It's Actually More Sanitary To Never Wash Your Coffee Mug, According To Study


Are you one of those lazy-ass people who rarely ever wash their office coffee mug? It's OK, you can admit it. Your secret is safe with me.

As a matter of fact, being the lazy-ass person who rarely ever washes their coffee mug could mean you're less susceptible to bacteria.

While this might not make total sense to you just yet, allow me to explain, my fellow coffee fiend.

See, that sponge in your office kitchen? It's full of harmful bacteria -- SO much bacteria that leaving your coffee cup with a little leftover coffee residue in it is actually the more sanitary option compared to washing it.

In an article recently published by the Wall Street Journal, journalist Heidi Mitchell interviewed to Jeffrey Starke, a pediatrics professor at Baylor College of Medicine.

Starke revealed,

If you leave cream or sugar in your mug over the weekend, that can certainly cause mold to grow.

However, if you finish your coffee and leave minimal residue in your cup, you could pour yourself a fresh cup the next day and not do yourself any harm.

Starke added,

If I went and cultured the average unwashed coffee cup, of course I'm going to find germs. But remember the vast majority came from the person who used the cup.

Due to the fact that most harmful bacteria die shortly after leaving the body, you could drink from your coffee cup while sick and still not re-infect yourself.

Starke concluded,

The sponge in the break room probably has the highest bacteria count of anything in the office.

In other words, most of the most sanitary options you have when it comes to your coffee cup upkeep DON'T involve actually washing it. Instead, just let it chill on your desk unless there's leftover milk, or sugar residue instead.

At that point, you'd want to at least rinse it out with hot water.

Still, some people just understandably can't allow themselves to drink out of a "dirty" coffee cup. If you're one of those people, just throw that communal office sponge in the microwave, and at least disinfect it first.

Cheers, coffee lovers!

Citations: It's Okay to Never Wash Your Coffee Mug (NY Mag)