The dirtiest household item revealed - two-thirds of households admit to never cleaning it

You might want to rethink that TV dinner

New research has revealed that your TV remote is one of the dirtiest household items swimming in more bacteria than your toilet seat.

Related: Your ultimate 2021 cleaning calendar! One big job to tackle for every month to keep busy (opens in new tab)

A study commissioned by Sofa and carpet specialist ScS (opens in new tab), found that TV remotes were 20 times dirtier than a toilet seat. We bet that makes you think twice before sitting down to a TV dinner again.

The dirtiest household item

In the study TV remotes, toilet seats and carpets in various locations were swapped to reveals the amount of bacteria, yeast and mould particles that were hidden on them. The test found that a TV remote had more bacteria on it than a bin lid and a carpet.

living room with white wall and couch

(Image credit: Future plc)

The toilet seat was actually found to be one of the cleanest items in the house. The TV remote was found to harbour 2000 per cent more bacteria and yeast than the bathroom fixture.

'When you consider how often you touch your remote control, it is not at all surprising that it is less hygienic than your loo seat,' explains Bella Middleton, Founder of toxin-free cleaning brand Norfolk Natural Living. (opens in new tab)

living room with wallpaper and tv

(Image credit: Future plc)

'It also isn’t an area that you would particularly think to clean on a regular basis. Food for thought when checking into a hotel room or staying in hospital - just think how many other people have used that remote control before you, especially if they haven’t washed their hands after using the bathroom.'

As Bella points out the TV remote is one of the most used items in the house. Experts recommend cleaning it at least once a week, however, the research found that two-thirds of Brits have never cleaned their remotes. If you can't remember the last time you cleaned your TV remote put it at the top of your to-do list now.

household items

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Cleaning and disinfecting is really simple, you can simply use a dettol wipe or some diluted Zoflora (opens in new tab) on a cloth. However, there are other more natural cleaning solutions you can try.

'The best way to clean a remote is a quick wipe with a cloth dampened with lavender-scented vinegar,' shares Bella. 'I always avoid potentially harmful chemicals in favour of safer natural alternatives. Vinegar is a great universal natural cleaning product; it will also disinfect and degrease your remote.'

 When disinfecting a TV remote remember to leave the product long-enough to kill all the bacteria. This can be just a few seconds, before drying it.

Related: Healthcare experts reveal the common mistake households make when cleaning surfaces (opens in new tab)

Is your TV remote overdue a clean?

Rebecca Knight
Rebecca Knight

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.