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Old 12-27-2007, 02:00 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Alix View Post
There is such a thing as being TOO clean. Its important to get rid of things that could cause food poisoning, but really the rest of it you can just leave. They've done various studies that show folks who DON'T clean with bleach and antibacterial stuff have tougher immune systems. YAY for the messy housewives!
My family is living proof of this, Alix. Honestly, we rarely get sick and never have to go to the doctor except for mechanical type stuff. My friends are always remarking that we don't have allergies or asthma or lots of common stuff. I've always laughed and told them it's because the kids get immunized against dirt and crud and all sorts of things from an early age here!
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:22 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Corey123 View Post
Lysol Kitchen Spray is made especially for use in the kitchen for countertops
and cutting boards, so why not use it for the sponge also?
1. Foremost, it was not designed for that use. A sponge has a billion times more surface area than the same size piece of counter top. It is not good for cutting "boards" either as wood is porous. Essentially, it is not made for normal food contact surfaces, but for surfaces where raw or prepared food spills may have occurred.

2. It is uneconomical to use 1/4 of a bottle of Lysol to do the job that a tablespoon of bleach in water will do much better and safer.

3. The Lysol site contains spill cleanup protocol. The small amount of active ingredient, while safe when spritzed on a countertop, becomes unsafe in large amounts. Spraying a sponge until it becomes saturated and drips out, is essentially akin to a spill. Not only is it probably ineffective in reaching all the sponge, but you are probably more ineffective in eliminating all of the toxic material from your sponge after you have saturated it.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:32 AM   #83
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OK, what if you want to get away from chemicals, for environmental reasons. Yes, bleach is a disinfectant, but it is not good for our Earth. Is there any alternative? I am just about done with store bought chemicals in my home, and the last one I cannot find id what I would use in place of my bleach. I cannot remember the last time I used that stuff.

I use vinegar on my floors, and on my counter tops, with baking soda, but when I want to get down and do some heavy duty cleaning, I would like to use something a bit stronger, in the natural world.

And I have another problem. I have stale, stinky dish rags. I try to hang them out so they dry with plenty of air, but I have kids who don't always remember to do that, and Viola, stink rag. Is there any way to get that smell out or will I just have to chuck them and start anew?

Thanks for any and all advice.
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:04 AM   #84
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OK, what if you want to get away from chemicals, for environmental reasons. Yes, bleach is a disinfectant, but it is not good for our Earth. Is there any alternative? I am just about done with store bought chemicals in my home, and the last one I cannot find id what I would use in place of my bleach. I cannot remember the last time I used that stuff.

I use vinegar on my floors, and on my counter tops, with baking soda, but when I want to get down and do some heavy duty cleaning, I would like to use something a bit stronger, in the natural world.

And I have another problem. I have stale, stinky dish rags. I try to hang them out so they dry with plenty of air, but I have kids who don't always remember to do that, and Viola, stink rag. Is there any way to get that smell out or will I just have to chuck them and start anew?

Thanks for any and all advice.
Treklady, I do the same things as you except I do use bleach, although I dilute it greatly. It's the easiest way to make stinky rags clean and fresh again. You can get them smelling good again by boiling them with a little vinegar or even orange oil but they never "look" as clean as with bleach. I just stopped buying white kitchen towels so that wouldn't bother me.

I also clean with baking soda and vinegar for everyday but I use diluted bleach daily on the countertops and a couple of times a week on the toilets and bathroom sinks. From what I've read, household bleach breaks down in use and has is essentially harmless, but the manufacturing process has an negative environmental effect. I wish there was something totally safe that works as well, too, but I guess I decided it is safer than the new "antibacterial" products that have flooded the market.
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:57 AM   #85
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Where is YT when you need him?

Its my understanding as well that bleach becomes harmless after being exposed to the air for a while. Can't remember where I read that though.

I think there are natural products you can buy to clean with, but I don't think anything can disinfect the way bleach can. I try to be environmentally conscious, but I am unwilling to give up certain disinfecting items. When a nasty tummy bug goes through our house you can bet I will be on the front line doing doorknobs and light switches to keep the germs at bay. Lets face it, the only thing worse than one person sick with the flu is 2 or 3 people sick with it. And heaven help the household if MOM gets it!!
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:37 PM   #86
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1. Foremost, it was not designed for that use. A sponge has a billion times more surface area than the same size piece of counter top. It is not good for cutting "boards" either as wood is porous. Essentially, it is not made for normal food contact surfaces, but for surfaces where raw or prepared food spills may have occurred.

2. It is uneconomical to use 1/4 of a bottle of Lysol to do the job that a tablespoon of bleach in water will do much better and safer.

3. The Lysol site contains spill cleanup protocol. The small amount of active ingredient, while safe when spritzed on a countertop, becomes unsafe in large amounts. Spraying a sponge until it becomes saturated and drips out, is essentially akin to a spill. Not only is it probably ineffective in reaching all the sponge, but you are probably more ineffective in eliminating all of the toxic material from your sponge after you have saturated it.


If you were to wipe up blood from, say, raw beef, poultry or pork, you'd normally wash the sponge, right?

So why not use some Lysol on it and the surface? I haven't gotten sick yet.

Alix;

Yes, bleach is completely harmless as long as you don't mix it with ammoinia,
drain opener or a toilet bowl cleaner. It becomes very lethal then.
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:48 PM   #87
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Corey, I think it is the amount of Lysol that would be needed to kill germs in a whole sponge that is the issue. Its much safer to wipe with something like a dishrag and then sanitize that as it doesn't require as much to kill the germs. Even a dilute bleach solution is better than Lysol for that. No one is saying Lysol isn't a great (Lord knows I use it) but to do a thorough job you need to use it at toxic levels. At least, that is what I get from reading through this thread.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:31 PM   #88
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If you were to wipe up blood from, say, raw beef, poultry or pork, you'd normally wash the sponge, right?

So wht not use some Lysol on it and the surface? I haven't gotten sick yet.
Corey,

I don't think I can say it any clearer than above. It is just plain bad practice to use a chemical product in a manner other than the manufacturer recommends. Because you haven't gotten sick probably doesn't make it a practice you should be suggesting to others, particularly when there are better and cheaper alternatives.


Personally, I use my sponge for dishes. A blood spill from beef or poultry would normally be in or very close to the sink where I unwrap such products. A visible spill would normally be cleaned up with a section of paper towel first, then a dish rag in soapy warm water. That is for non-food contact surfaces. Then the rag goes immediately into the laundry. Food contact surfaces; cutting boards, utensils and so on need to be properly cleaned

I would never use my sponge to clean up potentially hazardous food spills, and then use that sponge for dishes, countertops, appliances, and so on. That is the "perfect storm" of cross-contamination. Most restaurants today use different colored cutting boards for produce, red meat, poultry and so on to prevent cross-contamination. Imagine them then washing them all with the same sponge.

This probably isn't really necessary at home, where the much lower volume of preparation reduces the risk of pathogens being present in the first place.

We need to face facts, sponges are convenient, but potentially more trouble than they are worth. Unless you sanitize them every time you use them to clean a food prep area, they are just like those pads they put on the bottom of the chicken package

I believe microwaving them is a safe, convenient, economical, chemical free way to reduce any risk to an acceptable level.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:56 PM   #89
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Then I'll just say that everyone keeps a sponge germ-free in different way. Besides, periodically, it is in dish water into which bleach is added.

Oops, sorry. Works wonders also.

Now I'll leave it alone.
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