Bachelors Need to Clean Up Their Act, Study Suggests


Valentine's Day tends to spark thoughts of romance, flowers and that special someone. But this year, results from a recent study may have you thinking twice about where you spend the evening.

The study, conducted by Charles Gerba, PhD, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, and sponsored by The Clorox Company, found that some bachelor pads may contain more than 15 times the amount of bacteria than the homes of their female counterparts. Of the surfaces tested in their apartments, coffee tables and remote controls harbored the most bacteria.

But bachelorettes aren't off the hook researchers also found high numbers of bacteria in their apartments. In fact, more than twice the number of bachelorette front doorknobs were contaminated with bacteria as compared to bachelor doorknobs a fact that will have guys wondering if opening the door for their dates is really the right move.

"There's no doubt about it: bachelors had a far bigger quantity of bacteria in their apartments but bachelorette pads weren't squeaky clean either," Gerba says. "The good news is that taking just a few minutes to disinfect frequently touched surfaces as you're tidying up for the big night might just do the trick to bring back the romance."

A Love Affair with Germs?

Study findings could make some believe cooties really do exist:

- The bedroom is already crowded. Sixty-three percent of bachelors' nightstands and 60 percent of bachelorettes' nightstands tested positive for bacteria, including fecal bacteria such as E. coli.

- Watching a romantic comedy at home may ruin the mood. Of the surfaces swabbed in bachelor pads, remote controls are the surfaces with the highest number of total bacteria.

- Gentlemen may want to wash their hands after opening the door for their dates. According to the study, more than twice the number of bachelorette front doorknobs were contaminated with bacteria including fecal bacteria as compared to bachelor doorknobs.

To help single men prepare their pads for Valentine's Day, Clorox developed the Down & Dirty Bachelor's Guide to Cleaning. Download a free guide at with quick and "dirty" tips, like disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, to take a swingin' bachelor pad from repulsive to refined in no time.

The study was conducted in December 2010 by Charles P. Gerba, PhD, of the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. To determine bacteria levels on frequently touched surfaces, researchers sampled approximately 100 cm2 on four surfaces (front door knob, top of night stand, remote control and coffee table) in 30 bachelorette pads and 30 bachelor pads.

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