Sunday, September 26, 2010
Seventh Generation has partnered with CleanWell to develop a somewhat new line of disinfecting products. The active ingredient in these wipes is Thymol, which is a traditional antimicrobial found in the essential oil of thyme. According to their research, it kills 99.99% of germs, like the Influenza A Virus (inc. H1N1), Salmonella enterica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Because my boyfriend loves to clean with wipes, I picked up a package of the Disinfecting Wipes. I don't have any lab equipment so I have to take Seventh Generation's word that it kills viruses. The cleaning was indeed quick and easy and the lemongrass and thyme scent was fantastic too. Still, I felt like using a cloth once before tossing it out is living a little too high on the hog for me. The guilt factor was worsened when I read the cloth is made of cotton and rayon, so I can't flush it or expect it to bio-degrade either. Well, that was true until I got to the toilet and realized I wouldn't have to think about cleaning a sponge well enough to use again. I do wish the wipe were a bit bigger. It felt small in my hand and measly against the toilet. It took three wipes to clean the whole thing.
Having said all that, I am looking forward to having my boyfriend use this easy and effective cleaning tool, so I will make sure we always have a bottle in the house. I might also pick up the Bathroom or Multi-Surface Cleaner so I can just apply directly to a big ol' re-useable cleaning rag. That or maybe I'll try to find out more about this thyme oil on my own. Hmmm....
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
|This isn't really working.|
I ended up needing only two of the jars (pint and quart sized) because I had so many other suitable containers at home: A large vintage green glass vase and a smaller vintage purple vase (both from Salvation Army), three adorable Moroccan themed glasses from a dollar store in Queens, and two cup sized Ball jars. All this stuff has been just hanging around my various apartments for years awaiting their destiny beyond holding the occasional flower or breakfast juice. I now feel like I could stare at my counter forever. Everything on it is beautiful and orderly. It feels almost just as good to open my utensil drawer and look my knives and backup cutlery who, if they could speak, would surely say how happy they are to have some breathing room.
|I can find everything!|
I can't clean or organize without it being a party so I let Pandora play DJ. I heard Erykah Badu's The Healer for the first time. She is so fantastic! Watch this video to hear the song performed live, and to see her fantastic afro! I need to find that wig!!!!!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
The Battle Against Harmful Bacteria
There are lots of harmful bacteria in our kitchens (especially in homes where meat is prepared), so both cloths and sponges require mindfulness. Killing germs on a dish cloth is as simple as washing and drying on high heat just once a week. You can basically throw it into your weekly laundry. It's also a good idea to microwave it, while moist, on high for a minute after each use. Be sure to hang it from a rack and let it dry out between use.
The moist, micro-crevices that make a sponges such an effective cleaning device also make them a cozy home for germs and more difficult to disinfect. Keeping a sponge that is used for cleaning pots and dishes fresh, requires microwaving AND being put in a dishwasher with a dry cycle after each use. Don't forget to let it air dry. The easiest, and cheapest, way to do this is to place it on the dish rack. You can also spring a couple of bucks and buy a sponge caddy; just make sure it has air holes and can drain.
Re-usablilty & Eco-friendliness
A dish cloth can stay in great shape for at least a year. Once you've worn it ragged and you're ready to say goodbye, you can drop it off at your local Greenmarket for textile recycling. I like Full Circle dish cloths because not only are they adorably colorful, they are also made of organic cotton, which makes their origin just as graceful as their departure.
The lifespan of a sponge depends on the sponge. My favorite sponges are made by Twist. They seem to hold up FOREVER. (Though I am personally weary to keep a kitchen sponge around for more than two weeks, I've been known to use them on my bathtub for months.) Another nice thing about Twist sponges is the sponges and their packaging are made entirely of biodegradeable materials, even the scrubby ones, which are made with natural loofah. (I should note that I am not sure if this means you can compost them. Does anyone out there know?)
Seems like there is no way around how dirty both these things can be, but the good news is both are fairly eco-friendly. Try both yourself and let me know what you prefer by responding to the poll and leaving a comment.
Want more fun? Read vintage dish washing tips at Behind the Curtain!
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