How Long Can You Use Your Kitchen Towels Before Washing Them?
Many of us spend time wiping down our kitchen counters, sink, and stove quite often. Some of us probably give the surfaces of our kitchen a wipe-down every time we prepare a meal or make a sandwich. Right? What about your kitchen towels, how often do you think about washing them? And how long can you leave them hanging on the side of the fridge before you wash them?
Best Life recently asked some experts how often we should be changing out or washing our kitchen towels. One thing's for sure, some of us, including me, don't do it as often as we should.
Science Daily reported that researchers with the American Society for Microbiology found that family size, type of diet, and how people use their kitchen towels can impact the growth of pathogens on the towels, which can potentially cause food poisoning.
50 percent of the towels they tested, tested positive for bacterial growth including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. These are the bacteria that can cause food poisoning and staph infection. They go on to talk about how using towels for multiple things in the kitchen like drying the dishes, then as a pot holder, and then perhaps leaving it on the counter can cross-contaminate the towel. They also said poor hygiene habits by people in the household can contribute to making our towels nasty.
So how often should your towels be washed or replaced with fresh ones in the kitchen?
Two of the four experts Best Life asked said towels should be washed after every single use. The idea is that every kitchen should place the highest importance on food safety and a best practice is to use fresh towels every day.
Of course, how many of us actually have time to do that? Or will do that? Not to mention who wants to throw two kitchen towels in the washer every day? If that's how we're going to play it, get me Rosie the waitress on the phone, because I'm going to switch exclusively to paper towels. The folks at Bounty and Brawny will love me.
The good news, a couple of cleaning experts said towels don't need to be washed every day. Cleaning expert Diana Georgieva told Best Life if kitchen towels are being used a lot, then every day is good advice. However, for most families, she recommends every two to three days.
Cleaning expert Chi lp told Best Life that towels used for drying dishes or hands can be used for up to seven days between washes, while towels used to clean spills and messes be immediately rinsed and put in the laundry.
Now this makes sense to me. I can see changing out your towels if you have a few sets of them every three to four days. Not to mention even going up to a week between changes if you're just drying dishes and hands with them.
That said, I can't remember the last time I swapped out the kitchen towels. So you know what I'm doing when I get home. Putting fresh towels in the kitchen.