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Posted on: Nov 6, 2017

Here's How Much Bacteria Is Living on Your Toilet

Be honest, cleaning the bathroom is low on your list of favorite chores, right? If there’s a choice between folding laundry and getting up-close-and-personal with your toilet bowl, it’s a safe bet most people (us included) would opt in for option A. But as much as we may wish we could ignore it, study after study shows that the bathroom can be a hotbed for bacteria. Which is why our team of researchers decided to find out what kind of bacteria was living in one of the most used (and most germ-filled) spots in the bathroom: the toilet.

The results, to be honest, weren’t all that surprising. Our researchers found that tens of thousands of bacteria could be living in your home’s toilet

Bacteria Living On Your Toilet 2

After swabbing the same four areas on five separate toilet bowls found in five different homes, the team found that on average, the toilets contained 125.55 colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch. That means that on a standard, 16.5-inch toilet bowl there could be more than 34,000 units of bacteria in total.

Our researchers swabbed the rim (under the lid), inner bowl, outer bowl and base of the toilet to collect their samples. After evaluating each of the five toilets, the highest number of bacteria found on a one-square-inch swab was found on the inner bowl, with over 1,500 units of bacteria calling it home (making that Microban-protected toilet brush even more critical to your cleaning arsenal!).

There may be many factors that make the toilet public enemy number one for a bacteria-filled bathroom, but another study found that the porcelain surface of toilet bowls is likely retaining bacteria/viruses and only releasing them during flushes. One easy fix? Shut the lid when you flush. The same study found that when the lid was left open, microbes were released into the air and were able to travel up to six feet, landing on surrounding surfaces.

Using products infused with built-in technology like Microban is the best solution to inhibiting the growth of bacteria in your bathroom, as it works around-the-clock to keep harmful microbes from growing where you don’t want them to.


A team of Microban researchers took a one-square-inch swab of the same four areas (under the rim, inner bowl, outer bowl and the base) of the toilet at five different residential toilets. All testing was done in-house by Microban researchers.

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