Tips for Disinfecting Cutting Boards

Life is busy and in the time of Covid-19 our households can be quite chaotic. Just keeping up on the normal cleaning tasks and doing laundry is time consuming. Sometimes we overlook the little things that could use some cleaning love! Cutting boards are one item that could use disinfecting from time-to-time and some tips on how to tackle that. In this article, we discuss tips for disinfecting cutting boards. Just another way to keep your home and family safe and healthy!

Cutting Board

 

Disinfecting Cutting Boards

With less eating out and more eating in, our kitchens and all of its tools are definitely getting a good workout. Cutting boards are an item used almost daily. Since many cutting boards are made from porous materials like wood, bacteria can take hold if not thoroughly cleaned. While they may get washed in the sink with the dishes, there are a few things you can do to make sure that they are being thoroughly disinfected.

Wood Cutting Boards

Wash the cutting board with warm water and Dawn after every use. Rinse thoroughly and be sure to allow it to dry completely. Never soak a wooden cutting board or run it through a dishwasher as it can damage the wood and warp it. After it has dried completely, spray the board with a mixture of 1-part white vinegar to 4-parts water. Allow it to sit for a minute or two, and then rinse with cold water. Again, allow the board to dry before storing away.

For stubborn stains or odors on wood boards: After a good cleaning, sprinkle some coarse salt on the board. Kosher or sea salt both work great. Then take a lemon that has been cut in half. Scrub the salt all over the board using the lemon, flesh side down. Let the solution sit for up to 5 minutes, then rinse off the board with a clean sponge and running water and let dry.

Plastic and Glass Cutting Boards

Most plastic and glass cutting boards can be run through the dishwasher and is a great way to thoroughly clean them. For an added layer of disinfecting, without using bleach, use a solution of 1-part white vinegar to 4-parts water. This step should be done after the board has already been cleaned. Spray the solution on the board and allow it to soak for at least five minutes and then wash again with Dawn and water. Remember, even though plastic is non-porous, bacteria can find its way into the cuts and grooves made by knives.
For stubborn stains on plastic boards: Make a paste using 1-part baking soda, 1-part salt, and 1-part water to scrub away those stubborn stains with an old sponge or toothbrush

Remember to…

  • Use two different cutting boards for meal prep. One that is used strictly for raw meat and the other to be used for cutting ready-to-eat food like fruit, vegetables, and breads. This eliminates the chance for cross-contamination.
  • Discard old boards when they have become too worn or are exhibiting cracks and excessive knife marks.

How to Properly Clean your Washing Machine

How to Clean Washing Machine

It’s not something we often think of doing but giving our washing machines a proper cleaning/sanitizing a couple times a year will go a long way towards keeping the appliance in working order. Not to mention, it really will do wonders for how effective it is at laundering our clothes and linens.

 While some tutorials may recommend using bleach, we have opted to share with you an effective technique that can produce the same results without the harshness of working with bleach. 

Tools you will need:

  1. Plenty of clean rags (we prefer microfiber)
  2. Old toothbrush
  3. White cleaning vinegar
  4. Baking soda
  5. Spray bottle

For Front-Load Washing Machines:

1) Before tackling the drum, soak any removable parts at this time in a 2 to 1 vinegar solution. Vinegar is great at breaking down soap scum, hard water deposits and it disinfects at the same time. Rinse these items with clean, clear water and dry with a soft cloth.

2) Next, use the spray bottle filled with white vinegar to clean the rubber gasket that surrounds the drum. Liberally spray the area and allow it to sit for a minute or two. You can use the old toothbrush to really get in those nooks and crannies. Then use a clean damp cloth to wipe down the gasket. (The rubber gasket often accumulates hair, mildew, pet hair, and soap scum. So, tackling this area is very important.)

3) Next, add a few clean cloths to the drum to be run through the cleaning cycle. (Many manufacturers suggest never running the cycle on an empty drum.) Set the washer to the highest water level and the hottest temperature. Add 2 cups of white cleaning vinegar to the detergent dispenser. Allow it to run through a complete cycle.

4) Next, run one more cycle. This time add 1/2 cup baking soda directly in the drum. Set the water to the highest level and hottest temperature and let it run through the cycle completely.

5) When the cycle is complete, remove the clean rags from the drum. Then take a fresh damp cloth and wipe down the inside of the machine.

6) Keep the washing machine door open for a couple of hours so that it can dry out thoroughly. This is a good habit to get into as it can inhibit the build-up of mildew!

