Anyone in the food industry knows it is essential to have a squeaky clean work station(s)/area for safety and health reasons. Which products one would use in the sanitization process is obviously impacted by the size of the operation. In this article I will be addressing people who do gumpasting as a small business, a hobby or just for friends and family. In other words, people who only have a limited setup and a small space to contend with.
One way to clean is with one of the various all-purpose cleaners that are commercially available. For me I wanted one that was nontoxic to use (i.e. no bleach), but also could easily handle removing the various residues from gumpasting products such as: petal and luster dust, Crisco, cornstarch, leftover gumpaste and fondant, etc. So, which of these products would meet my needs? In my workspace I have several surfaces to be concerned about cleaning: my large non-stick board, a granite tile, a wooden table, metal and plastic trays, etc. As luck would have it I subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated and in a past issue (January/February 2012) they rated several different all-purpose spray cleaners. If you do not subscribe you may not be aware that in it they do product reviews as well as give recipes. Their product assessments are very thorough and they detail how they came up with their final decisions (think of it as a Consumer Reports magazine for cooks).
For the spray cleaners their judging criteria were: cleaning performance, streaking, how many sprays it took to clean a stovetop and scent. Their top pick was Method All-Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner (out of a nine product lineup) and it passed their test with flying colors receiving the only “Highly Recommended” rating spot. It also was rated as one of the top two in the scent category. Since I do not like chemical smells I really love the French Lavender version of Method All-Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner. One of my favorite uses for it is to clean my Wilton Fondant Roll and Cut Mat which I use to protect my table when working with petal or luster dust. It wipes up any surplus dust in a nanosecond! For my cleaning purposes I did however decide to invest in one more cleaning item which they did not rate and those are the Clorox Green Works wipes. They did rate the Clorox Green Works spray and it was considered to be “a decent performer when it came to cleaning the countertops, greasy range hood, and stovetop, but it required extra sprays and wiping and left streaks”. So, why would I want wipes in my cleaning arsenal? Well, for me there are those occasional times when I only need a quick wipe up for a small area and/or I do not want to have to deal with any spray residue. I feel I should mention that for the particular surfaces I have used them on I have not experienced any streaking.
What it all boils down to is that I use the Method All-Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner for my bigger jobs and the Clorox Green Works wipes for my little, quick and easy jobs.
So, there you have how I clean and sanitize which thankfully does not include the additional step of rinsing the surface(s) with water after each use.