The best temperatures to keep our friendly microbes happy

best temperatures

Most of our products contain spores of indigenous bacilli microbes

What are the best temperatures to keep them happy? 

Adding synthetic enzymes to soap is so yesterday. Enzymes are harsh chemicals and can cause all sorts of allergic reactions. Mrs Martin’s products do not use enzymes, or any harsh chemicals. Instead, our products include intelligent microbes that make microscopic amounts of the correct enzymes on demand. Our friendly microbes help with cleaning, and with rehabilitating the waste water. This technology is the result of 20 years’ research by the CSIR, initially to address problems caused by superbugs.

We recently sat down with our chief scientist to chat about temperatures. He explained that due to proprietary technology our spores are tolerant of temperatures up to 90°C. If you wash your linen at temperatures higher than 90°C, the spores will die. If you pour the detergent into boiling water, the spores will die.

The spores can hatch at a range of temperatures but the optimum growth temperature is 35°C. That also means that people who prefer to clean with lukewarm water, can do so.

Once the spores have hatched, the microbes can tolerate temperatures up to 60°C. 

Microbes are actually not too delicate

Microbes are masters of adapting to their environment – that is why they are the largest population of living creatures on earth! Also keep in mind that each millilitre of soap holds more than 10 million spores so as long as boiling water is not used, there will be plenty hatching at any stage of the cleaning process.

So feel free to wash your towels on the hottest cycle. While any microbes that hatched before the water got really hot, will die, millions of spores will survive and hatch afterwards. They will be working in your washing machine drum and pipes and in your towels until it is completely dry.

In summary:

  • Spores are tolerant up to 90°C. At boiling point, they die.
  • Optimum growth temperature is 35°C.
  • Once hatched, the microbes can tolerate up to 60°C.

On multitasking, chores and peace in the home

On multitasking, chores and peace in the home

I have long known that either it were not true that women are multitasking queens, or it were not true that I am a woman. I cannot multitask. Every. Single. Time I try to cook breakfast while hanging the washing, the eggs burn. I cannot talk on the phone while I am driving round trying to find a party venue. And I abandon my attempts at writing a coherent blog post after the third request for lunch…

I used to feel strangely substandard due to this inability to do what all women were brilliant at. Which is why I felt elated when I came across research recently that found ‘differences in multitasking costs across men and women remained absent’. Read a summary of that research here:

Psychologist Patricia Hirsch, and her collaborators at RWTH Aachen University and University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany, set out to find out if the stereotype that women are better multitaskers than men might be backed by empirical evidence. To find out, the team had experimental participants (48 women and 48 men) conduct either concurrent or sequential multitasking. Both tasks required participants to categorize letters as consonant versus vowel, and numbers as odd versus even. An important feature of the study was that, in addition to collecting performance measures (accuracy and reaction times) in the tasks above, the researchers also accounted for possible underlying gender differences in working memory, processing speed, spatial abilities, and fluid intelligence.

The results indicated that, whereas both concurrent and sequential multitasking imposed substantial costs on performance, the deterioration applied to both genders equally. Even when controlling for potential differences in cognitive abilities that might support multitasking, “differences in multitasking costs across men and women remained absent.”

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/illusion-chasers/no-women-cant-multitask-either/

This at least redeemed me. I was a normal woman after all! And my experience of overwhelm at times was a perfectly reasonable way for a brain to react to SO MANY DEMANDS. I breathed a sigh of relief and stopped trying to do everything at once.

But of course I still had to do most things. It is still I who cook the breakfast and hang the washing, just not simultaneously. There is ample evidence that women still do more housework than men, no matter who the breadwinner is. Us women aren’t better multitaskers than men, we just do more work. And if you look to the bees and the lions, that seems to be the way it goes in nature.

