, although members of the household who have poor infection immunity could be vulnerable to these threats.
The plugholes in showers must also be cleaned to avoid the risk of infection. Often these areas are clogged with hairs where bacteria can develop and when the shower is turned on these germs are washed up to the surface.
The good news is that most of these risks can be avoided by cleaning your plugholes on a regular basis – leaving your sinks germ-free and giving you peace of mind.