Dirty shoes? Don’t use the dishcloth

NZ Herald July 23, 2008

Despite the horrid things a sports shoe can squidge through, 27 per cent of us clean our sneakers with the kitchen sponge. Then that sponge is returned to the sink for use on dishes and benchtops, a survey of more than 1200 New Zealanders has revealed. And that is not the only black mark on our kitchen cleaning score sheet. For 22 per cent of people, washing a pet bowl with the kitchen cloth is common, and 39 per cent are happy to mop up a spill on the kitchen floor with their sponge or cloth before returning it to its home by the sink.

But it seems we can at least recognise unhygienic habits in others – 52 per cent would not accept a second invitation to dine at a friend’s house if they saw the same thing there. We are also a lazy lot, with 82 per cent choosing to let a pot soak to avoid washing it when it was their turn to do the dishes. Some give up altogether, with 47 per cent admitting having thrown out a pot because it was too difficult to clean. But while these habits are practised by a large number of Kiwis, not all are willing to put up with them. Six per cent of respondents had broken up with a partner because of their kitchen hygiene habits. The survey also revealed that 34 per cent of people believed ATM keypads were the most unhygienic surface they touched.