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Old 09-28-2011, 10:51 PM   #11
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I nuke my sponges. Seems to kill the germs. I just throw the dish "rag" in the hamper each night and get a new one in the morning.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:26 AM   #12
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Thanks for the reply. Great idea about the microwave.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:34 AM   #13
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I use the same side towels at home, as I do in the workplace.

Great for their intended use, durable(kind of, lol), make great oven mitts, and nothing I would ever have a problem with throwing out/retiring when the time comes.

They serve a single purpose, and when dirty, they get washed and replaced. I don't even use the same ones through a whole entire day. If they get grungy, they get replaced. I am not eating side towels, nor are they coming in direst contact with the food I put out, so I don't worry about cross contamination.

If I use a towel to wipe a board/counter/knife/anything, I have just processed a protein on, it goes in the laundry. Plain and simple. Towels are made to get dirty, treated rough, and come back for more. If in doubt, get rid of it/launder it.

All in all though, a kitchen without towels, is like a kitchen without knives. They are part of the daily kitchen routine.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chopper View Post
I nuke my sponges. Seems to kill the germs. I just throw the dish "rag" in the hamper each night and get a new one in the morning.
"Seems to" and knowing are two different things. . . sponges harbor a lot of nasties, and are more easily replaced, then really sanitizing and hanging onto, imo.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:43 AM   #15
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If I'm in the kitchen all day I set up a disinfecting pail with bleach water. My rinsed dishrags hit that when I am done with them for the moment. When I am done in the kitchen the sink gets a scrub with my bleach water and the rag laid out to dry, then the laundry in the AM. I will replace the bleach water if it gets icky.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:51 AM   #16
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If I'm in the kitchen all day I set up a disinfecting pail with bleach water. My rinsed dishrags hit that when I am done with them for the moment. When I am done in the kitchen the sink gets a scrub with my bleach water and the rag laid out to dry, then the laundry in the AM. I will replace the bleach water if it gets icky.
They recommended something similar on How Clean is Your House. Keep a dishpan with bleach water in the sink after your done washing up the dishes and leave your dishcloth / sponge/ dishmop in there until you are ready to use it again.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:29 AM   #17
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My mother is a retired R.N. The "rule" was always one dish cloth for "meat" wipe ups, the other for veggies and wash your hands between every prep and cooking step. My DH is always complaining about how much bleach and soap I use in the kitchen. After the dishes were done each night, the dish cloths were put in the sink with straight bleach, rinsed in the morning and put in the wash. I still do that--two dish cloths each day, bleach at night and in the wash (now mind you, I often don't "use" the kitchen during the day, so my evening effort is the only cooking I do). And, the other rule always was "don't cut veggies on the meat cutting board." And those were also bleached every evening. She didn't send us to school wearing masks or latex gloves, but darned close <g>. I still follow those "rules."
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:07 AM   #18
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I, too, buy "wash cloths" by the bundle at Wally World, which I bleach once a week. I used to buy dish towels by the bundle in their automotive section, but someone must have gotten the word because I can't find them there any more. If I have a particularly nasty job, I feel free to just toss the dish-rag into the trash, no great loss. Otherwise, I wash them regularly, and bleach once a week or so.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:16 AM   #19
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It's comforting for me to see others even more obsessive/compulsive about using bleach in the kitchen.

I also buy kitchen towels and dish cloths in quantity. I use the cloths to clean the counters and wipe up spills. The towels dry hand-washed stuff. Kitchen towels, cloths, cutting board pads and pot holders go into a separate bin and get washed separately in the washer with a stiff addition of bleach. I shut off the machine and let it soak for an hour mid-cycle to give the bleach time to work.

I also keep a spray bottle of dilute bleach for disinfecting surfaces.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:30 AM   #20
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Disinfection by microwave? That sounds promising, I'd like to know more! My first thought was, "wouldn't nylon melt?" How about my sponges? They are grosser than dishcloths. Why not your towels too in the microwave? hmmm... my t-shirts should probably be nuked, too...
If you nuke them wet and adjust the time, it would work. Here's some information about it:

----

Microwave Sterilizes Sponges

In the study, published in the Journal of Environmental Health, researchers evaluated the effects of zapping sponges and plastic scrubbing pads in the microwave on bacteria and viruses.

The sponges and scrubbing pads were soaked in waste-water containing a dangerous mix of fecal bacteria, E. coli, and bacterial spores. Bacterial spores are more difficult to kill.

The results showed that two minutes in the microwave at full power killed or inactivated more than 99% of all the living germs and the bacterial spores in the sponges and pads, including E. coli.

After an additional two minutes -- a total of four -- none of the bacterial spores survived.

Before you zap your sponges in the microwave, researchers offer the following advice:

Microwave only sponges or plastic scrubbers that do not contain steel or other metals.

Make sure the sponge or scrubber is wet, not dry.

Two minutes should be enough to kill most disease-causing germs.

Be careful in removing the sponge from the microwave because it will be hot and should not be handled immediately after zapping.
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