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Old 01-01-2010, 03:16 PM   #1
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A question on detergents and other cleaning solutions.

I've been washing dishes for over 10 years, and I clean my room and washroom roughly 3 times per month. However, my biggest concern is that I feel that I use way too many detergent and cleaning solutions to clean things. Usually, when I clean a group of dishes that fill up my sink halfway, I squeeze one tablespoon of Palmolive into a bowl, then fill it with hot water which I use to clean the dishes. When I clean the countertop of my sink, I give 10 sprays of Fantastik onto the counter to which I have to use a sponge roughly 4 times in order to get all the Fantastik out of the counter.

Would you consider them as wasting detergent and cleaning solutions? I've seen workers in restaurants using only 1 to 2 sprays of cleaning solution onto a large surface to which they use a cloth to wipe it entirely, and I feel that they used too less detergent, thus making the surface not as clean. Maybe just 1 to 2 sprays is enough?

Thanks a bunch!

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Old 01-01-2010, 03:31 PM   #2
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The workers in restaurants are probably using something different...more along the lines of a clorax solution of some kind, or other chemical type solution. They know what they are doing and the health department will actually come in and test these surfaces on occasion for bad stuff.

Personally, I think you are thinking too hard about this when it comes to your own kitchen. If you are happy with the results then it's not too much. 10 squirts on my counters would be enough to do all the counters in my kitchen...and maybe even too much. I've never counted how many times I sponge something off to get it clean of a cleaning product...I only count steps when I go upstairs
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:31 PM   #3
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I use a "green" (biodegradable) detergent product in solution with water and a small amount of chlorine bleach to clean most anything in my kitchen. It acts as a disinfectant as well as a degreaser.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:33 PM   #4
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:43 PM   #5
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You just need enough to wet the surface. If you have to sponge 4x to get it all off then that sounds like 4x more than you need. If it works for you though then go for it.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:22 PM   #6
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I'd go with the "less is more" strategy myself. I start with a bit and add more if needed. I only use about 1 tsp of dish detergent, and I don't really use fantastik, but long ago when I did I used about 2 squirts and if I needed more I would squirt again. Not knowing what your living space is like makes it a bit difficult to assess. My kitchen gets cleaned roughly 2-3 times per day. But not all of those with any kind of ammonia, or bleach based product. The bathrooms are different (but there are 4 of us). Those get cleaned thoroughly once per week, but get a "spit and polish" whenever the need arises.

If your concern is over the type of chemicals you are using then you can start thinking about using vinegar and baking soda for most of your cleaning needs. Vinegar cuts all kinds of grease and baking soda is abrasive enough, yet gentle enough for most surfaces.

Hope that helps.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:02 AM   #7
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In the restaurant biz, at least out here in the wild west. One capful or 2-3 teaspoons of chlorine bleach to a gallon of water is what is used to clean surfaces. And yes, the health department does come in to test the strength of your cleaning solution. You would also notice the surfaces are allowed to airdry, same with the dishes coming out of the dishwasher. Any sprays you see in use are the same bleach water combo.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:28 AM   #8
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A quick note of caution concerning chlorine bleach... most dishwash detergents have instructions in fine print NOT to mix with bleach. The chemical culprit in the detergent is ammonium C12-15 parath-sulfate. When mixed with bleach, it releases chlorine gas, the WMD used in WWI.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spork View Post
A quick note of caution concerning chlorine bleach... most dishwash detergents have instructions in fine print NOT to mix with bleach. The chemical culprit in the detergent is ammonium C12-15 parath-sulfate. When mixed with bleach, it releases chlorine gas, the WMD used in WWI.
Exactly. Important point. If you are disinfecting your surfaces, do not dip your cleaning rag into your sink full of dishes. Always use a separate bucket for disinfecting and seaprate cloths.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:58 PM   #10
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Thanks, spork, for bringing up the ammonia/bleach issue! It is one many don't know about, and was the bane of existence in basic training when some kid who'd never cleaned in his/her life would think that if ammonia (used to strip floors) and bleach (used to keep showers fungus and mold-free; athlete's foot is the bane of such places as gyms and military showers) were both good, putting them together would be even better! Believe me, even with being warned people will use the two together, simply because they don't know what is in that spray bottle they're using!

But, really, I also think you're over-thinking the problem. I've never counted the sprays from my 409/Fantastic (whatever) bottle, nor measured dish detergent. The only time I've worried is when I've known I had a rodent or insect problem and was cleaning up after that, then I'd just spray bleach on the surface, then take clear water and rinse it. Now that I think of it, most of my food doesn't come into direct contact with the counter, stove or other surfaces, but the pots, pans, cutting boards, serving pieces, knives, etc. I'm 54, my husband is 62, Mom is 75, Dad 78 .... and just normal precautions have kept us safe, not worrying about sanitizing everything.

Hmmm ... you mentioning washing dishes for 10 years. Oh, me, Oh my. I've been washing dishes for well over 40 years.
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