How Often Should You Change Your Dishrag?


Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, UNL Extension in Lancaster County

You should probably change your dishrag more often than you think. Bacteria can come from wiping soiled kitchen surfaces, touching raw meat and then touching your dishrag, and so on. Bacteria are then spread all over your kitchen when that same dishrag is used to clean counters, the kitchen table, and the top of the stove.

Once a dishrag has been used, bacteria can grow rapidly. For example, if you have 100 cells of bacteria on your dishrag and each divides every 15 minutes, within two hours, you will have 25,600 bacteria.

A few years ago, a TV news program told about scientists finding more bacteria in many peoples' kitchens than in their bathrooms. And some of the "cleanest" looking kitchens had the most bacteria. These kitchens were the ones that were constantly being "cleaned" with bacteria-laden dishrags.

Cut down on bacteria growth by changing dishrags daily, using paper towels to wipe down surfaces and washing your hands regularly.