DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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25 November 2013

Household cleaning - bread boards and brushes

As the days move towards Christmas and the end of the year, it's a good time to do a few small cleaning jobs. Many of us will have visitors over the holidays and getting everything clean and tidy before they arrive will give us the opportunity to relax and enjoy the season just as much as the rest of the family and the visitors do.

This is one of my cleaning brushes but it was still clean so I didn't wash it this time.

The first task on my list was to clean my bread boards and then my cleaning brushes. Remember that if you have wooden boards, they're porous so you have to think about what you put on them. You don't want your bread board smelling of bleach or chemicals for the next month. That's where the brushes come come into their own. I use a camel hair brush for this job. It will create quite a lather as I give the board a good scrubbing.

You'll need to wait for a sunny day to do this but you'll get a much better result with scrubbing and sunshine than with any chemical that will leave residue on the board.

CLEANING A BREAD BOARD

  1. First wet the board and apply a couple of drops of dish liquid to the brush.
  2. Scrub the board all over.
  3. Rinse off with hot water from the tap.  In summer our solar hot water is very hot. If your tap water isn't hot, boil the kettle and pour that over it.
  4. Take the board outside straight away and leave it in the full sun - make sure the dogs and chickens can't reach it. After a few hours, turn the board over. It needs to be solarised on both sides. Along with the scrubbing and scalding with hot water, leaving your boards in the sun will sanitise them 
CLEANING BRUSHES

I have a number of brushes that I use for cleaning. They're much better than anything else I've tried, including microfibre cloths.

To clean my brushes, I swish them around in a bowl of hot water to which I've added a squirt of laundry liquid.



  • I look at all the bristles up close and make sure there is no gunk caught up in the brush. 
  • Swish the brush through the water and rub the bristles with your hand.
  • When I'm sure they're all clean, I rinse and scald them with very hot water and take them outside to dry in the full sun.
  • Generally, I leave all these items out in the sun all day.
If you buy good quality brushes you can keep them in service for a long time by washing and solar drying them. It's much better to buy a product, even if it's slightly more expensive, that you know you can keep going for a long time with regular maintenance and cleaning.

This is a very old cane basket I found at an op stop recently for $3.

Next week, I'll be challenging you to thoroughly clean your oven and stove so they're ready for Christmas too. Don't go running into the hills. This is an easy job, even if your stove is very dirty.  All you need to have on hand is some oxy-bleach - Napisan or its generic equivalent. We won't be using any harsh chemicals.  Who is ready to sign up for that one?



35 comments:

  1. The Date on your post ist the 25. November. And my Comment is done on the 24. November. I think this is funny.
    Best wishes from Marie from the other side of the world

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  2. Hi Rhonda - I've wanted to get some brushes like that for a long time, I did find a couple of lovely websites that sold them, must put that on the to do list.

    I am in for cleaning my stove ready for Christmas. I have never liked using harsh chemical oven cleaners and have never found an good alternative, so I am ready. Have a great day.
    Sourdough333

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    Replies
    1. Hi Leanne, if you look at my post yesterday you'll find a wonderful supplier of these sorts of brushes. They're in NSW. I haven't got my first parcel from them yet, I've had most of these brushes for a couple of years, but I'm sure the quality will be good.

      Rhonda xx

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  3. Sign me up for the oven blitzing job! I must do this as we are home for Christmas this year and I shall be cooking a turkey roast for the first time in utter ages. For the previous 6 years or so we have always eaten out on Christmas Day as there were just to many of us to fit into my living room. This Christmas I just have to cater for DB, his son and myself. So, oven cleaning is called for!

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  4. Stove clean before Christmas, count me in!

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  5. Thanks for the tips on cleaning the boards, I've got that on my list for when the sun comes out (if it ever does!) and...I'm ready to sign up for the oven cleaning challenge! I think I need a whole week to prepare lol ;) Love the basket! one of my favourite things is to find old baskets at op shops and our local tip shop, they always come in handy and look so much better than plastic.

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  6. I'm signing up for oven cleaning duty ;). I've been planning to clean it thoroughly for some time now, thanks for the nudge.

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  7. Good morning Rhonda thanks for the tips I'll do those this week. On the brushes: it's good to see the way you are drying yours, the right way! We have a little art shop so always advise our customers when washing their brushes to dry them flat on a towel so the water doesn't run down the brush causing the bristles to drop out. The same applies to any sort of brush -- makeup and hair brushes etc. Once dry they can be stored upside down.

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  8. Good morning Rhonda, My oven and I will be waiting for you....

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  9. Oh I`m more than ready for this challenge! I`m at the stage where I make sure everyone is out of the kitchen before I dare open my oven!

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  10. I will be looking forward to the oven cleaning instructions without chemicals for sure. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  11. Can I ask where you buy your cleaning brushes from?