Public opinion persists that women have a biological edge as super-efficient multitaskers. But, as this study shows, this myth is not supported by evidence. This means the extra family work women perform is just that – extra work. And we need to see it as such.

https://www.sciencealert.com/women-aren-t-better-multitaskers-than-men-they-re-just-doing-more-work

There is an American blogger who feels like my friend, even though she certainly does not know that I exist. Her name is Emily Lex. I think it was 2017 when she wrote the following:

Washing dishes used to be a point of marital contention and then one day I decided I didn’t hate doing them anymore. I’m slightly particular when it comes to loading the dishwasher (I can’t believe I’m one of those people!) and I have a system for hand washing dishes that makes it quick and mindless (utensils first, medium sized items next, save the worst for last). I’ve found in marriage that if you take the things you care the most about and stop worrying about fairness, things get much easier. And it leaves me with a clean kitchen, so that’s totally worth it.+

https://jonesdesigncompany.com/get-clean-start-free-mrs-meyers-gift-set/

Isn’t that a helpful way to look at things? Stop worrying about fairness! Who ever said that things would be fair in this world/ your marriage / that family? If you want a clean, peaceful home, wash the dishes! That is the price. And I think, it is not the fool who pays it.

Have a wonderful August, from our team to yours.

Disclaimer: my home is not always peaceful nor clean, but together we are hacking through the challenges. If you want to accuse me of being too traditional, you might be right. I think I am being pragmatical.

I hope my musings make sense. Love

Ek is Afrikaans. I am African.

Ek is Afrikaans.  I am African. Very few people realize that the word ‘afrikaans’ literally means african.

I love South Africa. I was born here and I feel my roots here.  I am white, but this is my home country. My parents were born here. My grandparents were born here. I am African.

I do find parts of my heart resonate with Europe, undeniably. I have been there three times and I certainly have some close-to-my-heart memories. I cherish the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid. The whole city seemed asleep at 08:00 one August morning so I discovered my way to the park and spent a sunny, solitary hour there. The next lovely morning I opened my eyes in a Copenhagen loft, looked out and saw a cluster of tall white windmills (standing in water!) just outside my window. That was so foreign and so Scandinavian I caught my breath. Then there is the romantic Saar Loop in Germany, and the nautical Afsluitdijk in Holland.

 

I literally felt like the only person in Madrid that morning!

 

‘Lying sunlit and still, just waiting for me.’

 

First view of Copenhagen

 

Fresh water on the one side, salt water on the other

 

I understand the language of Germans and the Dutch and Belgians. But I am not German. Or Dutch. Or Belgian. I am African.

I love listening to Zulu choirs and singing along when I can. I love the quiet mist of the Kwazulu Natal midlands and the thunderous storms of Pretoria where the raindrops are so fat they literally pelt the pavement. When I was given the opportunity to study abroad, absolutely inviting as that sounded, I didn’t. I studied five kilometres from the house I grew up in, at UP.

And my who-I-am memories are here. The experiences that make up the fibers of my mind, were had here. Nature’s Valley. My family has visited Nature’s Valley every December from when I was still in school. I have so many happy memories of the beach, Douwurmkop, the lagoon and Klippiesbaai that I go there in my mind when I hurt the most. When I want to escape, I escape to Nature’s Valley.

 

Where the Groot River flows into the sea beneath Douwurmkop at Nature’s Valley

 

Next, the Drakensberg. I love Cathkin Peak. For our first wedding anniversary Martin and I climbed all the way to Blind Man’s Corner. And in later years my own young family more than once rested and drank in the beauty in the shadow of Cathkin.

 

Cathkin Peak

 

Our own secret hide-away

 

The strongest 20 years of my life were spent among the huts of rural KwaZulu-Natal.  Hundreds of little Zulu children learned the sounds of English in my lessons. I have served dignified ndabezithas on my knees. I sat with the women on icansis while the men ate at table. I did it by choice and I loved it. I don’t live like that in my own home, but I feel close to those who do.

 

These twins were our neighbours and spent a lot of time with us

 

Growing up together

 

What is my heritage? What happens to European genes that spend three generations in Africa? The braai and the rugby, yes. And so, so much more.