More germs on an average family sofa than a loo seat

A FAMILY sofa harbours more nasty bacteria than the average lavatory seat, a new study has found..

Other germ-ridden household items include fridge handles, toys, game consoles and garden play equipment like trampolines..

While a third of people think the bathroom is the dirtiest room in the house, microbiologists found the average games controller has a bacterial count of 7,863 per 15 square inches, which is nearly five times that of the typical toilet.

Fridge handles were found to be more than four times as dirty but not so bad as the sofa arms, which were found to be a staggering 12 times more contaminated.

The grubbiest items were all in the garden, with children’s play equipment such as trampolines, bikes and balls having particularly high ­levels of bacteria..

Hand washing is probably the most cost-effective and simple way to reduce disease, whether in the UK or in the rest of the world

Three out of five people believe children come into contact with the most germs when at nursery or school, says the research by Unicef and Domestos.

A fifth of those also thought a child’s favourite toy would be one of the most germ-ridden objects in the family home. But teddies and similar toys are cleaned regularly with 29 per cent of parents putting them in a washing machine weekly.

“Our safety, and that of others, is literally in our hands. By making sure we have clean hands, we prevent passing our germs on to others.”