Want a Clean Mug at Work? Wash It At Home!

Shocking findings on why a coffee mug is best washed at home

Unwashed mug by Anton Watman
Home is Where Your Mug Should Be Washed: the University of Arizona’s research recommends washing your works mug at home, in a dishwasher. Image by Anton Watman (via Shutterstock).


The works kitchen or brewing up area is in many cases a good help for many colleagues. It saves on the cost of several Costabucks coffees. Some have microwave ovens which are good for warming up food from home. Some even have dishwashers. Nothing beats being able to use your own mug as well.

But – and this is a massive but – the University of Arizona has revealed a study that would chill Britain’s tea lovers to the bone. With the communal nature of the office or site kitchen, the chances of bacteria are far greater. You may be better off eating your sandwiches off the floor after one of Clean Hire’s industrial vacuums have put in a shift.

The report was created by Charles Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at University of Arizona. He said that washing up sponges are a magnet for bacteria, owing to the amount of mugs that have been cleaned. Instead of one mug, the same sponge may have been used on twenty of them.

Though a little inconvenient, he suggests getting your favourite coffee mug washed at home. If available, in a dishwasher. There are two figures alone, which are a good enough reason for carting your mug on the 1754 train from St. Helens Junction (other National Rail stations are available of course). Firstly, 90% – yes a staggering 90% – of cups in the control group harboured dangerous germs like e Coli and salmonella.

Secondly, 20% of mugs contained traces of faecal matter. This due to some colleagues who may have refrained from washing their hands after using the toilet.

So, the moral of the story is: whilst at home, wash your office mug in the dishwasher. You could consider using paper cups, but tea in a styrofoam or paper cup can never beat a proper mug.

Clean Hire, 19 September 2016