Sunday, June 19, 2011


And that secret is.......I iron my Tea Towels!

When I have had visitors, some have noticed that I iron my Tea Towels and they then proceed to fall about laughing.
They have told me that is the last thing they iron BUT if there was only one thing that I iron it would be my Tea Towels.
I am not OCD, my children can confirm that but I do believe in avoiding unnecessary infection.
I also am not the kind of mother who believes in keeping their children all safely wrapped up and not allowed to get wet and dirty.
Beauty is a champion puddle-jumper and will pick the most disgusting things up of the floor and put them in their mouth :)
I once worked at a traveller/gypsy clinic and in the depths of winter,when there was frost on the ground, I saw children running around without shoes and socks and they seemed pretty healthy children.
I use a dishwasher because it uses less water and hotter water than hand washing and I quite regularly bleach, soak and boil and iron my tea towels.
Beauty and I had MRSA when she was approximately 10 days old and I think this is probably one of the main reasons I make an effort with food and dishes cleanliness.
Also, Beauty's autism makes her totally unaware of the need for personal hygiene (she is yuk!!!!!) and I use many cloths a day to wipe her hands and face and the table too.
Most cloths are usually only used once.

I Googled ironing Tea Towels and the results seemed to be a half way split between those who DO & those who DON'T .
The following is one of the many who feel the same way as I do.
The following is from somebody who works inn the catering industry and I have to admit that most are not as fastidious as her. I worked as a waitress part-time for over 22 years and most restaurant kitchens are not a pretty sight!

From Yahoo answers

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Firstly buy good quality tea towels - old fashioned white glass cloths are the best as they can with stand all washing, even bleach if needed. Colourful pretty ones are not great as dyes can run in hot washes.
Secondly the way you handle your tea towels has to be to ensure that you are keeping any bacterial growth to a safe level. This is why you hang up them to dry after using them as damp conditions are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria. If you wash by hand then you do need to use a fresh one at least every day. I use a dishwasher and use one a week! but rarely dry anything with it so it never gets damp and will pickup very little bacteria. If changing everyday I would still hang the tea towel to dry at the end of the day, but in the morning put out a clean one putting the previous days "down for washing" then do a hot (at least 60'C) wash once a week. If you buy the white "stockinette" dish clothes then do the same with these - a fresh one every day.
So hot wash (on their own and certainly never with any clothing), and make sure you dry them quickly removing them from the machine as soon after washing as you can. Once dry IRON them even if this is the only thing you ever iron do it as it sterilises the cloths.
Hot wash + Iron = Safe Bacterial levels
When washing use Biological POWDER. The biological action breaks down proteins such as will be picked up from food and powder (with the exception of powder to wash colours) contains a bleaching agent which you don't get with liquids - compare Persil Biological Powder with Persil Biological Liquid next time you are in the supermarket!
Follow this and you will have beautiful spotless tea towels but more importantly safe!!

If you go through a lot of tea towels and dishcloths then you can do what I do at work. All cloths are never carried from one day to the next - fresh for each day. At the end of the day I soak the cloths (and oven cloths/gloves) in a solution of biological soap powder and COLD water in a STAINLESS STEEL pot (don't use aluminium as the detergent will break this down and the cloths don't come out to clean, enamel pans will work but the enamel eventually corrodes). I leave these soaking all night and then in the morning put the pot on a very low heat and leave it to gradually come up to boil temperature but don't actually let it boil (if you do you end up burning the dirty water which goes a horrible smelly brown that stains the cloths!), giving it an occasional stir I leave them on the low heat for 4-5hours. I then put the pot in the sink and run the cold water through it agitating with my hand. Then give them a final rinse under the hot tap, hand ring and hang up to dry. I then refill the pan with soap powder and cold water and then just add that days dirty cloths one at a time making sure by end of the day all cloths have been put in to soak.
Am a Caterer

So whilst I have A VERY GRUBBY CHILD that I am training to be A NICE CLEAN CHILD I shall have to maintain my NOT SO DIRTY LITTLE SECRET:)


Steve said...

OK. You've convinced me. (I shall ask my wife to iron our tea towels!)



I would move pretty sharpish if I were you when you ask that one :)




An Irish Blessing

(A Blessing from St. Patrick)
May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

May the rains fall soft upon your fields,

And, until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.