Cloth Towels Vs Paper Towels: Why Paper Towels Are Better

paper towels

January 19, 2022 – You can save your business money by using cloth towels over paper towels. However, some downsides come with that difference in cost. One of them is that cloth towels can pick up bacteria, leading to various illnesses. They can then spread this around the area of your business if they are not washed immediately after use. Some of the bacteria found on cloth towels are as follows.


This bacteria is commonly spread through foods like raw meat, fruits, and vegetables. It can also be spread after coming into contact with feces. Symptoms of the disease include fever, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Most disease cases are mild and only last around 4-7 days. However, there are times when this disease can be life-threatening.

E. Coli

This bacteria lives in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most strains of this bacteria are relatively harmless. However, many strains of this bacteria can make people ill. Symptoms of the illness that E. coli causes include nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramping. Like salmonella, this bacteria can also spread through raw foods.

How Contamination Happens

Kitchen situations often involve handling raw meat and other foods. Janitorial problems often involve cleaning feces. If salmonella or E.coli are on these foods or feces, the bacteria can quickly spread to anything that the food or feces touches. Therefore, food workers will likely wipe up surfaces that raw foods have touched, and janitors will wipe up any surfaces on which there are feces.

No further contamination will occur if the dirty cloth towel is thrown into a laundry bin immediately afterward. However, this usually doesn’t happen. Instead, most workers will continue using the same cloth towels for most of their shifts. The towels will then spread the diseases to other surfaces. Eventually, the bacteria may wind up infecting a worker or any of the people they serve.

How To Solve This Issue

Cloth towels should be cleaned very frequently to stop the spread of diseases. As mentioned, it would probably be best for them to be cleaned immediately after each use. Another option would be to use disposable paper towels instead of cloth versions. They may cost more in the short term, but a bacterial infection can cost a business a lot in legal fees in the long run.