There's this blue coffee mug that sits on my desk in my dorm room. It's my only mug, actually, and I use it to hold the hot chocolate, chai tea, and instant coffee that fuel my late night study sessions.
The only problem? My residence's kitchen is all the way down the hall. Since I obviously can't be bothered to walk down the hallway to rinse my mug, it has remained on my desk for the past month.
Yes, that's right—I don't wash my coffee mug.
Before you track me down, sneak into my dorm room, and smash the mug over my head to knock some sense into me, I'll let you in on a secret; it really isn't that bad to leave your mug unwashed between uses.
The Science Behind It
New York Magazine recently published an article that addressed the amount of germs in a coffee mug.
Apparently, as long as the only germs living in your mug are your own, it doesn't matter if you let them sit for a few hours until your next caffeine fuel-up.
Now, if you're putting things like cream or sugar in your hot beverage and you only use your mug once every few days, you need to wash it—mold is gross. Festive holiday drinks are delicious, but the ingredients that make them tasty will also make them spoil more quickly.
If, on the other hand, you drink coffee twice a day, the heat of your new drink should be enough to keep everything growth-free.
Personally, I've never noticed any mold or bad smells in my beloved blue mug, so I don't see the need to wash it anytime soon. If anything, the leftover dregs of coffee or tea only add to the flavour of my next hot drink.
This winter, don't bother leaving your cozy room to wash your mug every time you want to make a new drink. Your mug and your immune system won't feel a thing, so keep fueling that coffee addiction without shame.