Thursday, January 14, 2010

Purple Power!

My kitchen floor is a white vinyl made to look like tile. While I mop it regularly, it does need a really super-duper cleaning a few times a year. After trying lots of products to cut through the dirt, gunk and floor cleaner, I found the best and easiest product was the Clean Team's Red Juice Concentrate. Full strength, straight out of the bottle and onto the floor. While I love Clean Team products, $15 a bottle for the concentrate was a very expensive way to clean a floor. So I went on the hunt for a replacement floor stipper/degreaser/cleaner.

First I went online to see if others had done what I was doing. I did learn I was going to need to look for the product in a store's automotive section. Then I started buying products to see what worked. I am happy to say I found one, but not without some trade-offs.

The winner is: Purple Power by Aiken Chemical Company. I bought a 40 oz. spray bottle of this industrial degreaser for about $4 at Pep Boys. It is even cheaper if you buy it by the gallon. I sprayed it, undiluted, on the floor, waited a few minutes and then wiped off. Then rinsed and put a finish coat on the floor. It worked really well.

Trade offs: Red Juice is non-toxic and approved for use around food. I didn't see that on the Purple Power labels. Purple Power does suggest ventilation while using and says not to use it on certain products-do read the label. There weren't strong smelling fumes, but I did ventilate because I did cough a little-but I cough with Red Juice Concentrate as well.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Bread Adventure Begins

Last summer I told myself if I survived my re-election campaign, I wanted to learn how to make artisan bread during the winter months. My goal: a tasty sourdough made without commercial yeast. Today, my adventure began.

I got this book from the library and have started my starter. The starter contains water, flour and cheesecloth-bagged grapes, all sitting in a large jar on top of my refrigerator. From what I understand, it will bubble, burble, stink and may grow mold over the next two weeks as it becomes a living creature. Then there are the feedings: 3x a day for the last five days of its growth. Sounds like having another person in the house.

I am learning what proofing baskets and cloths are, how to hand knead and the importance of temperature. It is all very interesting.

When I am done, I should have a sturdy, sour starter. Yay!