The dirtiest hidden area in the home revealed - and it's not where we expected

New research shows where the filthiest parts of our homes is - are you remembering to clean here?

Blue living room with bookshelves, fireplace, chandelier and cream sofa in front of mirror
(Image credit: Future PLC/Veronica Rodriguez)

We like to think we're pretty good at keeping our homes fresh and clean. After all, finding all those hours cleaning have to be worth it - right?

Plus, surely we know the areas which attract the most dirt and spend enough time there. However, a new experiment has revealed that the dirtiest hidden area in the home is actually behind the sofa. And, yes, that means it's even dirtier than your loo seat.

White living room with charcoal sofa in front of shelf with mirror

(Image credit: Future PLC/Anna Stathaki)

The dirtiest hidden area in the home

Yes - living behind the humble sofa is an average of 10,000 bacteria. And that's even with 25% of people saying claiming that they clean this area weekly. So when you're learning how to clean a sofa, make sure you don't neglect the space behind it.

To discover this information, flooring retailer, Tapi swabbed areas of homes - both the ones that people often forget to give a good scrub, and ones which people are constantly giving a refresh.

The research found that behind the sofa  showed a total of 10,932 relative light units3 (RLU), a reading that indicates how much bacteria are living on surfaces (with the higher the RLU, the dirtier the area).

Blue living room with bookshelves, fireplace, chandelier and cream sofa in front of mirror

(Image credit: Future PLC/Veronica Rodriquez)

Next up was under the doormat, which showed 6,669 bacteria present. Just as like with behind the sofa, people still say they remember to pay attention here. In fact, 31% said they cleaned under their doormat every week.

Most people may have expected that behind toilets might have the most bacteria, but this is actually third in the rankings, with just over 6,000 bacteria. And that's with 3% of Brits saying they've never cleaned behind the loo!

Next up in the top five dirtiest hidden areas are behind the TV unit and behind the bed.

White bathroom with black hardware and turquoise tiles

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Cleaning our homes regularly and thoroughly is, of course, so important to our health. It is important to know how to clean the dirtiest areas of your home to keep things in the best condition they can be. Whether that is investing in the best cleaning products, or just working on your vacuum cleaning technique.

On a more positive note, the cleanest areas of the home are far and away our floors. The kitchen floor, followed by bedroom, living room, then hallway and finally bathroom are statistically the cleanest spaces in our houses.

'It’s interesting to see that Brits’ flooring are in fact the cleanest area in the home,' says Johanna Constantinou, brand and communications director, Tapi. 'In part because they are more regularly cleaned on a day-to-day basis.'

Thea Babington-Stitt
Managing Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Managing Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for around 10 years.

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.