7) Now, give the outside of the machine a good wiping down. Using a damp cloth wipe the top and front. Make sure you don’t use anything abrasive on the glass or enamel as it can scratch the surface. 

 For Top-Load Washing Machines:

1) Before running the first cycle, spray down the nooks and crannies at the top of the drum and use a cloth or toothbrush to loosen up any residue.

2) Next, set the washer to the highest water level and hottest temperature. Throw in a few clean cloths to agitate with the cycle. (Many manufacturers recommend not running the washer while empty)

3) Add four cups of vinegar directly to the wash cycle. After the cycle begins, pause it and allow the vinegar/water mixture to sit for 45-60 minutes.

4) During this time wipe down the top of the washing machine with a clean damp cloth. Be sure to get around all of the knobs as well! Use the old toothbrush to give the fabric softener and bleach dispensers a good scrub. It’s amazing the amount of scum that builds-up in these areas! 

5) After 45-60 minutes restart the wash cycle.

6) After the cycle is complete run a second cycle but use 1 cup of baking soda instead.

7) After this cycle is complete, use a lightly damp cloth and wipe the entire drum down.

8) Be sure to leave the door open for a couple of hours in order for the drum to dry out completely. This will inhibit any mildew from growing! 

Quick tips to help keep your washer clean for longer:

  1. Transfer wet clothes from washer to dryer as soon as the cycle is done. The longer damp clothes sit in the washer, the greater chance there is for mildew to grow.
  2. After removing clothes from the washer, allow the door to the drum to stay open for a couple of hours to thoroughly dry out.

New!!! Elite’s Clean Home Giveaway!!!

Our way of giving back to those in our community who give so much!

Elite Home Cleaning is excited to announce our monthly drawing for a Free Home Cleaning. As a way to say thank you to the community who has supported our family-operated business for over 16 years, we are delighted to provide someone deserving with the gift of a sparkling clean home!

To honor those who have given so much of themselves this past year, this month we are asking you to nominate a nurse, or other hospital worker, who goes above and beyond. Please email your nomination to [email protected] by January 31st. In the email please tell us the name, address, phone number and occupation of the person you are nominating. Also, please tell us how a free home cleaning might make a difference to them.

On February 1st, we will randomly draw a name and that person will receive 2.5 hours of cleaning time in their home (Valued at up to $200). 


Please note:The person you are nominating must live within our service area: Rochester, Rochester Hills, Troy, Shelby Twp, Oakland Twp, and Auburn Hills

Home Cleaning will be valid for 2 months after contact date.

7 House Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

pets

We love our furry friends and wouldn’t trade them for the world. But, if we are honest, it does make keeping our household clean a bit more difficult. Between the fur, slobber, nose prints on windows, and muddy paws… it’s a wonder we can ever get our houses in Tip-Top shape. While having a loving companion is more meaningful than having a clean home, we feel that you can have both. Here’s 7 house cleaning tips for pet owners to keep you as well as your fur babies happy! 

1) Use a lint roller on more than just clothes

These handy tools are also great at removing hair from lamp shades, comforters, furniture, and throw pillows. 

2) Wipe off those muddy paws at the door

Before those dirty paws even have a chance to track dirt into your home, keep a good quality mat outside your door as well as just inside the door. Also, keeping a basket nearby with some old hand towels will do the trick as well. We think the best new invention is probably the dog paw washer. Just add water then move your dog’s paws up and down between the soft rubber bristles. Clean paws come out and the dirty water just gets emptied into the sink. So easy!

3) Invest in an automatic vacuum 

All pet owners know the need to vacuum constantly. Besides dog hair, dirt, leaves and other debris easily get tracked into your home after a romp around the yard.  It feels like as soon as we are finished vacuuming, we can probably do it again. This is where an automatic/robot vacuum can come in handy. It can run while you are out of the house or asleep at night.  

4) Cover it up

If your fur baby has a favorite place to lounge or nap, grab an old sheet or blanket and cover up that area. It will help with fur, pet stains, and even help with preventing odors from getting into the fabric. Then when guests come over, toss that sheet in the wash and the couch underneath will still be looking good! 

5) Messy eaters

One place always in need of a good scrubbing is around their food and water bowls. Purchase a rubber or washable mat to place underneath the bowls to  contain any mess and protect your floors.

6) Shiny windows

Nothing distracts from the beautiful sunshine pouring in through the window than a bunch of slobber or nose and paw prints. It only takes a moment to clean them, so try to get in the habit of wiping down windows with a glass cleaner, or vinegar and water mix, to keep your windows sparkling.  

