What is food-grade silicone?
As parents, we’re saving the world, one diaper at a time. But we also face lots of pressure to save the environment and we’re given an assortment of sustainable baby products to choose from.
Whether we’re shopping for diapers, bibs, or bottles…we’re encouraged to be more conscious about the impact daily products have on the world and our baby’s health.
With environmental safety and health at the forefront, you’ll find that more products are being made of silicone. Silicone is a unique rubber that is used for a variety of consumer, health, and industrial applications. It’s often referred to as food-grade or medical grade, but both types of silicone offer the benefits of being non-toxic, durable, and versatile.
What’s the difference between these silicone types?
Each type of silicone has its own set of regulations set by the FDA; standards that overall support health, safety, and the environment.
Although their names are pretty much self-explanatory… “medical” grade silicone isn’t just used by your baby’s pediatrician. This type of silicone is made specifically for products and devices that are used inside or outside the body; such as implants, baby bottle nipples, menstrual cups, mouth guards, and more.
On the other hand, food-grade silicone is—of course—used for products that meet food.
Companies are finding new and innovative ways to use food-grade silicone for producing everything from cookware to Tupperware, to bibs, teethers, and even some breast pumps!
Not only is food-grade silicone safer, but it’s also extremely durable and lightweight. And we know it’s the perfect material for Busy Babies and Busy Moms alike.
While food-grade has a long list of benefits, there is one drawback. Using food-grade silicone with certain foods or ingredients can stain the material, sometimes permanently.
What stains food-grade silicone mats?
Ironically enough…food can stain food-grade silicone! If your Busy Baby loves Italian or Indian food, you may have a little extra work ahead of you.
Any foods with tomato sauce, pesto, or turmeric can cause stains; depending on the color of your mat. Oil and flavor residue can also remain on the mats surface if it isn’t thoroughly cleaned after use.
Now…if you’ve already planned spaghetti for dinner tonight, don’t ditch your mat just yet. All you’ll need to do is put a little extra elbow grease into cleaning it after dinner.
What’s the best way to remove stains from food-grade silicone mats?
Lucky for you...we’ve already done the footwork and tested a few different cleaning solutions on the mat. (And yes—we tested all 6 colors!)
Instead, we found out that creating a paste of out of water (or hydrogen peroxide) and baking soda does the trick.
And to top it off, creating your own cleaning mixture at home saves you money and is actually pretty simple!
Here’s how you do it:
- Grab a bowl for mixing
- Hydrogen Peroxide and baking soda to create a thick paste. We recommend using twice as much baking soda, as there is liquid. If the paste isn’t getting thick, add a little more baking soda to make it thicker.
- Once your paste is at a good consistency, rub it on the mat and let it soak for 10-20 minutes (the longer the better!)
- Rinse the mat off under hot water and let your mat air dry
If you’re still seeing stains on your mat afterward, simply rinse and repeat, but let the paste sit longer.
The results are in!
We’ve tested several different stain-causing foods on every color of our mat and found that most stains came out after following the steps above.
Here’s what happened when we tried cleaning each color with the baking soda paste:
- Yellow & Pewter – ALL the stains were easily removed
- Pink, Spearmint, & Blue – The turmeric stains remained, but all others were removed
- “OG” Orange – The orange mat never stained, no matter what we put on it. So, we’ve secretly named this our “OG” mat.
Moral of the story… turmeric stains are the hardest to remove. So, you may want to skip this ingredient in your next recipe OR grab an orange mat if you can’t resist it!
Does your baby have a favorite food that always stains their mat? Or do you have another cool way to clean your mat at home?
Share your recipes and your cleaning success stories with us on Instagram @busybabymat!