Bamboo is excellent for a cutting board since it is a very sustainable resource. Bamboo grows up to 10cm per day depending on the species during the growing season.
Bamboo is a grass, and grow quickly. A mature bamboo plant takes less than 3-5 years to reach full size. Compare that to an oak tree which matures in about 25 years and can live up to 500 years. This makes bamboo a really fantastic choice for sustainability.
Classic cutting boards made from maple, walnut, cherry are just not as sustainable as bamboo. Also, bamboo continues to be more and more popular as manufacturing methods have made it easier to make it flat. Additionally, bamboo is very hard more so than most typical wood cutting boards, making them more maintenance free. Since bamboo is so hard, it is also resistant to knife marks etc. This is key as knife scarring on a typical cutting board allows for pockets and grooves for water or moisture to collect and reduces your ability to effectively sanitize the cutting board.
Bamboo resists water better so will not warp or crack as easily as a typical cutting board.
If you wipe immediately after use every time your bamboo cutting board will last for many years. In addition to wiping you can cut a lemon in half and run it across the surface for a natural way to clean and sanitize. Lemons are acidic and will break down organic material to a degree as well as counteract smells.
You can also set up a spray bottle with water and vinegar and use that as a spray cleaner (50% white vinegar and 50% water). The real key is quick clean up after use to prevent cross contamination and make clean up a breeze. I have also seen people use a 3% hydrogen peroxide as a spray cleaner as well. Always dry the board after cleaning, so the wood doesn’t asorb the water. No dishwasher or soaking the board.
If you feel you have to disinfect spraying the hydrogen peroxide onto the board and letting it sit for a few minutes then wiping dry is a good way to go as well. Even using a mild bleach solution (one part bleach nine part water, which is 1:10 solution). This is ¼ cup of bleach and 2 ¼ cups of water in a quart sized spray bottle. Pour the bleach into the bottle first carefully then add the water. Bleach loses its disinfectant power quickly through exposure to light and heat etc. so do not make large batches and replace often.
The key is quick clean up and limit the amount of time moisture is on your board. When possible wipe the board dry. If you have stubborn stains sprinkle, some baking soda on the board and wipe using a cloth and water.
How to Clean Marble Bathrooms, Floors, Tables, Tiles, Countertops and Other Fixtures
You may wonder why there are special techniques used in the care and maintenance of marble. I mean, it’s a rock, right? True, but some stones are softer than others.
Marble is basically limestone that has combined and metamorphosed with other natural elements, making it a relatively soft rock that’s filled with veins of various colors and patterns.
Just like limestone, marble is easily etched, stained, and dulled. It’s more sensitive to certain foods and chemicals, and is not as impervious or as hard and resistant as granite.
Yet marble is very durable, and with proper care, it will last forever.
Below you’ll find tips and information for the following:
Proper Cleaning Solutions
How To Do Everyday Cleaning
Cleaning Marble Floors
How To Clean Up Spills
This may seem like a lot, but after you’ve learned a few simple cleaning and maintenance techniques, it becomes almost second nature, just like how you treat wood, cashmere or leather can become routine.
Please allow me to preclude the cleaning tips with a few care tips for new marble, because you should follow them before you clean new marble.
1. Marble Sealers
Immediately after your marble is installed, or after a thorough cleaning and ample drying time for older marble installations, you will sometimes want to apply a sealer to your marble for added protection.
Applying a sealant is pretty easy, and the cost and time involved is minimal when considering how proper marble care helps you avoid damage and expensive marble repair, as well as how it keeps your marble floors and countertops looking gorgeous for years on end.
How a Sealer Works – The sealing products you see used in the stone mason industry are actually ‘impregnators,” not sealers. They act more as a repellent. So don’t think a sealer will prevent all stain and damage to your marble. However, an impregnating sealer is often recommended, as it will greatly reduce marble stains from spills that are wiped up immediately.
Sealers Do Not Totally Prevent Scratches or Stains. Sealing does not make the stone stain proof, rather it makes the stone more stain resistant.
