Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wipe Your Hands On Your Apron (Solved)

Aprons can take a look. They can add some VA-VA-varoom to Valentine’s Day, make sloppy t-shirts and shorts look authoritative when stationed at the grill, complete a barista uniform, and the artist version can look bohemian chic on a university campus. Also, unlike most women’s clothing, they have pockets. But one thing aprons are not is a wearable dish rag. 


You shouldn’t wipe your hands on your apron as it transfers microorganisms. Even if fresh and clean, aprons pick up dirt from the air, and as you brush against surfaces, the germs on the apron can be transferred to your hands. Aprons’ main purpose is to be a clean barrier between clothing and food.

Throughout history, aprons have had various purposes. Aprons, such as lab jackets, are also used to show authority. Some religions have used aprons for ceremonial purposes. In many industries, they’re used as protection, such as welding. However, aprons in the kitchen are controversial, as many are used incorrectly or are flimsy and useless. But ideally, they should be protecting your food from you.


Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wipe Your Hands On Your Apron

You shouldn’t wipe your hands on your apron as you transfer grime it and germs to your hands. In addition, it moistens the apron, making it a perfect nursery to raise bacteria. Consequently, the next time you wipe your hands on your apron, you’ll acquire even more microorganisms on your fingertips that are now free to contaminate your food.


Kitchens are filthy, even if it looks sparkling clean. As MythBusters proved, objects like sponges that we think of helping us “clean” can contain more harmful pathogens than your toilet. Thus, if you start using your apron like a sponge, you are turning it into a disease-carrying agent.

In addition, your clothes are filthy. Sure, you may have put on a freshly laundered outfit. But ask yourself where you’ve been since then:

  • Have you gone into a bathroom?
  • Have you used the toilet?
  • Have you been outside?
  • Have you run any errands?
  • Did you exercise in those clothes?
  • Have you cuddled a pet?
  • Has a child touched you?
  • Did you sit in a car?
  • Did you travel on public transport?
  • Did you sit on an outdoor bench?
  • How many surfaces has your clothing touched since you put them on?


You might like using an apron to prevent stains from getting on your clothes, which is fair enough. But your food doesn’t want the grit, grime, hair, and microorganisms your clothing has picked up to get into it. Your (hopefully clean) apron is acting as a barrier from your germ-carrying clothes and the food you are preparing.


Also, remember to roll up your sleeves and consider washing your hands past your wrists.  

How To Keep Hands Clean When In The Kitchen?

We all get unexpected messes on our hands. Ideally, you want to wash them, then dry them using a clean kitchen towel which should then be put into the laundry basket or thrown away, if disposable. If you can’t wash your hands at that moment for whatever reason, a clean and unused towel should be used for wiping, not the apron.


Paper towels are not the most environmentally green hand drying (or wiping) method, but they are higher up on the rung of hygiene than other methods. Reusable, cloth kitchen towels are an option if freshly cleaned and only used once between washings. However, studies revealed that people use them repeatedly before laundering them, making them like the disgusting sponges in Myth Busters.


Other helpful aids to keeping hands clean:

  • Disposable kitchen gloves
  • Hands-free soap dispenser
  • Peddle kitchen trash or hands-free
  • Kitchen tongs
  • Finger tongs


Does Antibacterial Soap Keep Hands Cleaner In The Kitchen?

Antibacterial soap, despite its popularity, won’t keep your hands cleaner in the kitchen. The essential ingredient isn’t the type of soap used but washing your hands correctly. Once finished, dry your hands on a clean towel, not something dirty, like a previously used towel, your clothes, or your poor apron.  


How Often Should An Apron Be Washed?

An apron should be washed after every use. But most people don’t, regardless if you are a doctor or a grandpa trying to rustle up your famous special sauce in the kitchen. Studies have reported the problem in the hospital setting, including in 2017 and 2019, pointing out that some get used for two weeks before a wash. Meanwhile, these glorified aprons are spreading disease.  


The reason for the error is the misconception of an apron’s primary purpose in these settings. Doctors use their apron-coats to establish authority, provide pockets, and protect their clothes. People in the kitchen also use them to establish that they are busy, to have pockets, and to protect their clothes.


But as mentioned earlier, the primary purpose is to protect the food (or patient) from your clothes that have been outdoors, been in contact with pets and children, and have been worn into the bathroom. The only way an apron can do its job is if it is as clean as possible. Once you’ve worn it, the apron is dirty and needs to be washed.


Aprons in the kitchen are not like aprons for welding. Welders use them for bodily safety. Cooks use aprons for food hygiene.


Do I Need To Take Off The Apron When Going To The Bathroom?

You should not wear an apron to the bathroom, to take out the trash, or anywhere else outside the cooking zone. Like clothing, aprons pick up grit and grime from the air and surfaces. Thus, the more you wear it and the more places it travels, the less hygienic the apron becomes.


Your toilet might be cleaner than the average kitchen sponge, but bathroom grime is not food-friendly. Plus, using the bathroom can put the apron in contact with other unsavory surfaces, including the floor, doorknobs, and countertops. In addition, if you don’t close the seat before flushing, you release a fountain of germs to splatter you and everything else in the bathroom.


Instead, hang the apron from a hook before departing to do other “business.” Once finished, put the apron back on, taking care to only touch the neck loop and fasteners.


Read Also: Do Ovens Need Gloves? – Read This First!



Aprons are a fun accessory that can have a practical purpose when used in the kitchen. However, they are not wearable dishrags, and using them as such spreads and breeds microorganisms. Instead, use clean kitchen towels to wipe hands or, better yet, wash them. To use aprons hygienically, always wear a freshly laundered one and never wear it outside the cooking zone.




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