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    Replies
    1. Levin, check out yesterday's post. All the details are there.

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  12. Hi Rhonda,
    I don't know if you have discovered the saison website but they have an extensive range of German-made brushes. I bought a fantastic set of washing up brushes with a brush for every purpose, and they came in a wonderful metal caddy. They also have cleaning brushes, hair brushes etc...
    Have you ever had a wooden board crack or warp when drying it in the sun? This happened to me many years ago with a cheap chopping board - I'm not sure if I did something wrong?

    Have a great day, Madeleine.X

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    Replies
    1. Madeleine, yes I have know of Saison for a couple of years but they're too posh for me. They empathise brand names more than function. I bought all my German brushes from Biome in Brisbane.

      No warps or crack in the boards yet, Madeleine. Did you apply oil to your board? It needs that, I do mine about every six months. Don't use olive oil because after a few months on the board it will go rancid. Use coconut oil or beeswax.

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    2. Hi Rhonda,
      thanks for the tip about the oil :)

      Madeleine

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    3. Thanks Rhonda, I knew not to use olive oil so I use any cheap oil - usually cannola. Never thought to use beeswax on a chopping board!!
      Count me in for the oven/stove cleaning.

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  13. Definitely need to clean my oven before Christmas!

    Just wanted to thank you enormously for all your support Rhonda. We've been living the frugal, simple life for a few years now while attempting to clear a large amount of personal debt. Blogs like yours have been extremely inspiring and supportive during this time, because living like this can feel quite isolating at times. Yesterday, I paid a lump sum into our final loan to clear it, and, for the first time in years, we are debt free, 20 months earlier than planned. What a great feeling! The next stage is to build up our emergency fund a bit more and to get rid of the mortgage in 5 years. I will keep reading your blog. To other readers - don't ever give up! x

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sue, congratulations on working hard to pay off your debt. I know how good you're feeling right now. It won't be long before that mortgage is paid off too. You're right, never give up.

      Well done!

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    2. Congratulations Sue, I am so happy for you. I also use the ideas, advice and skills of the many wonderful people who are living the simple life. This life is so rewarding for me and gives me great happiness.

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  14. Last time I thoroughly cleaned my oven I damaged it and it cost me £100 to have it fixed - needless to say I have been put off doing more than a cursory clean since so I am looking forward to your tips. Lily.xxx

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  15. I have often set things out in the sun, thinking it would help sanitize them, so it's nice to read here that you do this, too (meaning my hunch was correct about such things ;) I periodically scrub my wooden cutting board with salt, which I've found helps remove odors as well.
    -jaime

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jaime, you're right, salt works very well too. I use it occasionally on my boards. xx

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  16. I'm doing another declutter challenge for December on my blog. Its the same as your August one Rhonda. If anyone is interested in joining me the link is http://agluttonouswife.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/decluttering-for-december.html
    A big thank you also for the post on the Odgers and McClelland exchange stores, I'm planning some christmas shopping from the online store this week! I may just avoid the crazy shops after all!
    Warm regards,
    Jan
    www.agluttonouswife.blogspot.com

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  17. Rhonda, I wanted to let you know I read your blog daily and enjoy your tips so much. I made scalloped potatoes for dinner this evening and failed to put a tray under them. Needless to say, I'm up for cleaning my oven asap! My oven is self cleaning--it burns off the yuck at a high temp. I'll be looking for your post and hope I can use it on our oven. I don't really like using so much electricity for the job. ♥

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  18. Mmm I am intersted to see how you clean the oven with napisan. Ours definitly needs a clean....

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  19. There are so many these days that were not taught how to clean a house. School stopped homemaking classes long ago and mama was too busy trying to go to work and be a homemaker.... Your advice is, frugal, simple and important.

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  20. For many years I have been using bicarb of soda to clean my oven, and I can't imagine anything cleaner or less toxic. I just make a paste of bicarb and water, brush it in thick layers on the oven interior (including the metal 'rails'). Heat up the oven on medium, then turn it off and leave it to cool for half an hour. Then all you need to do is gently scrape off the bicarb paste which has dried out and turned brown with the charcoal residue. Voila! Clean oven.

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  21. Thank you for explaining how to clean my bread board, now if only I could find a good source for natural brushes here in the United States, that would be great!

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  22. Great hygienic common-sense household tips as ever!

    X

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  23. Eek! Stove cleaning is one chore I absolutely dread but count me in. I am very interested to learn how to do this task safely. I remember cleaning the stove with some harsh cleaner and some alfoil I was using started to burn I almost passed out from the stove cleaner fumes. Very scary indeed.

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  24. I hate cleaning the oven and it never seems to come up clean, so Rhoda I look forward with interest to your
    tips! It doesn't get used that much as I am a slow cooker sort of girl - but sometimes you just have to roast things!

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