My most despised chore used to be laundry. Mostly because, with three small kids, it was such a never ending story. The monotony of sorting, washing, folding and getting it all away just in time for it to be pulled out and dirtied again was super demoralizing. When our third baby was born we actually hired someone to come and do laundry everyday for a year. True story. It ate up all our disposable income, but I still refer to that year fondly as my “laundry holiday.”
I know I’m not the only mom who dreams of long soaks in a beautiful spa shower or of spending a quiet evening reading a great book in a whirlpool bath. Of course, when you have young children like I do, the reality is bathroom time is (at best) fast and functional. All the more reason to create a space that is inviting, and maybe even inspiring. Whether you’re in desperate need of more storage, hope to streamline your space, or you’ve simply grown tired of the decor you currently have, you can completely transform your bathroom next weekend.
I’ve spent my entire adult life searching high and low for the best bathroom cleaner that removes soap scum off the glass like a magic wand. If I found anything that promised to “clean your shower doors in minutes” and make my glass so clean and clear that I’ll repeatedly walk into it, it never worked. Or, it took multiple washes, and by the time my shower was “clean,” I killed millions of brain cells and fried my nose hairs from the stench of bleach and chemicals.
Canadian Thanksgiving is upon us, and it just dawned on me that my home will be filled with family and guests in a few days. We are all super busy, and after the first months back to school, my home is certainly caked in a mild film of grime.
Look out dust pans, watch out bristles, brooms, and mops, you’d better be scared. There is a new Swiffer in town and it is coming after your jobs. UrbanMommies tried the new Swiffer BISSELL SteamBoost and you’d think we’d done a full fall clean. A-hem. It’s a deeply penetrating steam mop that powers through dog footprints, coffee spills and mystery spots whose origins you no longer recall. It even cleans all the stuff your old mop leaves behind (and has left behind since the last time you were washing the floor on your hands and knees). For me that was when I was trying to induce labour contractions a while back….
Agggh. I had a dinner party for two couples I didn’t know. And as they came into my kitchen (why do people arrive early?!) I was loading the dishwasher and I was mortified. Embarrassed about my dishwasher situation. It didn’t look clean, it didn’t smell clean, and I am not a big advocate of rinsing. So you can fill in the blanks… I am still hoping the smell of the French dinner overpowered the negative stench from the dishwasher.
As I mentioned in our Kitchen Tips article, I was part of a paper towel scientific experiment. I used a brand new dishcloth in my kitchen over three days and sent it to a lab for testing. I will never use a dishcloth again. I can hardly even bear to keep the results email in my inbox. Typically hard on myself as a Mom and woman, the results make me feel like quite the ogre.
As Moms, we desperately try to keep the kitchen clean. It’s almost as if we feel like a bad mommy otherwise. The kids can be dirty, laundry unfolded and homework not done (who me?) but as long as the counters are clean we’re good, right? Bad news. When it comes to cleaning the kitchen, the majority of Canadians (60 per cent) use a dishcloth, which can harbour and redeposit millions of germs on surfaces and puts families at risk of cross-contamination*.
I’ve just done a dishcloth vs. Bounty DuraTowel challenge and was thrilled with the research that the paper towel that is clinically proven to leave surfaces three times cleaner than a germy dishcloth**. If you are wiping your countertops with a used dishcloth or sponge, you could be spreading around germs in the home. I’ll get my dishcloth test results soon and will add the scientific findings as soon as they’re in! But we also have 6 tips for a germ-free kitchen that you’ll want to take a peek at.
Dr. Elizabeth Scott, Co-director, Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community, recommends the following tips for a happy and healthy kitchen and home:
1. Wash your hands – Prior to any meal preparation, wash your hands often with warm, soapy water and dry them using Bounty DuraTowel
2. Wash and sanitize surfaces and utensils – Reduce the risk of contamination in the kitchen by washing and sanitizing all countertops, cutting boards and utensils that come into contact with food. Do this before and after preparing food and use Bounty DuraTowel to help clean up larger messes and wipe down surfaces
3. Separate your food – Make sure to always separate your raw foods, such as meat and eggs, from cooked foods and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination which is one of the leading causes of food borne illness**. Use separate cutting boards for meats and for vegetables etc.
4. Wash produce thoroughly – Immediately before prepping, wash all whole fruits and vegetables and dry using Bounty DuraTowel. This reduces the risk of transferring pathogens from the rind or skin to the inside of the fruit or vegetable when it is cut***
5. Keep your fridge clean – One way to reduce the risk of cross-contamination is to keep the fridge clean and to keep foods covered since many bacteria and molds are able to grow at refrigerator temperatures. Clean your fridge using a kitchen sanitizer and Bounty DuraTowel
6. Wash reusable grocery bags – Wash and thoroughly dry your reusable grocery bags frequently, especially if you are carrying raw meat, fish, poultry, seafood or vegetables.
*Findings from Proctor and Gamble Bounty Survey 2013, a national sample of Canadian consumers were randomly selected from TNS Canada’s Internet research panel from March 7 to March 11, 2013
**1tsp. spaghetti sauce, 10 mls. coffee, 1/8 tsp creamer on laminate countertop
***The Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health
I am a P&Gmom. The views, opinions and photographs expressed on this blog and in my social networks are my own.
Not only can you save space and money with a handful of natural ingredients, but you can improve the health of your family as well. Vinegar, Borax, lemons, olive oil, baking soda and salt can work wonders in a home, and are usually already on hand. Here are some simple, but effective, recipes that will keep your home clean and healthy.
As a mother, you have to accept the inevitable, unwelcome, fact that kids are…well, really messy. At least mine are: they can enter a perfectly clean room and have it looking like a bomb went off in there in ten minutes, flat. Maybe less. As they get older the messes are getting smaller and easier to contain, but I well remember those years of grubby, sticky little fingers turning every surface into a smudgy mess. Although I used to attack everything with bleach, those days are long gone, because cleaning products have really turned the page in their effectiveness. Some are genuinely amazing in their space-agey ability to remove substances that you resigned yourself to being a permanent part of the decorating scheme. Here are some of the top new (and semi-new) cleaning products that will make your household sparkly in no time! (We love homemade and natural cleaners too, and have links to recipes and natural picks at the bottom).