How clean is your van?

For many tradespeople, their van is their office and second home. Long hours spent on the road mean it's easy for vans to get that 'lived in' feel. Discarded packaging, stale food and animal hair are a common sight in many vans.

But within every messy van lies a hotbed of bacteria that has the potential to make you ill.

Confused.com has teamed up with the University of Essex's microbiology department to put some vans under the microscope.

Plumber

Self-rated cleanliness: 4/10

Our plumber spends a couple of hours per day in his Vauxhall Vivaro and cleans the outside once a month. Discarded food that's fallen to the floor is the worst thing he's found in his van.

Plumber

Electrician

Self-rated cleanliness: 3/10

This Ford Transit, driven by our electrician, usually carries an additional passenger for the three hours per day it's on the road. The van gets a professional wash on the outside once a month.

Although he gets his van cleaned professionally, he still finds the odd bit of old food in the van.

Electrician

Carpenter

Self-rated cleanliness: 2/10

The carpenter's Transit Custom gets a clean on the outside just three times a year. The carpenter and his passenger spend around two hours a day in the van, and admit that stale food is the worst thing they've found.

Carpenter

Dog Groomer

Self-rated cleanliness: 6/10

This Renault Master LWB is the van of choice for our dog groomer, who spends six hours a day in his van.

The van is brushed daily and cleaned inside once a week. As you'd expect, the worst thing he/she has found in his/her van is dog hair.

Dog Groomer

Builder

Self-rated cleanliness: 6/10

Our builder's VW Crafter spends three hours on the road with three people in tow. The van gets treated to a professional clean at the start of each year.

The worst thing this builder has found in his van is dog poo.

Builder

Bricklayer

Self-rated cleanliness: 5/10

This Ford Transit Custom is the ride of our bricklayer, whose normal day sees him and his passenger spend up to three hours in the van. The van gets a professional clean both inside and out three times a year, though he has been guilty of leaving the odd bit of stale food to linger inside.

Bricklayer

Want to know more?

The germs Methodology Read our 'How to keep your van clean' guide