You may be thinking… The sink drain? The strainer? Maybe the sponge? Countertops are contacted by a lot of things, maybe it’s that?
A study back in 2015 found that out of 123 participants, after using the kitchen, the single most germiest item in the kitchen was… Drumroll, please…
The Dish Towel
According to this study, people constantly were handling the dish towel in the kitchen, even if they weren’t drying anything. Because the dish towel was not only contacted by surfaces, hands, and hands that also contacted other things, the dish towel quickly became the most germ-laden item in the entire kitchen.
How does this happen?
Dish towels are porous. They’re usually made out of a fabric-like material. While this is great for wicking away wetness and drying your dishes, it’s not so great for germs (or rather, it’s an awesome environment for germs to grow, not so great for your health). Not only is the porous material of the dish towel a great area for germs to grow, being moist and wet constantly can feed such germy bacteria that may grow mold. It’s a perfect recipe for germs to live! Leaving a wet towel overnight to dry can also cause bacteria to flourish.
What should I do?
Your first instinct is probably the correct one… Wash your dish towel! Try to wash your dish towels more often than you have in the past to keep down bacteria that may be living inside of it. Other solutions are use paper towels to wipe your hands, and, of course, the no brainers such as don’t touch raw chicken and then wipe it on a dish towel. You also should avoid handling your cell phone (which is equally as germy, but we’ll get to that in a later post) or tablet devices.