This post is the final component in a 3 part series which began with Healthier&GreenerLifestyle and follows on from my post about skincare products. As a recap, I have focused on changing the cleaning products I was using from chemicals that I had no idea what they were to more sustainable and cleaner products that aren’t harmful for me and are also compatible with our Envirocycle. For those who haven’t come across an Envirocycle before, it is a unique system developed specifically to recycle domestic wastewater from the bathroom, kitchen and laundry and treat it in an underground tank constructed of concrete to a purity level approved by relevant health authorities throughout Australia. The Envirocycle method for treating sewage and sullage from domestic and commercial developments is based on the age old principal of separating solids from liquids allowing anaerobic bacteria (which does not require oxygen) and aerobic bacteria (which requires oxygen) to digest the waste.
Having this system for both our wastewater and our sewage has meant we have to pay close attention to what products are going down the drain to ensure we aren’t affecting the good work that the bacteria is doing to break down the contents.
As a result, I have turned to making a lot of the products that I use in the house for cleaning and washing and I am going to share some of the recipes that I have been using.
Homemade Oven Cleaner
Do you dread having to clean your oven? Even though our oven really wasn’t bad at all, the grime that was on there was baked on and wasn’t coming off easily. After doing a bit of research I came across a recipe and had some really positive comments along with it so decided to give it a go.
The recipe was:
- 3-4 drops of washing-up liquid
- 4Tbs of Baking Soda
- squeeze of a lime or lemon
- 5Tbs of Vinegar
Combine the first 3 ingredients and then when you add the vinegar go slowly as it will turn into a bit of science experiment and fizz up. Once you mixed it all together spread the paste onto the oven glass and inside and set it and forget it for a couple of hours.
When you return, you should be able to just wipe away the paste to a clean oven and if there are any majorly stuck on bits you might need a brush but it shouldn’t need much effort. You should now have a clean oven and still be able to smell and breathe unlike my previous experiences with other chemical laden products!
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
- Add citrus peel to a jar
- Cover with vinegar
- Leave to sit for at least 2 weeks
- Strain the peel out and dilute 1:1 with water
I use this on bench tops, stovetop, sinks and other things that you would normally use a spray and wipe on.
Dr Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap
I use these pure castile soaps for everything. From washing the dishes in the sink, cleaning windows and floors and using these with other ingredients to make dishwasher tablets and so much more, they are extremely versatile.
Homemade dishwasher tablets
Yes, dishwasher tablets are really expensive to buy and so cheap to make yourself. They also only take about 10 minutes so you should really give it a go!
Simply place the 3 ingredients below in a bowl and mix thoroughly together. I found a spatula was the best thing to use and was really handy in the next step. Once combined, you need to press the mixture into a silicone ice cube tray mould. I didn’t have any of these moulds and managed to pick up these silicone and plastic moulds for $2 from Kmart which were great and cheap. Press the mixture down a few times as it will start to rise a little. Once you have used up all the mixture, leave aside for 4 hours or overnight until the tablets go hard. The next morning, press the tablets out of the mould and store in an airtight container. These cost about $3.00-$4.00 to make and I got 39 tablets out of the mixture so for approx. 10c a wash, you really cant complain. If you can pick-up the baking soda and citric acid in bulk, it will be even cheaper.
- 1 Cup Baking Soda
- 1/4 Cup Citric Acid
- 1 Tablespoon Washing-up Liquid
- Silicone Ice Cube Tray
- Airtight Container for storage
These dishwasher tablets can also be used a toilet fizzy bomb too so just throw one in the bowl if it needs a deep clean.
Every kitchen should have some of these brushes. From the Redecker Vegetable Brush and Dishwashing Brush to pot scrubbers and heavy duty scrubbers for the bathroom or laundry I really love all of these products! They are made from sustainably sourced timber and are of high quality, are biodegradable and made of natural materials.
Homemade washing powder
This is fine to use in both front or top loaders.
- 2 bars of soap (cuts through grease and grime)
- 200g Epsom salts (fabric softener)
- 500g washing soda (breaks down dirt, grease and grime)
- 500g bi carb (brightens whites)
- 10-20 drops of essential oil of choice
Grate the soap and then combine with all the other ingredients in a food processor. I use the grating blade on the food processor on the soap first which makes life much easier. Whizz a few times until the soap combines with the other powders and turns into a thin powder consistency. Make sure you cover the top so the fumes and small granules don’t escape and let the processor sit for a few minutes to settle before opening and pouring into a tub for use. I use a scoop of this per wash and it has cleaned all the clothes perfectly.
I purchased the classic 6 box set which comes in the handy little caddy a few years ago and really like the products. Not only do they look great but they work really well, smell awesome and are environmentally safe. When I have used up the product I have also re-used the bottle for my homemade cleaners that I’ve made above. If you aren’t ready to make your own products, these are great to use as an alternative.
I have been buying my bulk products from New Directions which was a company suggested to me by Rebecca Sullivan aka “granny skills”. They sell a whole range of ingredients but I have bought Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Clays and a range of salts from them so far. They also sell butters, waxes, oils, bottles and more which can be used to make balms, body butters, candles and soaps.
I have bought my essentials oils from Australia Wholesale Oils and found them to be of a high quality.
I hope you are able to use some of these recipes to make a change in your household. If you have come across any others that you would like to share with me feel free to make a comment.