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Old 01-24-2010, 07:23 PM   #11
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Soap is not a cleaning agent. What soap does is reduce the surface tension which allows water (the real cleaning agent) to work much more efficiently.

A simple test to prove - rub dirty hands on a bar of dry soap without using water and see how clean your hands get.

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Old 01-24-2010, 07:45 PM   #12
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All I can say is that I sympathize with you. It is my belief and opinion that germaphobes are germaphobes because they are usually ignorant of the actions of soaps and how they actually remove germs and bacteria from our skin. They also don't understand that there are a host of beneficial and useful micro-organizms in everyday life, and in products such as yogurt, cheese, microscopic leavening agents (yeast), etc. If your freind saw how sourdough starter was made, she probably would never eat sourdough bread again. Sausages that are dry cured rather than cooked, such as pepperoni, and other salamies, not to mention jerky's would make her crazy.

I tend to blame it mostly on the media. They bombard us with the idea that the world is full of hamful things trying to kill us. And yes, it is. But our bodies are amazing things, with a number of sophisticated ways to combat germ-related sickness. Sensible cleansing is important to good health. But the media, in their search for ways to scare us into purchasing their "super" germ-fighting, anti-bacterial cleaner or soap, is simply trying to convince us to spend more money on their particular product by whatever means is required. Their goal isn't public safety, it's private profit. My cast iron vessels rarely see soap. But theyt see temperatures that are high enough to kill any microbe that touches the metal, or foods cooked in them.

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Old 01-24-2010, 08:09 PM   #13
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I teach food safety classes (ServSafe) and I can tell you - detergent will never touch my cast iron. I just use some steel wool and hot water.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:25 PM   #14
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Clearly I'm among friends here.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:48 PM   #15
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I would call her (and the many others who have such paranoia ) a "germaphobic"

-can anyone suggest a better term?

I agree that the cooking heat is going to kill any germs.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:54 PM   #16
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Well I'll be sure NOT to invite her to my house! Rarely soap my CI. And it's a good thing she wasn't over Mom's house the night she served "Off-the-Floor-Chicken" to my then boyfriend and his family! His mom was in the kitchen at the time...and helped my Mom make sure the pieces were clean.

Our house is clean enough to be healthy...and dirty enough to be happy!
"Eating ruins your appetite"~Mom

"If you don't use your head, you gotta use your feet."~~~more Mom
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:09 AM   #17
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HEre's a scary thought...
"Kills 99% of germs....."

What happens when all that's left is that 1% that DOESN'T get killed,
and we have no effective anti-bacterial products left?

THAT'S why I don't use anti-bacterial products.

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Old 01-25-2010, 10:43 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
It can be more difficult to remove unwanted grease/oil without using a surfactant.

It's perfectly fine to use soap on your seasoned cast iron. I do it all the time. Not every time I wash them, but sometimes you do need soap to get rid of the crud.

But it's not soap that kills germs.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:50 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by DaveSoMD View Post
I agree completly. We have become so afraid of germs that I think sometimes we over-clean and over-disenfect.

I also think she was over reacting. I never use soap on my cast iron cookware or on my wok. HOT water and a stiff brush if it is needed and that is it. Neither myself nor anyone I have cooked for has ever gotten sick.
I was taught to clean cast iron and carbon steel (wok, et al) with Kosher salt while the pan is still warm. No soap and no water.
Wine is the food that completes the meal.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:59 AM   #20
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The whole reason to season cast iron is develope a cooking surface with unbeatable qaulities. Harsh abrasives and strong cleaners would remove the seasoning that make CI so good to cook with. I have a lot of Lodge and I never use soap or steel wool to clean. The guest may have been ignorant, not a cook, a germaphobe or a hypocondriac or a combination or the four options.

Olvida cookware is cast iron but nickle coated so it is indistructable, nonreactive and doesn't need seasoning. I like it as you can use any tool you want in the pot unlike the enameled cast iron that one can scratch or chip.

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