Thousands of people around Manchester will have travelled to work by train this morning.

Those who did will have encountered over 70,000 instances of bacteria according to brand new research by Brosch Direct.

They swabbed ten different items we encounter every day for bacteria. The results were analysed by a lab. Train seats came back with the highest Total Viable Count for bacteria, 800 times higher than what was found on a toilet seat.

Brosch Direct wanted to discover how many germs people come into contact with on an average winter day. To find out, they swabbed ten different everyday items, from personal smartphones to gym equipment, and had them analysed by a lab.

The highest Total Viable Count was found on train seats when the swabs were analysed for bacteria. The seats contained 72,000 microorganisms, 800 times higher than the amount found on a toilet seat.

The second highest TVC from Brosch Direct’s research came from toothbrushes, which contain 48,000 microorganisms. The lowest amount of bacteria, 10, was found on car steering wheels, meaning it is often far more hygienic to travel by car than commute by train.

The full results of their tests are:

  • Phone – 30 TVC
  • Toothbrush – 48,000 TVC
  • Car steering wheel – 10 TVC
  • Computer keyboard – 370 TVC
  • Mug – 60 TVC
  • Toilet – 90 TVC
  • ATM – 90 TVC
  • Train seat – 72,000 TVC
  • Dumbbells – 48 TVC
  • TV remote – 20 TVC

The swabs were analysed by Pathology Management Services in Manchester, a UKAS accredited laboratory who provide environmental testing. 

A spokesperson for Brosch Direct, said: “Public transport can become a hotbed of bacteria over the winter. Germs easily spread when a lot of people squeeze together in a warm environment.”

“Make sure to wash your hands regularly to remove any harmful bacteria and prevent it from entering your system. If you’re traveling by public transport, you could also bring alcohol-based hand sanitizers with you to kill off any bacteria you might pick up from a train seat”.

Brosch Direct has been offering healthcare and janitorial supplies to private and public sectors since 1989.


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