Even if you like to think you’re office mug is one of the cleaner ones in the kitchen, the truth is that it’s probably still incredibly unhygienic. According to a study by biologist Dr Charles Gerba, up to 90% of office mugs are covered in germs and a horrifying 20% of those carry faecal matter! Dr Gerba, professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, says that dirty and rarely changed kitchen sponges are the culprits. He said: “Coliform bacteria were found on 20% of the coffee cups before and 100% of the coffee cups after wiping with a dishcloth or sponge. No E.coli was found on cups prior to wiping. However, 20% of coffee cups were positive for E.coli after wiping. The presence of insanitary conditions in office kitchen and/or coffee preparation areas is of concern.”
It certainly is of concern, as ingesting your colleagues faecal matter can lead to serious and unpleasant illnesses, resulting in time off work and the resulting lack of productivity. Thoroughly cleaning your office mug not only eradicates the risk of catching a horrible bug, but also makes your hot drink taste nicer. Here’s how to make sure your mug is clean and healthy.
Change kitchen sponges and cloths regularly
If possible, sponges and cloths should be changed every couple of days. If you’re concerned about the environmental waste caused by chucking them away, buy ones that can be washed and install a washing machine. It will save you money in the long run.
Use a scouring pad
A quick rinse of your mug won’t do the job when it comes to proper cleaning. A strong scouring pad will help to remove both germs and stains where bacteria could grow. We recommend using a metal one without a sponge attached, as the sponge part is where germs will fester and ultimately make your cup dirtier.
Add hot water
Plenty of hot water will help to remove stubborn stains so don’t make do with cold if you can’t be bothered to wait for the water to warm up. If you are in a hurry, add a splash of hot water from the kettle.
Use a cleaning agent
Whether it’s a splash of washing up liquid or a eco-friendly agent like vinegar or baking soda, a cleaning agent will attack both germs and stubborn stains. Scrub thoroughly and rinse with plenty of hat water. If necessary, leave the mug to soak overnight.
For more information on keeping your office germ free, contact us today.