Nearly 5 million bacteria have been found on a single disposable wet razor handle in new laboratory research by Microban.
As comparisons, typical levels of bacteria on household objects include 50 colony forming units per square inch on a computer mouse, 214 on microwave oven buttons, 2,110 on a pet food bowl and 134,630 on a kitchen cloth.*
The testing was carried out by antibacterial technology specialist Microban Europe as part of an investigation into the amount of bacteria on wet shaving equipment.
It is accepted that the presence of bacteria such as Streptococci or Staphylococci can be a problem for both men and women following shaving on the face or body as they can lead to shaving rashes caused by bacterial infection.
A wide range of results were found in Microbans research with between 300 and 4.9 million CFUs on wet shave disposable razor handles and 220 and 160,000 on their non-disposable versions, as well as between 100 and 4.9 million on razor cartridges.
Paul McDonnell, managing director of Microban Europe, explains that wet shave razors were regularly exposed to bacteria and mold which, given conditions found in warm humid bathrooms, meant they could double in number in 20 minutes.
Because of heat and moisture, bathrooms are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria," McDonnell says. "While the results did cover a wide range, the fact that one of the swabs showed 4.9 million CFU on one of the razor blade handles underlines the potential problem. However, we have a range of antibacterial technologies that could be built into wet razors and blade cartridges at the point of manufacture that are highly effective at killing bacteria and which do not wash away or wear off.
*From tests by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).