“Pick your damned towel up of the floor and PUT IT IN THE WASH.”
We all heard that sentiment plenty as teenagers. And science is, yet again, proving we deserved it.
In soon-to-be-published research, Dr Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, has discovered that nearly 90 per cent of bathroom towels are contaminated with coliform bacteria – microscopic organisms that can indicate the presence of disease-causing bacteria in water.
Perhaps most unsettling about the study is that Dr Gerba reportedly found that roughly 14 per cent carried E. coli. Yes, E. coli as in the bacterium found in the digestive tract of humans and animas. E. coli as in the kind spread by faeces.
Oh, and he also found Salmonella.
According to TIME, Dr Gerba explained that bathroom towels serve as an ideal breeding ground for such bacteria, as the room is often dark, damp, and your hands are routinely exposed to faecal organisms.
Every time you dry yourself without having thoroughly washed, you’re transferring those organisms from your skin onto the fabric, where it flourishes in the petri-dish-like conditions.
“After about two days, if you dry your face on a hand towel, you’re probably getting more E. coli on your face than if you stuck your head in a toilet and flushed it,” Dr Gerba told the outlet.