Bacteria Infested Kitchen Towels: How to Keep Your Family Safe

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The kitchen can hold the largest amount of bacteria in the house, which is particularly dangerous because it is one of the most used rooms in a home. In a recent study completed by researchers at the University of Mauritius, kitchen towels were found to be a major source of bacteria and could cause food poisoning. 

According to the research, lead by Dr. Biranjia-Hurdoyal, factors such as family size, type of diet, multi-usage of towels, among other factors, impact the growth of pathogens on kitchen towels.

The study showed that out of 100 kitchen towels, all of which were used for one month, 49 percent had bacterial growth and for larger families or families that had children, the percentage of bacteria increased. Scientists and researchers found that dry hand towels had less bacteria than humid or damp ones, and using reusable kitchen towels for many different purposes, had more bacteria than single-use towels. 

Of these samples, 36.7 percent grew coliforms (bateria found in both human and animal digestive tracts), 36.7 percent enterococcus, and 14.3 percent staphylococcus aureus (a type of staph that can cause serious infections).

Because kitchen towels and dish rags can hold some the nastiest germ in your home, it’s important to wash or replace these items frequently. To avoid putting your family at risk this coming Independence Day, here are some tips and rules you should follow when trying to keep your kitchen germ-free:

  • Allow for your towels and cloths hanging in the kitchen to dry after every use.
  • Change out towels and cloths at least once a week.
  • Run kitchen towels and dish cloths through the washer at least once a week, using hot water. You can also use bleach, as it can be added to kill germs in the wash cycle.
  • Dry kitchen towels and cloths on high heat.
  • After washing your hands properly, grab the hand towel, not the dish towel. Better yet, use a single-use paper towel.
  • Clean kitchen surfaces often (at least once a week), using disinfectant sprays or wipes. 
  • Don’t get too attached to your sponges. Washing, drying or zapping sponges in the microwave can help reduce germs, but it’s best to replace sponges at least once a week.


Staying on top on cleanliness will reduce the risk of getting sick from potentially harmful pathogens. It can be a challenge keeping your kitchen germ-free, but it’s important to regularly sanitize your kitchen, as it is the heart and soul of any home. 

Caroline Riggs

I love to write, read poetry, and listen to political podcasts. I enjoy time with my dogs, traveling and practicing my languages. Spreading the truth and sharing the news are my two goals as I enter this career path of communications.

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