Surprise—the dirtiest place in your car is the steering wheel!
Your steering wheel carries with it the germs that your hands have brought from wherever your day may take you. Even if you are diligent about vacuuming your car interior and taking it for a spin in the car wash, your steering wheel might not get wiped down as often as it should be. Your steering wheel is the top place for germs.
CarRentals.com conducted a survey of 1,000 drivers in the U.S. and found that 32 per cent of people only clean their car once a year. Additionally, the survey found 12 per cent of people have never cleaned their car. (You won’t believe what drivers confessed when we asked them how clean their cars were!)
How dirty is your car?
There are approximately 700 different kinds of bacteria living in an average car, which is dangerous if you’re someone who likes to eat in their car. CarRentals.com went on to break down the numbers by determining the average amount of bacteria per square centimetre. CarRentals.com found the average steering wheel had 629 colony-forming units of bacteria per square centimetre, which ranks dirtier than a public toilet seat (172 CFU), a cell phone screen (100 CFU) and public elevator buttons (313 CFU).
The cup holder doesn’t trail the steering wheel by much in terms of dirtiness with an average of 506 CFU per square centimetre. The seat belt ranks as the third-dirtiest and the inside door handle is fourth, according to CarRentals.com.
A 2014 study published in Biofouling found Staphylococcus as one of the most prevalent bacteria found in cars, which is cause for concern since staph can cause food poisoning, skin infections and MRSA.
Next, find out our best-ever car cleaning tips and tricks.