Cooker Hood Cleaner

Buying a flat is a HUGE thing in Singapore. More so the renovation.  And even more so is the kitchen, especially to me. I am going to be the one cooking, so the kitchen had better be done to my liking. But I wasn’t prepared for the technicalities of it. I mean..so much things to go into consideration when shopping for the kitchen of my dreams!

In a typical Singapore household, there are two main types of cooker hood: Flat extractor type or the chimney-style extractor type. Whichever type, the cleaning steps are relatively similar, typically require the change or cleaning of cooker hood filter, cleaning the metal parts and cleaning the exterior.

Consider the job of the cooker hood is to suck and absorb the greasy air and fat when you are cooking (pan frying, stir frying, or deep frying), the interior and exterior will usually be sticky and grimy. Regular cleaning helps to extend the hood’s lifespan and prevent the extractor from getting clogged. When the extractor gets clogged, airflow is reduced and may result in overheating and eventual breakdown.

For flat extractors, there is a paper filter that traps the grease and it should be replaced when it is soaked up in grease or the filter has changed colour or smells bad. It is recommended that the paper filter is changed every 3 months, depending on the type of cooking you do. After the paper filter is removed, the metal frame of the extractor should also be cleaned as it is usually coated with a layer of grease that is sticky and yellowish. This is a build up of grease and will get harder to remove the longer it remains on the frame. Hot water doesn’t do the job in one go. A food safe degreaser would help to remove the stubborn stain.

For the chimney-style extractors, the filter is made of a metal mesh (usually aluminium). The whole filter mesh should be easily removed and cleaned. When grease and grime has accumulated in the mesh over a period of time, you will find that it is very difficult to get reach into the gaps between the mesh to do a thorough clean. In this case, hot water and a kitchen degreaser would do the trick.

Hood Filter  Close up

Once it is clean, rinse off with clean water and pat dry. Most chimney hoods have charcoal filters. They CANNOT be washed and is recommended to be replaced every year.

Lastly, after the filter and extractor frame has been cleaned, you can look to give the exterior a good wipe down. Either a light degreaser or a stainless steel cleaner would help to make your job easier. Such cleaners can easily lift the sticky layer (a combination of dust, dirt and oil) off the shiny cooker hood. Tip: You can also consider applying a very thin layer of baby oil to the stainless steel finish with a lint-free cloth to retain its shine and prevent fingerprints.

Cooker Hood 2  Cooker Hood

Organic Cleaning Products

Everyone wants to clean their homes with ease. Minimal effort, maximum effect. I mean, who wants to spend so many hours cleaning and scrubbing? Haha..not me, for sure!

Most of the domestic cleaning products contain chemicals that I’ve never heard before. Well, apart from the well-known bleach, and “lavender-scented” or the “apple-scented” ingredients. These chemicals make my home squeaky clean, kills 99.9% bacteria and germs and have a ‘fast-drying formula”. You know, just so my floor dries in super record time. Haha.

But we know these chemicals pose some kind of hazard, after-all it says “POISON” in some fine print somewhere. You find that your skin on the back of your hands get a little drier each time you use it. Some cleaners leave a weird soapy film on your palms. Some cleaners make your nose sting a little as you take a whiff of it when you are cleaning.

Yuck.

In Singapore and most parts of the world, consumers are becoming more educated on the impact of harmful chemicals on their family and even on the environment (being biodegradable). Hence, more companies are jumping on the bandwagon and starting to develop and market organic household cleaners that are non-toxic, natural and environmentally friendly. No longer do we have to rely on strong chemicals to keep our homes clean and fresh.

By switching to organic products to clean your household, you eliminate toxic chemicals and fumes from your house and remove the health hazards they pose to you and your family. Furthermore, you are doing your part for the environment as the active ingredients in the cleaning products are bio-degradable.

 

 

Organic All Purpose Cleaner

If you are searching for a multi-purpose cleaner suitable for most surface and areas in the house, you can consider an all purpose cleaner. As the name suggests, an all purpose cleaner is created to clean different surfaces and is versatile for general cleaning around the home. It can be used to clean the kitchen top, windows, walls, toilets, kitchen appliances, and furniture.

Because an all purpose cleaner can be used all around the house, commercial and industrial all-purpose cleaners may contain a certain quantity of chemicals in order for it to be effective on the dirtiest surfaces, which may then be too much for surfaces which only require superficial cleaning. How safe would the cleaner then be if it contained a higher than necessary quantity of chemicals on a surface?

More so on a surface that a child regularly comes in contact with?

It is important that the cleaner is child safe and free from toxic chemicals where possible. In Singapore, organic all purpose cleaners are available and these are made from natural plant derived ingredients and also contains mineral surfactants. These cleaners, apart from being child and pet safe, are also environmentally friendly and biodegradable.

The organic option is definitely a safer choice for people suffering from allergies, sensitive skin, asthma or sinusitis. Big Little Me currently carries a range of cleaning products from Bio+Green Crystals, and they are all doctor endorsed as safe for allergy, asthma, autism and ADHD sufferers.

Alcohol-free Sanitiser

Alcohol is an active ingredient in most sanitisers due to it’s properties to kill germs and bacteria. However, as most of us know, alcohol can be a skin irritant and dries skin when used excessively. It is also too potent to be used on a young child’s skin. As a result, companies have developed alcohol-free sanitisers by using a replacement, benzalkonium chloride. Its properties inhibit or kill the growth of germs and bacteria.

