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My3monkees

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I'm in the process of pulling out my soaping supplies after several years. Unfortunately the mice found my garage bins in the meantime. Glass and stainless things I will bleach. Plastic I may bleach or just pitch.
My wooden molds are my big concern? I'm not sure if I should bleach or just pitch and start over. I have to pitch my big slab mold though. Any suggestions?
 

lenarenee

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I have no scientific facts to give you - just a thought to add for your consideration. Wood is porous and absorbs quite a bit, so I would be worried about bacteria/virus. However I know bleach destroys even the hantavirus http://www.aschq.army.mil/supportingdocs/ASC Hantavirus Procedures (Encl 1).pdf

(I only bring up hante virus because while rare, it is a very serious virus. How do I know this? Mice have eaten parts of my car engine - and the mechanics mention it in case we become ill. Can't really disinfect engine - but replace filters instead)

Soaking wood in a bleach solution might warp it.

Might be easier to replace the molds if it's in your budget.
 

TeresaT

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I wouldn't ditch the wooden molds either. I'd spray them down with a bleach solution until they were wet and allow it to soak for the recommended disinfecting time and rinse with clean water. If they're glued together I'd put them in the sun to dry as dixiedragon suggested. If they're nailed or screwed together, I'd put them in a warm oven. Once they were dry, I'd do a couple of coats of flaxseed oil to condition the wood, letting each coat absorb well into the wood. Wood is tougher than people give it credit for and can withstand a good scrubbing as long as you dry it well and treat it to prevent cracking and splintering. At least that has always been my experience. YMMV, as the saying goes.
 
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earlene

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I went through something similar (not soaping stuff, but wood and other various possessions) where I had to decide what I could clean and disinfect and what to throw away. I did just as lenarenee suggested with the bleach solution and sun-drying. As a CPR instructor, one of my duties was to clean and disinfect the training equipment after each training session. What we used per CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines was a 10% bleach solution with a (if I remember correctly, it's been a very long time ago now) 10 minute soak for the most-likely to be the most contaminated parts, and then air dry. So with that in mind, I proceeded with cleaning my personal possessions attacked by that mouse infestation.

It was disgusting handling some of the items and some things I just tossed because I wasn't sure I'd ever really get over the idea of or memory of the mice urinating on my stuff. But a couple of wooden dressers & other furniture items I just did not want to toss. So I disinfected them and left them in the sun to dry. If they smelled okay to my nose (which is rather sensitive and was even more so back then) I lined the drawers of a dresser and carried on. If, however the inside of the dresser drawer looked badly stained and still smelled bad, I just got rid of the whole thing.

In my 20's I had another mouse-in-the-drawers experience that looking back on it now is pretty funny. I had cats and dogs, too, so it really surprised me when one day I opened a drawer in my pantry where I kept extra linens and found a momma mouse had given birth to a bunch of baby mouse on my linens. It must have just happened because they were all slimy and tiny. I was absolutely horrified of course. For the life of me, I just don't remember how I managed to get the mice out of the drawer and the house and what I did with them. But I removed the drawer and cleaned and disinfected it and put it back to service in my pantry again. I probably called my mom for suggestions about how to disinfect it because I wasn't yet trained as a nurse, although I could have been in nursing school already. I may have even cleaned it with lye. That's what I used to clean my oven & stove parts in those days. (I had an old fashioned O'Keefe & Merritt stove that came apart easily and my mom taught me to soak the parts in lye solution in my utility sink to clean them. It worked like a dream.)

The moral of the story is decades later since both incidents, neither I nor my family ever contracted any diseases from coming in contact with the items I disinfected and continued to use after those invasive mouse infestations. I still actually have one of those dressers I spoke of, and even have and used for a long time some of those linens from over 40 years ago.
 
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lenarenee

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If it helps you get past the mental aspect of cleaning and re-using, remember that we're talking about soap batter which should kill just about anything all by itself.
Not challenging your statement here; I know that idea, plus the belief that the lye monster destroys many aspects oils and essentials oils, etc is stated often - even by myself. I'm just wondering how much of these notions is fact, and how much is assumption. I'd like the facts - for my own knowledge.
 

My3monkees

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I like the idea of spraying and leaving in the sun to dry. Unfortunately that will have to wait until spring. I'm in NY, no such thing as sun right now.

I bleached out my best soap pot and cutters.
My colors looked pretty untouched, so I wiped everything down with Clorox wipes.

Everything else I'm pretty much pitching. Nothing of much value, old measuring cups, spoons etc..
All the oils and fragrance were to old to salvage anyway. Old lip balm stuff I pitched.

I will pick up a new stick blender.

My son said he will make me a few small molds for now. I just want to play around. I'll put the good molds back in storage until spring.

Thanks!
 

BrewerGeorge

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Not challenging your statement here; I know that idea, plus the belief that the lye monster destroys many aspects oils and essentials oils, etc is stated often - even by myself. I'm just wondering how much of these notions is fact, and how much is assumption. I'd like the facts - for my own knowledge.
Viruses and bacteria are surrounded by a layer of lipids that is easily destroyed by lye. It is a phenomenal disinfectant, but we don't often think of it as such because it's so dangerous.
 

lenarenee

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Viruses and bacteria are surrounded by a layer of lipids that is easily destroyed by lye. It is a phenomenal disinfectant, but we don't often think of it as such because it's so dangerous.
Of course! I should have known that from Biology class. Thank you!
Any idea what percentage of lye is needed?

Next question for you: why does bleach work? Especially when its really considered almost infallible for every pathogen?

Just realized - wood molds have to be lined with soap - so she'd have to soap them in lye solution.
 

BrewerGeorge

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...
Next question for you: why does bleach work? Especially when its really considered almost infallible for every pathogen?
....
IIRC, bleach works because of the chlorine which has two modes. 1) Reactive Cl taking the place of less reactive components inside cells and disrupting their function, and 2) oxidation from free O2 created by the disassociated Cl molecules in solution.
 

wearytraveler

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Another vote for spraying with a disinfecting/bleach solution and allowing the sun to dry it. At the worst you'll have very clean and very tan bacteria on the wood! :grin:
 
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