As the nation prepares to Spring Clean, a new study has revealed that we are a nation of clean freaks cleaning our home on average three times a week. However, we need to be a nation of clean geeks as our lack of understanding about how to clean effectively is allowing deadly bacteria to thrive in the home. Over two in five (43.4%) people admitted to using just an air freshener to clean and almost half (49.4%) rely on pushing dirt around with a broom.
Whilst we are cleaning regularly, the study by Kärcher has found that we do not understand when is the right time to clean. Three in five (59.2%) use visible signs of dirt as a trigger for cleaning whilst over a quarter (27.4%) will not begin until they smell something unpleasant. This lack of understanding makes our hygiene habits even more disturbing, with over a third admitting to eating food that has been on the kitchen (37.1%) or living room (38.2%) floor, despite the harmful bacteria living there being capable of instantly infecting it.
It seems our poor hygiene habits extends to our pets, with over two in five (40.3%) allowing their dogs to jump on the bed daily despite only one in ten saying they wash their dog after every walk. Celebrated hygiene specialist, Dr Lisa Ackerley, adds that dogs are key to carrying micro-organisms and faeces in from the outdoors including coliform bacteria, E.Coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella.
Dr Lisa Ackerley, visiting professor of environmental health at the University of Salford said "Regular small bursts of hygienic cleaning is more important than one big spring clean. Bacteria and viruses can't be seen or smelt and are easily destroyed through high temperatures, meaning steam cleaning is perfect. The Kärcher Steam Cleaner is a great way to tackle these problems quickly and effectively, heating up in just 30 seconds and killing 99.99% of household bacteria."
According to Lisa Ackerley, the worst bacteria in our homes are "Silent Killers" that we cannot see or smell but that can multiply from a single bacterium to several million in just seven hours. These bacteria can stick to foods in an instant, dispelling the "10 second rule" myth and meaning any food that has touched the floor should be put in the bin.
Phil Springall, Marketing Manager at Kärcher UK said "We know that as a nation we like to clean, however it's important that we are doing it in the correct way. Working with Lisa we are able to identify our worst hygiene habits and offer efficient ways to solve them. We want to educate a nation of avid cleaners and turn them into clean geeks like us."