How to Clean Your Cutting Board

The recent salmonella outbreak from ground turkey has food safety front and center in the news again. It also raises the old debate about how to disinfect food preparation surfaces in the kitchen to prevent cross-contamination. One of the most important things is to properly clean your cutting board.

I personally use wooden cutting boards.  I keep two in my kitchen.  If I am preparing meats, they go on one board, and “not meat” goes on the other board.  I do the same with my cutting knives.  Now, I am not some germ-phobic person, this is just the common sense way I was taught to cook many many years ago by my mother. It also makes it much easier to clean your cutting board when you know what has been on it.

There have been some interesting studies about the safety of wood versus plastic cutting boards. Consumer Reports has a good article that states research shows that either wood-cutting boards or plastic-cutting boards can be safe.

I wash my boards in much the same fashion as described in the study, with hot tap water, a sponge, and dishwashing soap.  Instead of using sodium hypochlorite (regular bleach), I use Vital Oxide, which is a much safer antimicrobial spray.  Instead of using sodium hypochlorite to kill, it uses chttps://allergystore.comhlorine dioxide.

It won’t take the color out of my dishrags or kitchen rug if a little splash on it.  Also, Vital Oxide doesn’t have the harsh bleach smell and won’t cause respiratory problems the way bleach can.  But it sure does kill bacteria and viruses.  Although the FDA has approved Vital Oxide for a “no rinse” application around food surfaces, I still rinse the boards after I have sprayed them down.

I guess old habits die hard.

Til next time

Everybody Has a Concrete Floor

The first time I ever heard about someone staining the floors in their home was about 15 years ago. We had a friend that didn’t like the carpeting but could not afford to replace it with tile or wood.

Susie’s solution was to rip out the carpet and stain her floors. Up until then, the only stained concrete floors I had seen were in warehouses and garages.

Fast forward to today and it is everywhere. I now see it in homes, restaurants, and stores. It’s easier to take care of and in most cases cheaper than tile or wood floors.

We have been telling our customers that carpeting is not a good thing to have it when you have allergies. No matter how clean it looks it still holds all sorts of allergens including pollen, dust, grass, and dust mites. I believe staining is a nice alternative that should be considered.

Anyway here are a couple of videos I ran across on Youtube while looking for more information. The first one just confirms what we already know. The second one is step-by-step instructions.

Video – Controlling Allergens With Concrete Floors

Video – DIY Concrete Staining: How to Stain Concrete Floors

Wishing you the best of health

Mike Krause
800 771-2246

Allergies and Carpet, Minimize Allergens in Carpet

In my last blog post, I wrote about the disheartening trend in home decorating towards carpeting, especially in the bedrooms. We went over how carpet is a hotbed of dust mites and other household allergen activity.

However, I realize that in the real world there will be situations where you just can’t get rid of the carpets.  In that case, you just have to do your best given the situation and try to minimize allergens in the carpet.

Start by vacuuming regularly with a high-quality vacuum that was designed for containing allergens and reducing your exposure.  So, don’t let the handsome guy on TV with the cool accent convince you that his bag-less vacuum with cyclone technology is the best for you.  It is not.  He is just trying to sell you a vacuum. he is selling a vacuum that will not minimize the allergens in your carpet and will actually expose you to more allergens.

Ask yourself,  If the goal is to reduce my exposure, why on earth do I want something that will send a cloud of collected particles up in the air when I empty it?  Seriously, the entire concept of a bagless allergy vacuum is an oxymoron.

You want to look for a canister vacuum system.  You want the canister and the entire vacuum system to be sealed so that allergens don’t leak out.

You want a vacuum with a HEPA filter.  You want that HEPA filter to be post-motor, so the last thing that happens to the air before it is exhausted is that it is cleaned.

You want to make sure that you change that HEPA filter as recommended by the manufacturer.  There are several brands of vacuums on the market, (Lindhaus, Nilfisk, Miele, Vapamore) that meet all of these requirements and we sell two of them.

Secondly, no matter how well you vacuum, allergens will be left behind.  If you have carpets you are going to have to treat them on a regular basis to denature the allergens.

The standard product for removing allergens from carpets is X-Mite Powder.  It is a tannic acid-based moist powder that will brighten the carpets and denature the allergens.  It must be applied every 3 months.

It is effective, and that is why doctors recommend it.  It is also a bit of a hassle for people with busy lives.   You sprinkle the powder down, sweep it into the fibers with a broom and then wait 3 hours.  You then vacuum up the powder and throw the vacuum bag away.

I prefer to minimize allergens in the carpet with a treatment of  ADMS Spray.  It contains no tannic acid and is perfect for light-colored and low-pile carpets. You get the same denaturing action with much less hassle.  Just vacuum the carpet to remove loose soil and then lightly spray the ADMS down.  In about 15 to 20 minutes it will be dry and you can be on your way.

In the best of worlds, there would be no carpet.  But if you live in the real world, it is possible to live with those carpets and your allergies.  You just have to work at the relationship.

Until Next Time
Cheryl Krause