Research into how clean or dirty our hands, kitchens and bathrooms are always scare me a bit, because just when you think you’ve got everything covered and doing your best cleaning bit, some stats show that maybe we aren’t.
While I’m not obsessive about possible germs lurking in everyday places, I’m big on hand washing, but the Home Truths Swab Study 2014, carried out by Dettol, has got me rethinking better attention to dish towels and bathroom sponges. You’ll see why below in the infographic, and some stats about what the respondents in the study said:
The Dettol Hygiene Home Truths Survey looked at more than 16 000 adults, across 16 countries, including South Africa. It found that:
- 42% of South Africans understand that bacteria like E.coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella can be contracted within the home
- 45% of South African women know that norovirus / diarrhoea and vomiting can be picked up within the home, compared to just 35% of men.
- 68% of respondents did not know that E. coli can be found in both the kitchen and bathroom
- 65% did not know that Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause skin and wound infections, and food poisoning can also be found in these areas.
- 75% of respondents reported that they clean their homes to remove dirt and kill germs, compared to 86% in South Africa.
- 43% of respondents reported actually using a product proven to kill germs, while a higher 56% of respondents usually use antibacterial/disinfectant product that kills germs to clean frequently touched surfaces and objects in their home
- With hand hygiene being recognised as the single most important method of preventing and controlling infection2, 82% (90% of South Africans) reported always washing their hands when they look dirty and 72% (80% of South Africans) before and after preparing food. However, 27% (35% of South Africans) of respondents admitted rarely washing their hands after coughing and sneezing, both proven ways of transmitting infection-causing organisms to the hands.