There's that one towel that people use to dry dishes, use as an oven mitt, clean the tiny splatter the spaghetti sauce makes, and toss over the shoulder while cooking.

After all the action in the kitchen is done, it hangs back on the fridge, or the oven handle ready to be that trusty utility towel during the next kitchen showdown.

Have you ever thought about whether or not that towel should just hit the hamper after dinner.

I'll tell you now that the thought has never crossed my mind. To the naked eye, it looks a-okay to me.


Well, I had a rude awakening. Turns out that experts and science evidence suggests that one should just discard the old standby towel after every meal.

According to Science Daily towels are a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria.

49% of the kitchen towels collected in the study had bacterial growth which increased in number with extended family, presence on children and increasing family size. The towels for multipurpose usage (wiping utensils, drying hands, holding hot utensils, wiping/cleaning surfaces) had a higher bacterial count than single-use towels and humid towels showed higher bacterial count than the dry ones. Out of the 49 samples which were positive for bacterial growth, 36.7% grew coliforms, 36.7% Enterococcus spp and 14.3% S. aureus.

The results of this study make a lot of sense, whether one is aware of it or not, a lot of cross-contamination can occur during cooking resulting in bacteria and virus transfer.

Next time you decide to make that wonderful meal, grab for those fresh, clean towels and wash up every chance you get.

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