7)  The beauty of an outdoor rug

Outdoor rugs are made in so many pretty colors and designs nowadays. They are even great for inside. If accidents happen, just take the rug outside to hose it down. 

At the end of a hard day, we know the feeling of just wanting to come in and snuggle with your furry friends. Showering your pets with love is way more important than stressing over a clean home. But, by following these few tips we think you can enjoy not only those slobbery kisses but a clean home as well!

 

Freshen up your Outdoor Living Area

 

 Now that summer is in full swing and we begin to gather in small groups, we can turn to getting our outdoor areas in tip-top shape. Here are some helpful tips to effectively turn our outdoor areas into a place we want to spend some time entertaining friends and family.

Outdoor Living Area
1)  Whether you have a deck or patio, move all outdoor furniture, plants, decorative items out of the way so you can sweep off all debris. This is also a great time to either mop or even re-seal surfaces.
2)  If you have a patio, take some time to pull up those weeds peeking through the cracks. You may need to use a weed-killer if their roots are particularly stubborn.
3)  Before moving your patio furniture back into place, take some time to give it a good wash. For items with an aluminum, powder-coated finish, use your garden hose to gently spray off any debris. Then use a mixture of water and a mild dishwashing detergent to wipe off the rest of the dust, debris, and grime. Use a soft cloth or brush but do not scrub too hard, since you do not want to put any nicks in the finish; this could lead to corrosion. Use a gentle touch. Rinse thoroughly. You can also use this same method on teak furniture. Just be sure to apply a teak sealer, after it has completely dried to protect the wood. For wicker furniture, use the same solution of water and a mild dishwashing detergent. A toothbrush works great for getting into all of those nooks and crannies. If your furniture has cushions, this same mixture works great! Make sure to read any special instructions for laundering if there are any. Make sure to stand the cushions up in the sun so that they dry completely.
4)  Clean outdoor light fixtures next. Using a mixture of water and dishwashing detergent, wipe down all of the surfaces. Then use a glass cleaner to clear away any residue. Replace bulbs at this time.
5)  Shake out all outdoor rugs and welcome mats, rinsing with a hose if necessary.
6)  Clean the doorwall inside and out with a glass cleaner or mixture of 50% water and 50% white vinegar in a spray bottle. Don’t forget those window tracks! A toothbrush works great. Screens can be removed and given a gentle wash with the garden hose.
7)  A pop of color goes a long way! Grab your flower pots and fill them with a mix of annuals, trailing vines, and grasses for an instant patio makeover!
8)  Now, to freshen up those flower beds. If you are in a hurry, the fastest way to get them looking crisp and clean is give the beds a good raking to remove leaves and other debris that might have collected. Then add some fresh mulch. A 3 inch depth of mulch is recommended for keeping weeds away.

Every Day Touch-Up Cleaning

When it comes to keeping your most frequently-touched surfaces cleaned and sanitized, the CDC recommends starting with these items:

  • Doorknobs and handles
  • Light switches
  • Countertops
  • Toilets
  • Sinks

 The CDC recommends first cleaning any dirt and grime with soap and water and then sanitizing the surface. To sanitize, use diluted (1/3 C. Bleach to 1 gallon water ) chlorine bleach (as long as the solution is safe for the surface) or 70 percent alcohol.  Be sure to follow directions for dwell time for the disinfectant you are using, as allowing disinfectant to sit on a surface is of primary importance in order to kill germs.  While it is nearly impossible to do a full deep-clean on our house every day, if we focus on these most frequently-touched surfaces, we can go a long way to preventing the spread of germs, bacteria, and viruses.

Here are some special tips for other frequently touched items:

How to Safely Do Laundry

When doing laundry, including clothing, bed linens and towels, the CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves and washing your hands with soap and water as soon as you remove the gloves to help stop the spread of germs. Also, don’t shake laundry — this may disperse germs through the air. “Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions,” the CDC says. “Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.” And don’t forget to clean and sanitize laundry hampers because germs can linger there.

How to Clean and Sanitize Electronics

Being inside our homes all day, every day, we are bound to be using our electronics much more frequently. For cleaning electronics such as laptops, tablets, phones, keyboards and remote controls, the CDC says to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you can’t find any instructions, you can usually use an alcohol-based wipe or spray that contains 70 percent alcohol.  Be careful not to saturate electronics such as keyboards and remote controls.  Wet a rag then dab sanitizer on surface and allow to dry. 

These tips will ensure a safe and thorough cleaning of your most frequently-touched items. 

Cleaned + Sanitized = A Healthier Environment