Sealing will not prevent scratches or etching (chemical etching often occurs due to acidic substances, such as household cleaners and acidic foods).
Choose the Proper Sealer – Use a high quality sealer made specifically for stone or marble. There are many out there, and it might be hard to know which ones will do the best job at penetrating the stone or which lasts the longest. We personally recommend sealers like SenGuard or Stone Care to help protect your marble.
For kitchen counters, be sure your sealer is non-toxic and safe for use in food preparation areas.
2. Marble Maintenance
Efflorescence – For I newly installed marble, you might see a white powder that appear on the surface. This is normal, and harmless. It’s just mineral salt deposits brought up through the stone as the water in the stone evaporates.
You can vacuum or dust mop the powder, but don’t use water to remove the powder, as that will the stone longer to dry out and finish evaporating its own moisture.
You may have to do this many times until the stone permanently dries out, but if the efflorescence problem persists for more than two months, contact the installer to determine if there isn’t something else causing the moisture.
Protect Marble From Scratches. No sharp objects. Don’t scoot or set sharp-edged objects directly on marble.
Use coasters, trivets and mats. Use coasters for glasses, trivets or placemats for plates, and mats for appliances on marble countertops. This not only prevents scratches, but prevents damage from heat, or etching caused by spills of acidic drinks such as orange juice or alcohol. To keep it simple, just treat your marble like nice wood, and use coasters.
Use padding. Use padding under table legs and chairs. No heavy objects on thin marble. Don’t stand or sit on your marble countertops or tables. Too much weight can cause a crack on thinner marbles, like that used for countertops.
Use vanity trays. Place toiletries such as hand soaps, toothpaste, lotions, perfumes, etc., on a decorative bathroom vanity tray. This protect from scratches, as well as etching caused by chemicals in hygiene products, and may even prevent stains from those products, as well. Such a bathroom vanity tray will not only protect your marble bathroom sink counter area, but you’ll feel like you’re in a fancy hotel with posh decor.
Use floor mats, area rugs and hallway runners near every entrance, as well as any high traffic area where you have marble tile floors. This helps minimize scratches from dirt, sand and grit. Of course, make sure your rugs are slip-resistant.
3. Proper Cleaning Solutions
Many common household cleaners contain alkalis, acids, and chemicals that can damage or etch your countertop surface, as well as thin and dissolve the sealant, which leaves your marble vulnerable to damage from stains.
Cleaning marble with your typical brand name or generic household cleaners, and even natural cleaners, is the most common cause of marble damage.
Don’t use ammonia, vinegar, orange or lemon for cleaning. Although vinegar is a good cleaning agent and disinfectant for many surfaces, it is acidic, as are the other items mentioned, and they can cause corrosive etching on your marble.
And definitely don’t use the average bathroom, grout cleaner, or tub and tile type cleaners. These often use abrasives that can dull and even scratch the surface of your marble.
Many rust removers that are commercially available, such as toilet bowl cleaners and laundry rust stain removers, contain trace amounts of hydrofluoric acid (HF). The silicates and other minerals in your marble will be attacked by the HF acid and deteriorate them.
So What Do You Use To Clean Marble?
I’ve heard it said that you simply use hot water and a sponge for daily cleaning, and once a week use a stone cleaner. However, that seems to me like it applies just to floors or areas that don’t need to be sterile. Some disinfecting tips are listed below.
Whatever you do, only use cleaning products specifically formulated for cleaning marble and you will save yourself the headache and hassle of costly and time-consuming re-polishing or repairs.
There are many marble cleaning products on the market, but four brands that have proven to be better than most are Marble Life, SCI, Miracle and Stone Tech). They all offer great quality and value.
4. How To Do Everyday Cleaning
Whatever cleaner you use, make sure you use it with a sponge, soft cloth, chamois, or dust mop. Don’t scrub because you will spread bits of dirt and sand around, which could scratch the marble.
Run the damp sponge or cloth gently over the surface while making a circular motion in any spots that might need a extra pressure. Thoroughly rinse the surface after washing, and be sure to change the rinse water frequently when cleaning larger or extra-dirty surfaces.
Don’t leave either pools of water or even a slight layer of moisture to dry on the marble to prevent stains and scum build-up. Use a soft, dry cloth to dry all the marble surfaces after you’ve cleaned them. Then buff it with a second dry cloth for a nice shine. (See below for more polishing tips.)
5. Cleaning Marble Floors
Dust mop floors made with marble tile on a regular basis. Unless you plan to eat off your floor, the only cleaners you need to use to clean your marble regularly are hot water for daily cleaning and a specially formulated stone cleaner once a week.
Use a non-treated, dry, clean, dust-mop. Be extra careful if you use a vacuum cleaner because grit jammed in the wheels or ragged, worn parts can scratch the surface. So be sure the wheels are not rough, and that the plastic or metal attachments or in good shape, preferably with soft bristles that are not worn.
6. Deeper Cleaning
You can get a deeper cleaning with a light, natural soap, or take some gentle dish soap and dilute it yourself, as the suds help remove dirt particles trapped in the marble pores.
Similar to any item cleaned in your home, an excessive concentration of cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks, so use it sparingly and buff it with a soft cloth afterwards for a beautiful shine.
Tip: Minimize soap scum in commonly wet areas, such as the bathroom, by using a squeegee after each use. You can also look for a non-acidic soap scum remover specifically designed for marble.
Of course, we want to disinfect surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen I and other areas, and areas such as hot tubs and pools sometimes attract algae, moss and mold. So go ahead and flush the area with plain water and use a mild bleach solution to thoroughly sterilize an area.
There are commercial cleaners available that are specifically made for marble, that will disinfect and won’t harm your marble. But if you’re in a pinch and need to disinfect something right away, there are common household items you can use.
Hydrogen Peroxide – Mold is common in bathroom tile grout and can be a serious health concern. To get rid of the mold, mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with two parts water and spray on the effected areas. Wait an hour before rinsing or showering. It does act like a bleach in that it will lighten darker marbles (and can bleach your clothes, or hair, etc.) so it’s best for lighter color marble surfaces.
Vinegar or Ammonia – Bleach is not the only solution. I know I mentioned how ammonia and vinegar should be avoided because they can hurt your marble. But if you need to disinfect your marble and can’t wait to find a better cleaner, then you can use ammonia OR vinegar on occasion. Just don’t get in the habit of it, as it really will dull and etch your marble. But as long as you use a low concentration, rinse well with plain water, buff it well afterwards, and use a polish, and don’t use it too often, then it shouldn’t harm your marble. DANGER: do not EVER mix bleach with vinegar, or ammonia and bleach, or ammonia and vinegar, etc. Use each one separately. Mixing any of them together causes harmful gases that will damage your lungs and the lungs of those around you.
Bleach – Bleach is toxic and should be a last resort. Also, bleach can lighten darker marbles, but it is an effective disinfectant for lighter marbles if used properly. To kill common bacteria and regular disinfecting of food related surfaces, use unscented, regular 5% to 6% household bleach, as recommended by The Center for Disease Control (CDC, an American government regulatory agency) at a ratio of 1 tsp bleach per gallon of water. For common disinfecting of all other surfaces, use 1 Cup of bleach per 5 gallons of water. And to kill mold and mildew that has already gotten a foothold, use 1 Cup of bleach per one (1) gallon of water.
8. How To Clean Up Spills
Marble can become stained or etched quickly if a liquid or even dry powders sit on it for even a short period of time. Especially clean up wet spills like coffee, any type of black tea, orange juice, and wine immediately after they are spilled.
Dry spills are serious, too. Materials with staining pigments, such as curry, cumin, coffee grounds, and even leafy greens, should be gently vacuumed or swept up right away when they’re spilled on any marble surface.
How to Clean Up a Spill – Blot. Flush. Dab. Repeat. Blot up spills with a paper towel immediately. Don’t rub as you wipe the area, or it it will push the spilled substance into the pores of the marble as well as spread the spill. Flush the area with mild soap or cleaner of your choice, or even just plain water, and rinse several times. Thoroughly dry the area with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary.
After each cleaning, after you’ve dried the marble, give it a quick buff with a soft cloth. This helps remove cleaning solution residues and gives your marble a shiny glow. There are also commercial marble polishes available. Just make sure it’s intended specifically for marble. Not all stone is the same, so it’s best to avoid cleaners made for granite or even for cleaning ”stone” in general.
Stone PLUS Cleaner has received rave reviews for its effectiveness on marble.
A spray surface dressing, such as Dazzle Topical Polish Shine Enhancer, will improve the shine and give your marble a little more protection.
Polishing a marble floor can make a very slippery surface when wet, so take precaution when other people may walk on those floors shortly after you’ve polished them.
Marble is so gorgeous, with luxurious beauty, that it is well worth the time it takes to learn and apply these few marble care tips.
If you have an electric stove with metal catch pans, here are some ideas on how to clean stove burnerpans (how to clean stove element pans and how to clean gas stove burner tops as well) and make them shine once more.
Throwing them in the dishwasher after a spill is likely the easiest way but if you are moving into a rental unit for example, where the cleaning has been poor and you want to get the stove top cleanliness up to a high standard, here are some ways to do so.
Baked on food on a stove top or element pan is one of the most difficult things to clean. Soaking the pans is really your first and easiest choice for how to clean stove burner pans, using hot water and dish soap. Let soak as long as you can then use a scour pad to remove as much cooked on food as possible.
An essential item to have in your kitchen is a kitchen scraper (hard plastic scraper – See below) that can be used to remove any cooked on food from cookie sheets to pots and pans. You can use the scraper on practically any surface with food gunk stuck on it. It is a good first choice before bringing out the heavy chemicals. Using oven cleaners or strong chemicals like ammonia should be your last resort.
Typically, oven cleaners contain lye (sodium hydroxide) which is corrosive and will damage exposed skin so always wear gloves when using these products.
Ammonia can also be used for heavy duty burnt on food removal. However, ammonia is toxic to aquatic animals and it is classified as dangerous for the environment. Always try to use good old fashioned elbow grease and less toxic chemicals first before bringing out the heavy guns.
That being said, sometimes just plain effort is just not enough. If that is the case for your element pans, try this for a speed cleaning tip, but only use one cleaning chemical or the other, NOT both:
Put your element pans in a plastic bag and put a little ammonia OR oven cleaner (never use both) in the bag and seat it.
In a well ventilated area and wearing gloves, remove pans from bag and rinse well.
Scrub any remaining stuck on food with the kichen scrubber or plastic kitchen scraper.
Learning how to clean stove burner pans can help you keep your kitchen clean. It is easy to do if you just follow the above steps.
It is important to know how to clean a toilet properly.
Start with getting your cleaning supplies together.
Clean, dry cloths/rags
Glass or multi-surface cleaner
Toilet bowl cleanser (liquid or powder)
Toilet bowl brush
Steps for how to clean a toilet:
Fold your cleaning cloth in quarters so you can rotate the cloth to a clean dry surface after you clean each area.
Start with the handle and tank. Spray your glass or multi-surface cleaner on the surface and wipe with your dry cloth, cleaning the surface but being sure the surface isn’t too wet since you want to be able to polish the surface dry. Do not clean the lid, seat or any other area of the toilet before cleaning the handle and tank or you will be spreading around germs from the dirtier areas to the areas that typically aren’t as dirty.
Move to the lid and seat. Apply your cleaner and use a clean, dry surface of your cloth to clean and polish dry. The seat is likely the most dirty surface and often you will have to use more cleaner and/or more cleaning cloths than with other parts of the toilet.
On to the toilet bowl. Sprinkle cleanser in the bowl, making sure you cover the entire bowl, sides of the bowl included. Dip your brush in the toilet water to wet it then sprinkle cleanser on it as well. Scrub in a circular motion starting at the top of the bowl and working your way down to the bottom of the water in the bowl. Once done, shake the excess water off of your brush and flush the toilet afterwards to rid yourself of germs that could crawl back up onto the toilet. Remember to scrub under the rim of the bowl. Many people miss this area and as a result, it becomes an area for unpleasant guests to thrive. Also, scrubbing from top to bottom of the bowl is a more effective way of cleaning because the toilet water becomes cloudy and dirt-filled if you start at the bottom. Contaminated water is not a good way to remove germs.
Finish by applying cleaner to the outside of the bowl and clean the front and sides of the bowl using the same technique.
Using a clean, dry cloth, you can touch up and polish dry any area of the toilet where there is excess cleaner which should leave you with a sparkling fresh toilet.
With the proper supplies and technique, it should take no more than two to three minutes to clean a toilet.
If you have troublesome bowl stains that your standard cleaner cannot remove, using a commercial acid based bowl cleaner will usually do the trick. This can be found at any janitorial supply store. You can also use a pumice stone designed for toilet bowls if you don’t want to use harsh chemicals on tough stains.
Following the above steps on how to clean a toilet will keep it fresh and clean!
When trying to keep your home neat and tidy, cleaning up the clutter is the first thing to do. Better yet, don’t let clutter accumulate in the first place! The best way to reduce or avoid clutter altogether is to handle each thing only once. Instead of dropping dirty clothes on the floor only to have to pick it up later and put it in the laundry hamper, put them directly into the laundry basket. Put things away the first time. It takes you less time to do it right the first time than having to come back and put clutter away later.
If you find putting stuff away in the first place is too tough for you, you may want to have a designated clutter area – perhaps a bin in a closet or a specific place on the kitchen counter. Be sure to periodically put away the things at your clutter spot. Once you are in the habit of putting your clutter in your designated place, you may find it easier to gradually start putting things away instead of in the clutter spot.
In many cases, once you start eliminating clutter, you will find it easier to keep your house clean, as a sense of pride in a clean home can be encouraging for everyone in the home.
The cause of stiffness in laundry is usually that too much detergent has been left in the clothing. To make your towels softer, use less detergent than normal, and add white vinegar to the first rinse cycle. You may also want to add an extra rinse cyle when washing towels. Line dried towels do not get as fluffy (although they may smell more fresh being dried outdoors) and soft as ones dried in the dryer.
Really the number one best remedy is to act very quickly. This is the best way to treat any stain. In fact this weekend I was painting my daughters room when I carelessly rolled the paint roller onto the carpet, not just a little drop of paint either. I left at least a 3 by 2 inch blotch of paint on the carpet. So immediately I grab several terry towels and cleaning cloths and a cup of water (thankfully the paint was water based). I blot up with the dry terry cleaning towel, and then apply water to the stain and blot using a dry towel until the stain was completely removed. This took several applications of a little water and blotting action with the dry towels. Leaving this stain for any amount of time would have left the carpet with a permanent purple stain. However the quick action left no evidence of my carelessness.
Here are some other general carpet cleaning tips:
Blot or scrape up if the spill is thicker than a regular liquid (cat vomit etc.), remove as much as you can this first.
Never scrub or rub a spill, you will end up spreading and pushing the stain deeper.
Apply water or stain remover from the outside in on the stain and blot up…
If you use a stain remover test a small spot first in an unseen area to be sure its safe on your carpet. However if you act right away most stains can be cleaning with water and a small amount of dish detergent mixed in, then rinse with plain water.
The pleatedspa filter should be chemically cleaned about once every two months, and should be inspected and rinsed every month. This removes oils, dirt and scale residue and reduces the strain on the spa pump motor. Use a powdered filter cleaner, submerge filter in bucket and add chemical according the label instructions. Let sit overnight and then rinse filter. Using a filter cleaning attachment for your hose is a good idea, it shoots the water with higher pressure and you are able to direct it into the pleats better. Pleated spa filters should last a long time a few years or more with regular maintenance, but once the material begins to visably degrade you should replace the filter.
Immediately wipe the spill using fresh cleaning cloths and a neutral cleaner. Soapstone stains easily. Avoid abrasive cleaners, bleach, oil, vinegar or acidic cleaners, ammonia. Always rinse with clean water to avoid residue.