If you’re stuck at the office all day, every day, you’ve probably got a trusty mug you keep on your desk and use all the time. Skipping that Starbucks run to drink coffee you make at home or work can save you serious money, but it also means you’ve got a dirty cup to deal with.
Most people don’t really clean that thing each and every time they use it, because even though it only takes a minute or two, it’s an annoying task we’d rather avoid. And for the most part, pediatrics professor at Baylor College of Medicine Jeffrey Starke assures us there’s not much to worry about with germs on your coffee cup, unless you’re filling your mug with coffee or tea and add cream and sugar. Those boost the chances of yucky bacteria lurking in your mug.
And Starke says nursing that buzzy brew for 45 minutes or longer doesn’t help because “standing liquid can encourage environmental pathogens, especially mold, to grow.” So you’re going to want to wash that thing before you drink in it again, but you probably should skip the office break room sink sponge because it’s probably nastier than not washing at all. Seriously.
Starke says “The sponge in the break room probably has the highest bacteria count of anything in the office.” So he advises washing your coffee cup using hot water, soap, and your hand, instead of the germy sponge. And be sure to take that thing home and run it through your dishwasher every chance you get.