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New research by Compare The reveals the dirty truth behind the everyday essentials that harbor the most bacteria, with a supermarket trolley unveiled as the filthiest of all. With the importance of keeping everything spotless at an all-time high throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, swabbed eight everyday objects, to discover whether the things we consistently encounter are as clean as we expect.

To compare, Compare The also swabbed items that are often considered dirty; a toilet seat, doormat, house keys, and the inside of a kitchen bin to determine how the levels of germs compared. With a total of 22,521 relative light units2 (RLU), supermarket trollies are revealed as a feeding ground for bacteria, compared to a toilet seat with 866 RLU.

From supermarket trollies to remote controls and phones, we wanted to see just how clean our everyday essentials are. The results? Well, they’re pretty shocking. Following the research, Compare The reports that the top five filthiest essentials are as follows:

Rank Item RLU
1 Supermarket trolley 22,521
2 Takeaway container 8,691
3 Remote 7,349
4 iPad 6,993
5 Headphones 6,339

As more and more time is being spent at home, the research also focuses on electrical goods that are used almost every day of the week. Remote controls came in as the most shocking and are on average (397%) – five times – filthier than a set of house keys.

Despite phones coming back as the cleanest of all devices, when compared to the inside of a kitchen bin, they remain home to 191% more germs. Although additional laboratory tests would be needed to confirm, dirtier areas that display a higher reading, for example, supermarket trollies and takeaway containers, have an increased probability of harboring harmful bacteria, which could cause illness.

Anthony Fleming, General Manager of health insurance at Compare The, said: “During the COVID-19- pandemic, it’s important to remain vigilant in upholding hygiene standards, such as washing your hands thoroughly and disinfecting surfaces. As our research shows, people shouldn’t forget to disinfect their essential items, as they can harbor far more bacteria than one might expect.

“It’s good practice to keep anti-bacterial products and hand sanitizer with you when you’re on-the-go. Remember to clean your electrical goods even when at home, as this can help prevent the spread of potentially harmful bacteria.” To find out more read here.

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige