16 answers

How to Clean/disinfect Dishes...

Just wondering how you smart moms out there clean and disinfect dishes/bowls/utensils that have touched raw meat. I usually wash them with dish soap and a paper towel (instead of sponge) so that it can be thrown away. I rinse with HOT water (so hot I can't touch it). Then as an added measure I would put it in the dishwasher hoping that steam would help. I would wash the sink too with a paper towel and then spray Lysol in the sink (NOT on the dishes). Well, my dishwasher broke about a month ago. I am still washing the same, rinsing the same, just no extra measure. Just wondering if that is enough.... what do you all do? I also use Clorox wipes to wipe down the counters and anything that got touched.

Thanks!
J.

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You can probably chill a little on your disinfectant routine. Then again, you have to do what makes you comfortable.

If I cut up raw chicken or something, I just wash the knife and cutting board with hot water (hottest it can be like you) and a soapy sponge , then set it out to dry. That's it. It's the same sponge I use on the other dishes, I just give it an extra rinse out with the super hot water when I'm done. I don't clean the sink out after (unless I am about to put a bunch of other food like vegetables in there).

No salmonella or whatever in my household so far.

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Hot water and soap are fine. For our counter tops I use vinegar, which disinfects but is not toxic.

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Hi J.,
Washing with the warm soapy water should suffice. I would be more concerned with the bleach and Lysol because of the toxic residue they leave.
Shaklee makes a much safer disinfectant called Basic G. It is part of the Get Clean line. Shaklee is the environmental leader in the industry. Oprah has featured these products on her show many times. They are also used in the White House and the VP's residence.
You can find them at http://www.shaklee.net/healthforlife
Have a wonderful day.
V.

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I would second the suggestion to eliminate the clorox wipes and not use clorox for disinfecting. It is bad for the environment, not good for you to breathe, and not good to ingest the residue.

I disinfect with one of two things: hydrogen peroxide or a mixture of rubbing alcohol, cheap vodka, and water (plus a few drops of lavendar or peppermint oil if I want it to smell nice). Not only is this better for the environment, but cheaper than buyer cleansers or wipes. Vinegar works too, but I'm kind of a wimp about the smell.

Here's one tip:
http://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/64/1/Hydrogen-per...

A lesson from camping a long time ago...a bleach and water (cold ok) soak can take care of a lot of germs...without all the extra cost of clorox wipes. I hate giving much of my money to companies that make way too much. ...off of overblown fears about germs. (not talking about raw meat here, which is serious...just everyday surface stuff we are all supposed to be running scared from now.) My grandma did the boiling water rinse..she had no dishwasher in her tiny house.

I agree-dish soap and warm (as hot as you can comfortably put your hands in)
Wash silverware, cups and plates first, then pots and pans and utensils that way the stuff that you use most is the cleanest.

Remember, doctors are actually seeing cases of kids with inefficient imune systems because they haven't been exposed to enough germs. It can actually be very dangerous.
You don't want your family exposed to all those chemicals either. My cleaning supplies are dishsoap and baking soda (baking soda cleans everything and dishsoap kills any germs).

Good Luck

Just a word about mixing bleach and water. A few daycare centers I know of mix new bleach water every morning. Their understanding is that the solution weakens over a short period of time (maybe 24 hours?) so in order to have an effective cleaning product they throw out the old every night and make new every morning. Perhaps there is some specific info on the internet about that.

Hi J.,

You've received a lot of great suggestions here, and I hope you go with some of the more eco-friendly alternatives (i.e. no clorox wipes) like the Shaklee Basic G. I love the vodka, peroxide, baking soda, vinegar posts.

I just wanted to mention that if you're concerned with the raw meat, be sure to not cut it on wood. I've been told (so someone may correct me) that the grooves are more likely to hold things like salmonella, etc. and you're better off using plastic cutting boards. I think this is something my Dad once told me though, so take it as you want and maybe someone will post an affirmation or properly advise me on my holding onto a myth;)

I'd use a Clorox wipe on the dishes and then rinse them off again.

If the water is above 170 degrees it will sanitize. Yes that is too hot to touch. most dishwashers have a final rinse that reaches 170-180 degrees to sanitize. It doesn't really have anything to do with the soap. That is the most natural way to sanitize. (this is why some things are not dishwasher safe because they can not handle the high temp.) Chemicals can also be used but remember it is a chemical. If you want to know if the chamical you are using is safe do a search for "chamical Name" MSDS, which stands for material safety sheet. Soap is used to break down greasies and will not sanitize (I think you know that) but it is not necessary to use when you are cleaning dishes. I use a scrub brush that gets a regular wash in the dishwasher. Proper cooking temp for chicken is 165 and meat 145-160 depending on what you are cooking. That is to eliminate or reduces the chances of infection by the bacteria to acceptable levels. So if the water is higher than that it will be fine.

Washing with dish soap (just regular dish soap) and hot water should suffice. You do not even have to go as far as using 'antibacterial' soaps as these are not any better at killing the germs. (I was told this by a chemical engineer that worked with this stuff - she's my client).

Not many have the dishwasher - so you should be just fine.
I don't use the 'steam' setting on my dishwasher (or any of the hot settings) as I am trying to conserve on energy for the environment.

I would suggest just getting a spray bottle and using a paper towel to spritz the counters & sink vs. using the Lysol & Clorox wipes: it saves money and it's less waste. Just use a clean milk gallon jug, add a tablespoon of bleach and fill it with water. If you are worried about your dishes and meat, spritz the items that touched the meat with it, too.

I have never had an issue as I wash with soap/ water, put items in the dishwasher and wipe counters with a vinegar/peroxide/lemon juice blend in a spritz bottle. (I use that combo to clean my whole house unless someone is ill, then I use the diluted bleach.) This combo is much easier on everyone in the house, too.

sounds about right to me! :-)
If no one has gotten sick so far, you're right on track, mama!

We have never had any kind of food poisoning and I only wash in the dishwasher or if I need to by hand. I am not a disinfectant freak. IN fact I had a friend who was very paranoid about germs, her house always immaculate. She stayed up till sometimes 4 am disinfecting. Her kids were always sick. Mine are rarely sick.
You are already doing enough.
Make sure your water temp is set soemwhere around 125*. YOu don't want the kids to turn the faucet on and burn themselves.

Hi J.,

The suggestion of bleach and your use of Lysol is not a good idea. Both will leave a toxic residue on the dishes that, when ingested, can cause multiple health issues, short term and long term. We all think we rinse dishes well but when you get chlorine bleach on your fingers does it really rinse off? You can still feel that residue that has to wear off. When food, especially fruits or veggies, touch the plate the acidity removes the residues and into our tummies it goes.

Clorox wipes also don't really disinfect either. In order for the disinfecting process to be effective, the chemical in the wipe needs to sit on the counter about 15 minutes. When I found this out I actually did the test to confirm it. We owned a restaurant and we got a waiver from using chlorine bleach (which is usually required in public places) because my cleaners killed more germs in a petri dish than the chlorine bleach did. When I showed the health inspector, it was simple from that point.

I use a line of non-toxic cleaners and they have a disinfectant that is made primarily of thyme oil and natural citric acid. If you're interested in knowing more, let me know. I detoxed my home about 5 years ago and have never looked back. It's a simple and inexpensive process.

Regards,

M.

This doesn't answer your question, but I see a lot of comments about sponges. There have been two studies out that say to disinfect your kitchen sponges by getting them soaking wet with water and putting them in the microwave for two minutes. I do this everytime I am about to use the sponge and it kills all the bacteria that forms in the sponge.

I would curtail the use of Lysol, especially. But then, I'm one of those natural mamas who does not use chemicals in my house due to health and environmental concerns.

I would put all of the stuff you mentioned into a sink full of hot, soapy water, wash and rinse well. I would use a dishcloth or sponge...just change/wash often. Do your countertops with same hot soapy water. Wipe with dry towel or paper towels.

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