Kitchen bacteria fest in sponges

Have you ever picked up the kitchen sponge to use it and it felt slimy? How often do we think our kitchen sponge is ok, just give it a rinse and wallah…. Of course that is not the case and in fact that piece of sponge in your kitchen or cloth most likely harbors nasty bacteria including e –coli

The kitchen sponge is said to carry around 362 different bacteria!

 

When I began my Robyn’s eco journey I thought about the cleaning cloths I use in the home.  I became conscious of what I was using the sponge for and also spoke to people about their kitchen sponges.  It became obvious that the old trusty sponge was being used for way more than the dishes or kitchen counter.

Do any of these ring a bell with you?

·      Wiping children’s hands after they have been playing outside and putting it back on the sink to do dishes

·      Wiping spillage up off the kitchen floor and returning to the sink

·      Cleaning cutting board used for raw meat then used it to clean dishes

·      Wiping the fridge door or inside fridge with an old dirty sponge

·      Keeping the sponge damp and not rinsing it properly

·      Not washing your hands after going to the toilet and using the sponge to clean with afterward.

 

 

Cross contamination leads to foodborne diseases.  Moraxella osleonisis live on human skin and can cause infections and weaken the immune system. If your sponge smells like dirty laundry or mildew you have a bacteria fest going on in your kitchen.

Often it’s the small things like sponges, cloths for cleaning that we seem to hang onto, being thrifty saving a few dollars by using our sponge’s way beyond their use by date.

 

I have been researching ways to combat this problem and I believe I have a great solution with my hemp and bamboo SKRubiTs.  As many of you know I love hemp and bamboo and I am in particular awe of hemp and it’s strength (6 times stronger than cotton) and absorbent scratchy texture. Both hemp and bamboo are antibacterial so using them in my crochet I can make a cloth that has naturally built in antibacterial properties and is strong enough for the toughest jobs.  You can throw it in the washing machine with the tea towel and hang in out in the sun to dry.  I have been trialing mine for almost a year and it is still working the same as the day I made it. The other good part about it is that hemp and bamboo pose no harm to the environment at all. Unlike man made sponges and scourers they are biodegradable and compostable.

 

Dust Happens
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The Story of Dust

Dust will always come back; it is a given.

Dust comes from a lot of sources.  Perth is notorious for sand and strong easterly winds. There are buildings going up everywhere, roads being built and industrial areas contributing to the dust. The pollens from plants especially in spring; insect’s indoor and outside and pet hair find their way into our homes. Then there are all the indoor places dust collects such as electronic devices, air conditioners that Perth households rely on a lot in summer uses a lot, vents in rooms, clothes dryers, carpets and mats, beds, and the list goes on.

When I clean homes I notice how dust is always present, even in the homes I clean every week.  It is an ongoing struggle to keep dust away and it can be a health problem for people with allergies and asthma.  Even if you live alone and don’t make any mess there will still be dust.  Dust is made up of a myriad of tiny particles that move around through the air and settle on our furniture and floors. The wind blows in dirt, pollen, bacteria, moulds, fibres from clothing and bedding, decomposing insects, dust mites and their excrement, hair which from my experiences is invariably present, skin flakes, and animal hair.

Dust mites are always present in homes wherever humans live. They are microscopic arachnids; they mostly eat dead human skin cells.  The dust mites live on the floor, and other surfaces and get moved around on our feet and other objects.  They can float around in the air for as much as two hours before they settle on the ground again. They like dark, warm and humid climate so beds, fabric furniture and carpets are their favorites. The feces of dust mites, the allergen, release enzymes when in a moist environment and this is what can kill cells with the human body.

I want to pass on 7 tips I use in cleaning that I know will help.  

Tips to help keep dust at bay

  1. Clean regularly, clean when you see it.  This can be as simple as keeping a cloth handy and just dampen it and wipe.  A broom quickly picks up dust and a small vacuum can be handy.

  2. Keep your electronic equipment cleans, this is important to keep fires away from your home. I always wipe the tops of power sockets, and vacuum around cables under tables and behind TV’s.

  3. Use a damp cloth to prevent dust from blowing into the air; the old feather dusters just launch the dust into the air only to settle down again later.

  4. Give your fabric couches a vacuum regularly, vac under the couch cushions and underneath the couch, you will be amazed what you find down there.

  5. Take rugs and mats out for a good shake and let the sun kill any dust mites and germs. The sun is excellent for killing all the germs on rugs and cushions.

  6. Wipe vertical blinds regularly to avoid dust build up. People don’t like cleaning the blinds because they appear fiddly and may bend.  If you use a microfiber cloth slightly damp and keep the blinds closed you can gently wipe the blinds going down and then sideways.  You will be amazed how quickly you can get the job done in.

  7. Clean light fittings as lots of bugs collect in these, bugs are known to start fires in homes in light fittings and electrical gadgets, doing a check of your fittings every few months will prevent this happening.

Robyn Templeton
Winter Cleaning

 

Cleaning in Winter

During the winter months, bathrooms can become home to mold and mildew.

In our busy lives we often rush out of the bathroom after our shower leaving the room full of steam and water on the floors.  This is a problem especially if the door is closed and there is no ventilation i.e. exhaust fan or window open.

Here are some simple tips to help prevent mould and that awful smelly bathroom smell from taking over your bathroom.

·      Ensure your exhaust fan is in good working order, clean the fan blades and the cover to at least twice a year. 

·      Open the window regularly if you have one (a lot of modern homes do not have windows that open) If you don’t have this option, keep the exhaust fan running for at least 5 min after the bathroom is used and keep the door open for a while at least.

·      After your shower removes any towels that are very damp, hang them outside to air.  The sun is very good for killing any germs and making the towels smell nice.

·      A window cleaner is handy to have in the shower if your bathroom gets a lot of mold.  If you don’t’ have one, using a towel is a good option.  After all the showers for the day simply wipe the shower screens and the walls of the shower, this is a great way of not only keeping mold away but also keeping the shower looking nice.

·      It can be tempting to use toxic products if we are used to that, or if we are looking for a quick fix but consider using non-toxic products with natural ingredients, there are so many options available today. You can use simple ingredients such as vinegar and eucalyptus or look around and try different cleaners on the market.  I have a new bathroom-cleaning product that my clients love. Feel free to contact me and try for yourself.

·      Bathroom hygene - air flow = clean bathroom