However, studies have shown that long term exposure to benzalkonium chloride could lead to asthma and dermatitis.

How now, brown cow? What if I told you that there is a product, called Bio Shield, which actually protects the skin by killing off harmful germs and bacteria when they come in contact with the skin, and is alcohol-free? That these are vitamin based sanitisers, vitamins that can be found in our body, so that it is absolutely safe for people with sensitive skin?

These products are known as body protectants and they “sanitize” even before the germs and bacteria come in contact with you. Take an active approach to healthier and cleaner living.

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    Bio Shield kiddie 120ml

    $24.90
    • Dermatologist-tested, nutraceutical grade
    • Antimicrobial vitamins layer
    • Organic body protection spray for babies and children.

    How to use:

    Spray liberally on exposed body parts. To apply on face, spray on hands and apply on face. Respray every 4 hourly and when any body part has been wiped down or washed.

    For International orders, please contact us before placing your order. 

     

Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

People with sensitive skin usually find it difficult to find a sunscreen that does not aggravate their skin. Some sunscreens contain chemicals such as dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) or sulisobenzone which irritate the skin.

Increasingly, manufacturers have taken sensitive skin into account and are promoting sunblock that are gentler on the skin. Natural minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are used instead of chemical. Sunscreens with these active ingredients are recommended even for babies and children as they provide the same protection without being absorbed by the skin. If you have skin allergies, you should also consider options that are free from alcohol or fragrances.

Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide sunscreen is also suitable for people with eczema as they do not cause chemical reaction with the skin to provide the protection. These are the sunscreens that leave a slight whitish hue on your body after applying them to the skin. Because sunscreens tend to dry the skin, remember to wash off thoroughly and moisturise your skin at the end of the day.

Here is our recommendation for a light and non-greasy titanium dioxide based sunscreen: Buds SolarCare lotion, with SPF25 protection.

Goat’s Milk Organic Soap

Goat milk soap is organic and is wonderful for people with conditions such as eczema, dry or sensitive skin. To understand the benefits of goat milk soap, we need to look at the qualities of goat milk.

 

Goat milk is high in vitamin A, which helps to repair skin tissue, reduce wrinkles, control acne and provide relief for psoriasis. The rich butterfat found in goat milk boosts the moisturizing properties of soap made from it, and is particularly effective for people with dry skin. Unlike many water-based soaps, organic soap made from goat milk is naturally rejuvenating, moisturizes the skin, soothes dry and damaged skin and possesses anti-inflammatory qualities. Goat milk also contains a mineral known as selenium, which helps prevent damage to the skin due to extensive exposure to the sun.

 

Most importantly, goat milk contains alpha-hydroxy acids. These acids penetrate the top layers of the skin to remove dead skin cells. Through the removal of the dead skin cells, it stimulates the skin and causes new healthy cells to be regenerated, resulting in a skin that is smoother and shinier. In water-based soap, harsh chemical acids may be used instead for this purpose, which damages the skin.

Diaper Rash Cream

Diaper rash is the bane of all existence for all new moms. It could be a result of the body wash, or diaper, or lotion, or baby has sensitive skin. For babies with persistent diaper rash, more often than not, the poor parents have to go through the hassle of figuring out what is the cause of the diaper rash, and then go through another round to figuring out which diaper cream works best for their child.

When Ollie was born, he had some diaper rash. But being new parents, we figured we just had to keep using water to wipe rather than using baby wipes to keep the diaper rash at bay. We did not use any diaper cream at all. After a couple of days, we figured that it seemed to get even more aggravated, so we ended up with our first tube of diaper cream, and we constantly used it after. With QT, he was in the Special Care Nursery for 9 days as he was born 6 weeks early. He had a mild case of diaper rash and the doctor prescribed a maximum strength diaper cream for QT..which stank to the high heavens. Urgh.  Interestingly, both boys didn’t seem to have much diaper rash when they were in reusable diapers. Hrm.

Check your baby’s bum often for signs of redness as diaper rash can be very uncomfortable for the baby. To clean your baby’s bottom, use plain water to rinse any poop off instead of a baby wipe. Try a squirt bottle or to squeeze water off a cotton ball. If you need to use a wipe, avoid those with alcohol or fragrances as these will further irritate the sore skin. Gently pat the area dry before you apply the diaper cream. Most diaper creams, such as Desitin, contain zinc oxide and the cream works like a protective layer by creating a barrier between the skin and the diaper. For babies with sensitive skin, there are organic lotions available that moisturise and nurture the skin, and reduce the inflammation and soothe irritated skin. Such organic lotions, like the Little Innoscents Intensive Soothing Cream and Buds Organic Nappy Time Change Cream, are also suitable for those who use reusable diapers.

Intensive Soothing Cream, 12.50

Little Innoscents Intensive Soothing Cream, 12.50

Buds Organics Everyday Nappy Time Change Cream, $14.50

Buds Organics Everyday Nappy Time Change Cream, $14.50

It is not advisable to use talcum powder as it will not form the protective layer against moisture. In the humid Singapore weather, the powder will absorb the sweat and cause friction when rubbed thus aggravating your baby’s delicate skin. As much as possible, let your baby go nappy free. Air the diaper area as frequent as you can to allow air circulation which aids the healing process.