The 40 Places In Your Car Where Germs Hang Out

Sat 14th Nov 2020

With the global pandemic increasing a focus on personal hygiene there has been a drive towards keeping things clean, but do you know where to look for the bacteria in your car?

Two different studies published recently show the amount of germs to be found in car, and the most likely hiding places. A study by ATS Euromaster, in partnership with John Ward, professor of synthetic biology for bioprocessing at University College of London found that cup holders were the worst place to find bacteria, closely followed by dashboard buttons and the steering wheel. Ward found up to 800 different bacteria in his research, with most of it originating from our mouths and skin cells, which can sometimes be harmful if ingested.

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.”

A separate study by Toyota highlighted the total number of areas in a car which could have harmful bacteria, with the company’s professional car detailer revealing the problem spots.

“Certainly the exterior driver’s door handle and interior driver’s handle, as well as the electric window control console,” said Toyota’s Ben Taylor.

“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.”

Toyota’s List Of Germ Hang-Outs

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