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parenthood

What’s lurking in your kitchen dishcloth?? The answer might surprise you!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bounty Paper Towels

Did you know that kitchen dishcloths are one of the largest sources of bacteria in the home? One study from The University of Arizona found that 82 random kitchen hand towels collected across the U.S. and Canada, coliform bacteria (fecal contamination) were present in nearly 9 out of 10, and E. coli was present in 1 in 4!

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Wouldn’t you want to know what’s lurking in your kitchen dishcloth?

Well in fact, we were lucky, or maybe unlucky enough to find out! Over the holidays I was able to participate in a neat study with University of Arizona to find out what types of bacteria were harbored in my kitchen dishtowels.

We were asked to use a new, unused dishcloth in our kitchen for four days as we would normally without washing it.

Our dishcloth was then sent over to Dr. Charles Gerba – aka “Doctor Germ” to be analyzed by his team over at the University of Arizona.

The team tested for the presence of:

  • Total Coliforms – bacteria that indicate general cleanliness
  • Fecal Coliforms – bacteria derived from fecal matter
  • S. aureaus – bacteria found on the skin that can cause a range of illnesses including respiratory infections and food poisoning
  • Heterotrophic Plate Count Bacteria (HPCs) – bacteria that take the carbon (ex. Sugars) they need to survive and reproduce from their environment – i.e. yeasts, molds, etc.
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My dishcloth being tested for bacteria

Want to see the results!!??

bounty dishcloth university of arizona study what's lurking in your dishcloth study of bacteria in your kitchen latina mom blogger

Total Coliform analysis – my dishcloth had 10 times more than the average dishcloth!

In just four days, my dishcloth grew 5.3 million total coliforms per mL – that’s over 40x more than the average amount found in previously studied household dishcloths (130,000 per mL). It also grew 1.8 million S. aureus bacteria, which is and 45x more than the average amount found in previously studied household dishcloths (40,000 per mL). Also, hundreds of fecal coliforms were detected, YUCK!

Scary isn’t it??

After receiving the results of the study, I realized I needed a better clean-up alternative in the kitchen to help prevent my family from being exposed to the bacteria that can be harbored in dishcloths.

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I’ve started to use paper towels to clean up bacteria-filled food messes in the kitchen, like when   I’m prepping raw chicken and seafood for dinner, or when an egg gets away from me and splats on the floor. I don’t need my dishcloth spreading germs around from these messes over to my counters or fruit bow! Paper towels  make for an easy clean-up, since I make sure to throw them out after each use to help decrease the chance of bacterial growth around the kitchen.

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How do you typically clean up messes in the kitchen?

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