I have talked before about how I am a bit of a germaphobe, but I am also a bit of a geek and love a good experiment. Back in May I put my neat freak tendencies aside for 3 days to participate in the Bounty Dura Towels challenge to uncover my dishcloth’s germy little secrets. All I had to do was use the same dishcloth for 3 days and not microwave it or rinse it in disinfecting solutions, just use it as I would normally use a dishcloth. Normally I switch out my cloths every day and use a vinegar solution to wipe my counters so this was a bit of a stretch for me, but in the name of science I gave it a go. I do admit I still used my vinegar spray on my counters hoping against hope that it would help keep the germs at bay in the dishcloth. I was about to be disappointed.Dirty Dishcloth Testing Kit
After using my cloth for 3 days I sent it immediately off to a professional lab in Toronto where it was clinically examined to reveal exactly what was hiding inside. I was shocked at the results!
My dishcloth, after just three days of usage, showed 840,000,000 counts of bacteria and 46,000,000 counts of yeast and mould. In comparison, an unused dishcloth only harbours approximately 1,080 counts of bacteria and five counts of yeast and mould.
Ick, Ick, Ick!!!
I may have gagged a little.
Logically I knew that when you use a dishcloth to clean and wipe your counter tops you could actually be spreading around germs, but I really thought using a disinfecting spray would help. I can’t say I have tossed the cloth to the curb completely, but I use Bounty DuraTowels more often and now always after preparing meat. Bounty Dura Towels are clinically proven to leave surfaces three times cleaner than a germy dishcloth so when I want to get my counters really clean they are my, not so secret, weapon. Now to convince Hubby to make the switch.
Dr. Elizabeth Scott, Co-director of the Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community, offers these tips on maintaining a happy and healthy kitchen and home:
1. Wash your hands – Prior to any meal preparation, wash your hands often with warm, soapy water and dry them using Bounty DuraTowel.
2. Wash and sanitize surfaces and utensils – Reduce the risk of contamination in the kitchen by washing and sanitizing all countertops, cutting boards and utensils that come into contact with food. Do this before and after preparing food and use Bounty DuraTowel to help clean up larger messes and wipe down surfaces.
3. Separate your food – Make sure to always separate your raw foods, such as meat and eggs, from cooked foods and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination which is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness***. Use separate cutting boards for meats and for vegetables etc.
4. Wash produce thoroughly – Immediately before prepping, wash all whole fruits and vegetables and dry using Bounty DuraTowel. This reduces the risk of transferring pathogens from the rind or skin to the inside of the fruit or vegetable when it is cut***.
5. Keep your fridge clean – One way to reduce the risk of cross-contamination is to keep the fridge clean and to keep foods covered since many bacteria and molds are able to grow at refrigerator temperatures. Clean your fridge using a kitchen sanitizer and Bounty DuraTowel.
6. Wash reusable grocery bags – Wash and thoroughly dry your reusable grocery bags frequently, especially if you are carrying raw meat, fish, poultry, seafood or vegetables.
All of these are tips that I use daily in my kitchen, my last holdout is just that innocuous looking dishcloth and I think it’s time we broke up.
So dish! Do you still use a dish cloth?
Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own
***The Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health