The 40 places in your car that might be covered in germs

The most germ-ridden areas of a car have been revealed – and you might want to take note before you grab your keys.

The next time you are going for a spin, it might well be worth giving your motor a clean beforehand.

Why?

Well, ATS Euromaster has conducted a new study to examine cars to see how much bacteria they contain.

The tyre and vehicle maintenance firm lined up eleven cars to look at the same areas of each car to find out the level of bacteria inside.

John Ward, professor of synthetic biology for bioprocessing at University College of London, did the test with help from his students.

And coffee fans might want to think carefully about the results.

Cup holders were found to be the worst areas for bacteria build-up, with all of the cars testing registering bacteria in these areas.

And let’s be honest – who ever cleans up those?

They were followed by dashboard buttons , seat belt catches and the steering wheel itself.

Clean any of them recently?

Door handles and gearsticks were also areas that registered high levels of bacteria

But what did they discover?

Well, a variety of different bacteria were found, from staphylococcus epidermidis – a type of skin bacteria which can be harmful to people with compromised immune systems if ingested – to prevotella, a type of bacteria which originates from people’s mouths and guts and can cause illness.

In total, up to 800 individual bacterial types were discovered in the car interiors.

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Ward said: “Studies have found that on the average toilet seat there are 50 bacteria per square inch. The most heavily contaminated parts of a car number between 2,000 and 4,000.”

Solution?

The advice is to ‘clean your car as you would your home’.

That means thoroughly wiping down surfaces and taking particular care if you have children, as they can pick up viruses that you might not come into contact with otherwise.

According to Toyota, there are actually 40 areas that could potentially be problematic.

Ben Murphy, Toyota’s professional car detailer, said earlier this year that he is responsible for keeping Toyota’s fleet of press vehicles across the UK cleaned and professionally maintained.

Asked where it was important to clean, he said: “Certainly the exterior driver’s door handle and interior driver’s handle, as well as the electric window control console.

“Then there’s the steering wheel and horn, the gearstick and surprisingly the rear-view mirror, because most people adjust the rear-view mirror when they get in the car.

“The interior of the driver’s door is a common touch point, especially on our press fleet cars which are driven by many different people. Think about all the people who get in the car and use the controls to put window down a bit.

“The seatbelt is another key area.”

This is Toyota’s list of the 40 places you should make sure are regularly cleaned. They list all six of the ones covered in the ATS Euromaster survey.

1 Exterior door handles
2 Frame of door and roof
3 Interior door release
4 Window switches
5 Interior door handle
6 Door pocket
7 Seatbelts
8 Seatbelt clips
9 Seat adjust buttons
10 Steering wheel
11 Horn
12 Control stalks
13 Driver air vents
14 Dashboard
15 Power button
16 Gear shift
17 Multimedia screen
18 Central air vents
19 Heating controls
20 Glovebox
21 Log book
22 Central storage compartment
23 Cupholders
24 Rear-view mirror
25 Interior lights
26 Grab handle
27 Key
28 Head rests
29 Seat pockets
30 Rear central tab
31 Fuel cap
32 Wheel valves
33 Boot lid
34 Parcel shelf
35 Boot floor tab
36 Boot close button
37 Bonnet lid
38 Washer cap
39 Dipstick
40 Oil cap

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