Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kitchen and Household Sanitation

For the past few years, I’ve been using a 10% bleach solution to sanitize around the house.  I know a lot of people are trying to get away from bleach these days, but I love it!  I know it works.  When I took microbiology lab in college, we ended up with a lot of Petri dishes full of all sorts of microbes.  We opened them all up, put them in the sink, and poured bleach over them.  It’s just so effective.

That being said, take safety precautions when using bleach.  Don’t mix it with other cleaners, make sure there is good ventilation, and limit exposure.

Straight bleach is too strong for household use and is not necessary.  Even when cleaning up blood, the protocol is a 10% bleach solution.  So this is what I used around my bathrooms and kitchen.

A few weeks ago, I was introduced to a new household sanitizer.  Once a month, the women at my church get together for Mary and Martha Monday.  Generally, one of the women gives her testimony and teaches us a skill she has.  This month, we had our first man share with us.

Tim is a professional chef and caterer (find his Facebook page here).  He also teaches ServeSafe classes.  He shared his recipe for an all-purpose cleaning solution.  Not only does it sanitize and disinfect, but it is way cheaper than any disinfectant you would find in the cleaning product aisle.

These products are expensive!

His solution still uses bleach, but in a much lower concentration so I feel comfortable using it everywhere.  The addition of vinegar boosts the disinfecting power.  Both of these are great disinfectants in their own right, but put them together, and you’ve got a super disinfectant.  (Source)

So far I’ve used it on the kitchen counters, stovetop, compost bowl, April’s highchair, dining room table, tile floor, laminate floor, and toilet.  He even suggests using it to wash the shells of eggs that will be used in raw-egg recipes (more on that in the future).

Household Sanitizing Solution
1 gallon water
1 oz. (2 Tbsp.) household bleach
1 oz. (2 Tbsp.) 5% distilled white vinegar (the cheap stuff)

Mix all ingredients in a clean gallon jug.

Be sure to clearly label the jug, including the ingredients and their quantities.

I label it on all sides.

Not only does this give you the recipe next
time you need to make it, but then you have
the exact ingredients and quantities to tell
the doctor or poison control in case of
accidental ingestion.

Pour into spray bottles as needed.

I currently have three of these spread
throughout the house and am going to get
more when I can.

All-purpose Cleaner (for greasy messes, food spills, etc.)
1 batch household sanitizing solution
1-2 Tbsp. castile soap

Mix and dispense into spray bottle.


StaceyN said...

We use a homemade vinegar-containing all-purpose cleaner in our house every day, but I have never considered mixing bleach with vinegar. I have always thought that vinegar and bleach react and release chlorine gas, which is not something we would want in our house. In fact, I have stopped using a bleach-based dishwasher detergent so that I could feel safe using vinegar in the dishwasher (which is AWESOME for keeping dishes sparkling). So is that not true then about bleach and vinegar reacting that way? I would love to be able to use them together and know that it is safe.

Sumiko said...

As long as you use the ratios given, you are completely fine! The vinegar drops the pH to the 6 range. If it gets down below 4, then you have problems with chlorine gas forming. Tim's recommendation for cleaning the dishwasher was to pour 1 c. of bleach and 1 c. of vinegar into the empty dishwasher and let it run through a cycle. Sanitizes and gets rid of hard water deposits! Clean away!

Dawn said...

I noticed in the source article for the bleach/vinegar solution that they recommend 1 cup bleach, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 gallon of water. I'm curious as to why your friend only does 1 oz of each and if it is still as effective.

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