Monday, January 18, 2010

TOTW: Kitchen sponges & tea -towels

Tip Of The Week:

Sponges, cloths and tea-towels in the kitchen can be a party venue for bacteria.
I don't like scare mongering, and think that a bit of dirt and bacteria is good for us, but apparently one study found that some sponges contain more bacteria than a toilet seat. And a dirty or damp cloth is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. So here's how to keep your sponges and tea towels from making you or your family ill:

Always rinse a sponge well after use with hot water, then squeeze as much of the water out of the sponge before leaving it to dry. Leaving a sponge to soak in water is a bacteria cocktail... yuk. You can also pop your sponges in the dishwasher if you have one because dishwashers use much hotter water to help sterilise. And then of course, never keep a sponge too long, give it a a good sniff every now and then to make sure it's still useable, and if you want a greener way that throwing your sponges in the bin often, read this article... there are some great tips.

Tea-towels are just as bad, and perhaps even worse because many of us wipe our hands on them as we go along (guilty over here!) spreading the bacteria. I keep a pile of seven tea-towels in the cupboard which I replenish every week with a batch of seven freshly laundered ones, giving me one tea towel to use for every day of the week. That way as soon as a towel has had enough use I can grab a clean one. Some people might think that replacing a tea towel everyday is a bit OTT, but it depends how much you use them, and what for. You can also have separate tea -towels for separate tasks, but that just confuses me, and I'd rather use them one a day... they are only a small item to add to the laundry load after all. And of course make sure that the tea towel you use to dry your plates or cutlery isn't the tea towel you just used to wipe your hands on after working with meat - eek!
Have a great week!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Busy New Year and an appreciation for modern gadgets.

Happy New Year lovely readers! It's been a busy, but productive start to the new year here in Oxfordshire. For one thing, I've been hand washing all our laundry because it's been so cold that the pipes to our washing machine in the garage have frozen up. It has really made me appreciate having a washing machine, but with the cold and snow creating such a beautiful winter wonderland, I don't mind at all.

I'd also like to show you my new housekeeping gadget...

Well, actually it's my new running watch, but I've found it as, if not more useful for house keeping. This past Saturday morning I wanted to spend one and a half hours cleaning before getting on with my crafting and relaxing, so instead of using my timer I thought about trying my watch and set the alarm to go off after 90 minutes, and the timer on 15 minute intervals, giving 15 minutes in each of the six rooms I needed to clean (we don't have a 6 bedroom house, our six rooms include the hallway, lounge, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom 1 and bedroom 2). It works a treat, and by the end of the hour and a half I can relax and do my crafting guilt-free. Also it meant I didn't have to carry a timer around with me, or be within earshot of the timer. It's the small things in life eh?

Talk of running, another reason to get a running watch, is to star running. I am what I call a non-runner. I've never been any good at running... at all. But for Mr.L's birthday I bought him a book called Chi Running, and some funny barefoot shoes called Vibram Five Fingers. Funny looking, I know...

Anyway, I ended up reading the book too, got some shoes and now I'm out there 3 times a week running at 6:30 in the morning, and wait for it, enjoying it. Okay, well, I enjoy it when my toes aren't freezing in the snow and admittedly I'm only running short distances, only 1.3 miles, but I think that's pretty impressive for a non-runner.

And what crafting have I been doing with all that free time on my Saturday after cleaning the house in 90 minutes? I've been sewing like a madwoman, and I managed to make these two lions for my friend who recently gave birth to twins (a boy and girl). I bought the pattern for them off this website where you can buy patterns for all sorts of sweet stuffed animal toys, I'd love to make the elephant.
Oh, and remember when I showed you a photo of our bedroom with it's new colour scheme here. well, it has now been wallpapered and looks like this. Yes, look at that naughty creature asking if he could get up on the bed.

And after all that snow, cleaning, running, and general business it's always time for a lie down... look how I found these two the other day... bless 'em.

I'll be back soon with a post about hand washing laundry and delicates.
Have a great week!

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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