Disinfecting Marble on Baking Station?

2LittleFishiesJune 30, 2014

Hello All,
I use my marble baking station for making lots of cookies that I often make for other people� I wipe it down with dish soap beforehand but am wondering if there's another way to disinfect that I'll feel okay with putting dough (food) directly on it � Any ideas? : )

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Hi Fishies. I only use my homemade marble cleaner (distilled water, which doesn't leave water marks, with a few drops of dish soap) on my baking counter. I feel like it is clean. I catered a friend's college reunion this weekend, including baking multiple batches of shortcake biscuits cut on the Carrara, without a second thought. I clean both before and after working dough. I've often thought about mixing up catmom's all-purpose cleaner. Haven't gotten around to it yet as I never have alcohol on hand. Well, at least not that kind of alcohol......:)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 9:03PM
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The thing about marble is that there are pits and cracks. If they make you uncomfortable, you can try a brush, but that's going to abrade your marble. You'd be better off getting a big silpat. Then you get the cold of the marble and the ease of cleaning of a lift off mat. Just like the marble, the silpat should be lightly oiled.

Really, though, for anything that's going to be cooked, all you need is to wash well with hot water, rinse well, and let it dry very thoroughly. You can pour boiling water directly on it. If it's very friable, poorly supported, or otherwise fragile, or if it's extremely cold, maybe that's not a great idea, but in general one can. Candy makers pour liquid sugar on marble and that's a lot hotter. You can add an alcohol rinse, too, if it really bothers you. Most people just wash and dry with mild soap, and it seems to work.

Because of my cultural traditions, I can't work food directly on the counter. It creeps me out. But people do it all the time without ill results. If you're using eggs or other known contaminants, you should be extra careful about clean-up so you don't cross contaminate your kitchen, but still, it can be easily done without poisoning people.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 9:09PM
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Since I have marble also, I just did a little research. Lots of recommendations for vinegar, bleach & hydrogen peroxide for general countertop disenfecting.
I believe all three may etch, but am not sure.
Here's a link to a product that claims to disenfect & is safe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Disinfecting marble

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 9:12PM
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Check out ecloths. I recently posted a question about them but the microfiber a pick up any bacteria on the counter. I don't personally own any nor am I affiliated with them. There is a you tube video showing how the supposedly work. Norwax is another version
I use microfiber cloths but not the expensive ones.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 9:49PM
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Most state food safety procedures call for washing a surface with a detergent solution followed by a bleach solution of 1 tsp bleach per gallon of water. I don't know if you feel comfortable using bleach on your marble, but this concentration is considered food-safe when allowed to air dry. If you ever eat in a restaurant, this is the general food prep surface sanitizing procedure.

My grandmother used to use straight bleach to clean her marble counters. The marble (and us!) are still here to tell the tale.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 10:01AM
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Thanks everyone! This is all great information : ) I was really curious about making sure the surface is clean and this is very helpful! Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 12:20PM
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    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 12:26PM
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I had a pastry marble in a kitchen for 9 years and just wiped it down with hot water. I used it to make nut brittles, temper chocolate and roll doughs. One recipe of hard-ball stage sugar syrup on there will heat it enough to kill anything lurking. But there was never an issue.

I would not use bleach on stone. I'd rather eat a little bacteria than Clorox.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 3:30PM
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"I would not use bleach on stone. I'd rather eat a little bacteria than Clorox."

EXACTLY. I agree 100%. I think we get carried away in this country with bleaching anything that stands still. And even those things that don't.

Catmom-I have thought about making your solution with vodka, but I thought of better uses for vodka. :)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 6:27PM
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You do realize that 1tsp of bleach per gallon of water is a very weak bleach solution, yes? Most home kitchens would never pass a restaurant-grade health inspection. I am not saying that they should adhere to such strict standards, but unless you only eat food that has been prepared 100% from whole ingredients in your own home, you have eaten food that has been prepared on bleached surfaces (at similar concentrations).

I personally don't bother with bleaching surfaces in my own home. Detergent/soap and water is usually enough, but if someone in a home is immune compromised (undergoing chemo, suffering from a blood disorder, elderly, etc.) then it is a different issue. The OP didn't indicate why she wanted to disinfect.

My grandmother bleached the marble because she wanted it to be white not because of contamination fears -- these were old unsealed slabs of greek marble that had been scratched, dented, and chipped from many years of heavy use. She would have been scandalized if someone saw a tomato sauce stain on them! Hence the straight bleach. Not what I would choose to do, but those counters could give you a suntan from all the reflected light!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 3:08PM
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I use soap and water on a bar towel if there is oil/grease that needs to be cut through or to clean up after raw meat. Then follow with a wet towel to rinse and a dry towel.

For the baking area before using it, I usually use just a damp towel followed by a dry one. After using, if there is flour scattered, I'll use a bench scraper to get most of the loose flour gathered and pushed over the edge into my hand or a bowl. Then again the wet towel followed by dry towel.

We have quartzite - one might need to be more careful about a bench scrapper on marble, perhaps use a plastic or silicon tool instead of stainless steel but it is really nice to get rid of the dry flour and any dough bits before adding water.

We didn't change the process when I was on chemo and my white cell count was low. I didn't get any infections. I did have a medication to help bring white count up but it still went pretty low for a few days each cycle.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 6:09PM
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First things first. Cloud Swift--I'm sorry to hear about your chemo. I hope today finds you cancer-free and healthy.

Secondly, I do what you do after baking. I use one of my plastic bench scrapers to push all the dough bits, flour, etc together. Then I scoop and dump in the sink. Finally, I spray with my homemade marble cleaner and wipe. I do have a stainless scraper, but have never used it on my marble. Come to think of it, I never used it on my laminate either. Why do I still have that thing then? Hmmmmmmm.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:51AM
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A clean surface or a surface that is cleaned properly on a daily basis may require less disinfecting.
But for natural stone countertops bleach in the proper dilution is one acceptable method for disinfecting.
Hydrogen Peroxide 3% volume straight is also safe on stone and quite effective as a disinfectant. It is also 100% biodegradable. I think the most important issue is the dwell times. To be an effective disinfectant it must be left on the surface for seven minutes than picked up and the area rinsed.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 2:40PM
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Hi Breezy, thanks for the concern.

The tumor was about midway in stage 1. I only needed chemo because the cells were an aggressive type. Fortunately there is a targeted drug given along with chemo that targets the feature that makes these aggressive. So recurrence was very unlikely after chemo. On top of that, I'm 5 years out from treatment so and the aggressive stuff usually recurs before that if it's going to happen.

At this point, I think I'm down to the general risk that anybody has of a cancer showing up.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 9:14PM
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