New Stovetop Cover and a Cleaning Arsenal

Miranda came with a really ugly and useless stovetop cover made from what I presume is a piece of countertop:

You can’t set anything hot on it, nor can it be used as a cutting board. I used it as a surface for my cutting mats until I added the new counter. Since then, it’s been available as an extra surface ‘just in case’, but it’s usually in the way and not even stored on the stove unless I’m traveling.

Tonight, I was clearing out one of the new cabinets in search of space for the rice cooker when I came across a big cutting board I just about forgot I have:

A light bulb went on and all of two minutes later I had this:

I cleaned the cutting board well and then rubbed mineral oil into it to hydrate it. I’ll do this once a day until it looks healthy again. It’s important to use mineral, not vegetable or olive, oil because mineral oil doesn’t go rancid.

End result:

Finally, I wanted to share my new, pared down, cleaning arsenal. I’m still working my way through bottles of commercial products, but, with one exception, will not be buying any more.

The white bottle holds a mixture of water, vinegar, and a drop of dish soap (Dawn) for cutting grease. That’s really all you need to clean. For scouring power, I add baking soda (not shown). I will be adding a blue bottle with a straight water and vinegar mix for washing windows when I get through my bottle of commercial window cleanser. The yellow bottle holds Nature’s Miracle, an enzymatic cleanser that eliminates pet odours. I use it to clean the cab, where I have carpet that is sometimes the victim of cat accidents.

For years now, I’ve heard about the wonders of microfiber cloths, but never found any that worked for me, until I stumbled on some in the automotive aisle at Walmart. The green ones come in packs of two and are finer, meant for glass, and I also use them for electronics and mirrors. The blue and white ones come in packs of eight (four of each colour). I use the white ones for the kitchen, including¬† the dishes, and the blue for cleaning, including the floors. I really like these cloths because they not only absorb water, but also really trap dirt and fur.

Reducing the amount of cleaning products, rags, and dishcloths I have is giving me a lot of under counter space in both the dressing room and the kitchen, and the money savings are phenomenal, what with a huge container of vinegar being about a buck, a box of baking soda about fifty cents, and dish soap a buck and a half on sale (just don’t buy it in Dawson–$6!).

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  • That cutting board looks phenomenal after you finished it. I have my great grandmother’s old bread board – she was married in about 1878 so this probably dates back to shortly after that. It’s warped and I don’t think I could get the warp out, but I’m wondering if mineral oil could improve the old finish.

  • I don’t think I’d want to mess with wood that old, but you could moisten the wood to make it more pliable and then add a weight to it.

    Oil will definitely help with the finish; buff it in until the wood stops soaking it up.

  • I have always been a very neglectful cutting board owner. I usually remember to oil it when I get it, but let them dry out until they crack in half. Bad me!

  • I have never oiled a cutting board! Which explains why this one is in such poor shape and starting to crack!

  • […] fine folks: don’t forget to put your stove top cover back on the stove, especially if it is a large heavy wooden one. If you do forget, it is very likely that it will slide off the counter, bounce off the cat box and […]

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