When we think of household germs, we think of the germs that loiter in the toilet, in the dirty kitchen sink, in the drains or even in the shed out the back. But we never think that they would be swarming on something we use every single day – often multiple times a day.
A recent study from the University of Arizona has found that coliform bacteria – bacteria present in faeces which can lead to outbreaks of food poisoning and diarrhoea are present in 89% of tea towels and 25.6% of household towels.
To me, this was pretty alarming – they are tools that we use to clean things! But when you think about it, it does start to make a lot of sense. Tea towels are used to wipe down things that have often been in contact with raw meat products and other types of raw food. Then, towels are used to remove water and moisture but unless we hang them properly in a ventilated area where they can dry, they are the ideal breeding grounds for bacteria.
The Daily Mail spoke to a hygiene expert from the University of Salford who gave them some advice for keeping towels germ free:
“The first thing is to keep towels separate. Put them on the towel rail to dry so they don’t fester while they wait to be washed. Wash them often, at least once a week. Wash them on a high temperature, 90ºC wash – and bear in mind lots of washing machines don’t reach the temperatures they say they will. Bleach would kill bacteria on white towels and on face flannels, have one for each day and wash them all at the end of the week.”
So tell us, where do you think the germiest place is in your home? How often do you give everything a thorough clean? Tell us in the comments below…