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What's Lurking in Your Dish Towel?

kitchen towels

Story at-a-glance -

  • Handwashing is a simple method of reducing your exposure to bacterial pathogens and disease-causing viruses, but how you dry your hands may be just as important to your health
  • Recent research finds multiuse kitchen towels may be alive with bacterial pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas and coliforms, commonly found in human waste
  • In tests, towels kept in humid environments and used for multiple purposes carried a higher bacterial load, and the variety of bacteria differed between vegetarian and meat-eating households
  • Drying your hands with one sheet of paper towel may reduce the environmental burden from manufacture occurring through deforestation and chemical use, and may reduce your exposure to pathogen-breeding multiuse towels

By Dr. Mercola

Handwashing is one of the simplest ways to reduce exposure to potential disease-causing germs. This may also reduce your chances of getting sick and/or spreading infection. Regular and proper handwashing drastically decreases the number of germs having access to your body, especially at key times such as before eating or touching your mouth, eyes or nose, after using the restroom and while cooking in the kitchen.


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