Are Your Office Mugs Clean?

drinking coffee in office

There’s nothing like a steaming hot cup of caffeine to get you through the nine-to-five grind, whether you prefer coffee or tea. But you’re probably also using your preferred reusable coffee mug if you’re forgoing daily Starbucks runs to save money or because the office kitchen is too handy and convenient to pass up. It makes sense: By reducing paper or plastic waste, you’re helping the environment, and having your favorite mug at your desk will undoubtedly make you smile throughout grueling workdays. 


Cleaning your mug after each use feels utterly difficult for some reason. It barely takes a minute or two, but it’s one of the most unpleasant things you have to do. You might decide to forgo washing entirely if you run into that chatty coworker on the way to the sink or if there aren’t enough supplies to clean the kitchen. However, even washing your mug every after use might not seem as hygienic as you think it is.


Is Your Office Mug Clean?

You’re probably making things worse even if you’re meticulous about cleaning your mug at the office sink. The lack of adequate cleaning supplies in the majority of common workplace kitchens makes doing a good wash all but impossible. And we can assure you that the sponge in the kitchen hasn’t been changed since you were an intern unless you work at a sponge factory. That means that, in nearly every situation, your communal sponge is the best source for picking up traces of fecal matter while trying to clean your stuff.  


The majority of bacteria colonies can survive for up to three days after a wash, according to Charles Gerba, professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, and workplace mugs are coated in the fecal matter without you knowing. 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 unsanitary conditions in the office kitchen and/or coffee preparation areas is of concern.”

types of cups

How Often Should Your Office Mug Be Cleaned?

It is definitely caused for concern because consuming your coworkers’ fecal waste might result in unpleasant and dangerous illnesses that need time away from work and reduce productivity. Cleaning your office cup thoroughly not only reduces the chance of contracting a nasty insect but also improves the flavor of your hot beverage. However, how often should office mugs be cleaned? There’s no clear-cut answer, and it’s largely based on what you feel comfortable with. That’s why we’ve decided to list a few factors that would allow you to decide how often you should clean your office cup.

Your coffee cup isn’t as filthy as you think.

As it turns out, the germs that are running rampant in the typical office building as a result of individuals continuously bringing in various ailments make your cup one of the least concerning places to worry about. There aren’t many germs on your office coffee mug, according to Jeffrey Starke, a pediatrics professor at Baylor College of Medicine, who stated this in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 2016. He explains, “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.” That’s why sharing your cup is a big no-no, no matter how much you love your office pals.


Mold growth in your cup increases with the use of sugar and creamer.

If you’re one of those people who love putting sugar and creamer in their coffee then you might want to read this. You might not know it but using these with your coffee ups your chances of icky bacteria lurking in your office cup. Let’s not add letting your cup of caffeine sit for a long time. This doesn’t help in the matter but makes it worse. Standing liquid can promote the growth of environmental diseases, particularly mold. However, sugar and creamer are the significant causes of concern because they are both thought to be the catalysts for mold growth. The residue left behind when you’re not there can also attract bugs like flies, which may seem unlikely, but you never know what creepy crawlies will emerge when your entire staff is out of the office.


The office sponge most likely has more germs than your used cup.

Given that any or all of the aforementioned facts have made you feel completely disgusted, you may actually choose to clean your mug before or after each usage. The use of the kitchen sponge shared by everyone appears to be significantly more repulsive than not washing at all. Really. Sponges make it possible for germs, viruses, and bacteria to survive longer since they always just sit there on top of the sink, moist. If you ever catch a dangerous illness, you can blame those sponges and scrub brushes at the office kitchen sink, which are more than likely never washed and used by multiple people cleaning all kinds of dirty dishware each day.

cleaning cup with sponge

Cleaning your coffee cup with dish soap and your hands is your best bet.

Since office sponges are out of the question when it comes to mug cleaning, the best bet would be just to use your hands to remove all the residue liquid inside with the help of a little dish soap. If you think that won’t cut you, try using hot water and dish soap to rinse your cup or bring it home with you every now and then and use your personal dishwasher. 


It is ultimately up to you how you want to manage your reusable mug. The likelihood of spreading a disease or virus through a coffee mug is low, especially if you’re the only one using it. Keeping your mugs clean and contamination-free saves you a ton of time and money from going to the hospital. If you’re looking for a professional cleaner service provider near Fairfield, Hartford, or Litchfield County, Connecticut then feel free to contact us