You may not want to read this article while sitting down on the Tube – as your seat may never have been shampooed.
The London Underground lines have different cleaning routines, and according to data obtained by the News, seats are not shampooed on trains on six of the ten lines in service.
Seats on the Northern and Jubilee are not shampoo washed. Neither are those on the S7 or S8 trains, which serve the Hammersmith and City, District, Circle and Metropolitan lines.
A trial is ongoing to wash the fabric seat covers on the Piccadilly, while a train or two trains are washed a week on the Bakerloo, Victoria and Central lines.
The News did not ask for details involving the Waterloo and City line as it is currently not in service.
TfL says it has enhanced its cleaning process during the coronavirus pandemic, including the use of a strong antibacterial spray, and that seats are wiped daily.
Every three weeks, officials also do a deep clean with Covid anti-bacterial spray. The cleaning regimes reveal that officials have stepped up their cleaning of carriages since the pandemic began.
There are a variety of cleans, with different protocols, ranging from daily pre-service cleans, mini cleans and deep cleans.
Trains on different lines are given “deep cleans” ranging from every eighteen days to every 60 days. During those cleans, seats are hoovered and the interiors are cleaned.
“While our cleaning measures vary from line to line, they are all rigorous, thorough and have been proven to keep both the interior and exterior of our trains clean,” said a TfL spokesperson.
“The new regimes put in place during the pandemic have also ensured that our network is as safe as possible for customers who need to travel, with no traces of the virus found during independent testing by Imperial College.
“We’d like to reassure our customers that we will continue to maintain our already high standards of cleanliness to provide staff and customers with as much confidence in using the network as possible.”
A spoiled seat cover may also be replaced with a new one, the spokesperson added.