Health & Wellness

Why it's OK to not wash your favorite coffee mug

Good news for coffee addicts who use the same cup to get their morning fix. There’s probably no need to wash out that stained mug, the one with more rings in it than the stump of an oak tree.

It’s perfectly safe to refill your dirty cup — provided you’re not sharing it with others, according to infectious disease expert Jeffrey Starke.

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Here's why you do NOT need to clean your coffee cup every day!

Play Video - 1:17

Here's why you do NOT need to clean your coffee cup every day!

Play Video - 1:17

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But he did warn that unless drink your coffee black, you may want to be careful how long you go before refills.

“If you leave cream or sugar in your mug over the weekend, that can certainly cause mold to grow,” Starke, a pediatrics professor at Baylor College of Medicine, told the Wall Street Journal.

RELATED: How to deep clean your coffee pot in 1 simple step

Wash or give the mug a good rinse if that’s the case, he suggested.

Otherwise, drink without fear!

That’s not to say that germs aren’t crawling all over that dirty coffee cup.

“But remember the vast majority came from the person who used the cup,” Starke said.

Even if you’re sick, it’s difficult to re-infect yourself with the same mug.

RELATED: 3 ways cream of tartar can help you clean your house

Drinking coffee from a dirty cup may actually be a more hygienic alternative than washing it in the office sink with a questionable communal sponge.

“The sponge in the break room probably has the highest bacteria count of anything in the office,” Starke said.

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