Experts claim you should wash this household item every day to help avoid food poisoning

Do you wash this item often enough?

washing machine
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We all have laundry piles that seemingly never end, but experts have revealed you should be adding one more thing to yours for a daily washing.

Ralitsa Prodanova, Cleaning Expert at Fantastic Services, says that we should be washing or changing our tea towels every single day to prevent food poisoning. And it's likely that this is surprising to many of us, considering that it may not be something you generally wash every day, or even replace every day. 

The truth about tea towels is pretty shocking, as Ralitsa reveals that we could be exposing ourselves to nasty germs, and even putting ourselves at risk of food poisoning by using days-old tea towels.

“Tea towels make the perfect breeding ground for germs. They’re often moist and warm from previous use, allowing for bacteria to multiply rapidly.”

“And because they come into contact with all manner of surfaces—from your dirty hands to clean —you need to be really careful to make sure there’s no cross-contamination.”

woman drying cutlery with tea towels

(Image credit: Getty Images)

To minimize risk, Ralitsa advises replacing them every day with clean, dry ones, or washing them at the end of each day. She suggests that we should also batch wash our tea towels, and make sure we don’t put them in with soiled garments such as gym shoes, socks or bedding.

University of Bristol researchers backed up Ralitsa in 2003, when they asked people to prepare a chicken meal in their kitchen, then analyzed the bacteria on various surfaces. Tea towels and sponges tested positive for campylobacter or salmonella in this study.


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Ralitsa also reminded people that infections such as salmonella can be fatal for vulnerable people, and that food poisoning has caused fatalities before.

When you’re busy in the kitchen, it’s easy to unconsciously wipe surfaces, your hands, and plates with the same tea towel. As a result, you’re spreading bacteria without even knowing it.

So perhaps it's time to invest in a few more towels, or set a reminder to wash yours at the end of every day...