I’ve been meaning to take the plunge and make my own cleaning products… for ages…. and just haven’t got around to it. Well, finally I did.
This is some “Citrus vinegar” brewing away.
The idea is that you 3/4 fill a jar with white vinegar, shove as many citrus peels in the jar as you can, put the lid on and leave it be for 2-3 weeks…. then strain out the peels and use the vinegar 50% diluted with either water or regular vinegar as a sort of “spray and wipe” substitute. I plan to do that, but also use it in other cleaning recipes that call for vinegar… since I love my hot chips with sauce to smell like vinegar, but my house… not-so-much.
Good thing I started saving all our pasta sauce jars! I was intending to fill them with nuts and rainbow cakes for Xmas presents, but this is much more fun!
I’ve written on the jar with whiteboard marker to date when the jar was filled, so can start the 2-3 weeks countdown. Which I can wipe off later, so it’s not spoling the jar. (I actually turned the pasta sauce jars around so you can’t see the mark, but was too lazy to turn the red-seal jar lol). I’ve been making a bit of lemonaid recently, from the lemons on our tree, so I have lots of lemon peels… Hubby takes an orange with his lunch every day, so I’ve asked him to save his peels, and encouraging MiniObsi to eat more oranges so I can keep an orange one happening… but I love lemon scent in cleaners, so I don’t mind if it’s mostly all lemon vinegar I make.
I first off just put the peels in as they came, but then I tried chopping them smaller so I could fit more in the jar… hoping to make it a bit more concentrated. I’ll see how that goes. They look very pretty though!
The came some Laundry liquid. (which isn’t as pretty to look at)
I used the recipe from here – http://down—to—earth.blogspot.com, but without the borax because we divert all washing water out onto the garden.
- 1 cup grated soap
- ½ cup washing soda (“letric soda”)
- ½ cup baking soda
I wasn’t sure if baking soda was needed as a replacement to the borax, but I figured it can’t hurt to pop it in. I already had grated plain olive oil soap from when I was making my own rebatched soaps, though it’s smelling a little “old” now (it’s a few years old) and it has gone yellow… I figured it would work fine for this. Maybe if I’d added a few drops of food colour it might have made a slightly more appealing looking liquid 🙂 but who cares
Very easy to do… just put that above in a saucepan with a litre and a half of water… heat it until the soap has all dissolved. Then pour that into a large bucket and add 8 litres of water.
I wasn’t sure how tightly packed the 1 cup needed to be, so I didn’t pack it tightly, but the mixture didn’t thicken really… so after leaving it overnight and it still wasn’t thick, I figured I’d probably only done the equivalent of half a cup, so I poured a litre of that mix back into a pot, added another loosely packed cup of soap and melted that down, mixed it all bath together.. and that thickened up nicely. So make sure your cup is a tightly packed one if you’re using hand grated soap that won’t be as fine as using pre-grated or flaked soaps.
I also added some eucalyptus oil to the mix, though next time I think I’ll use lavender, as I’m getting a bit sick of eucalyptus as I put it in most loads of laundry I do… But I think next time I’ll put the essential oil in after pouring it into bottles so I can make each bottle different (maybe lavender, lemon and eucalyptus ones)
You need to leave space to shake the mix before you use it, as it goes sort of clumpy and separates a bit – like you can see below….rather than a smooth liquid, but a bit of a shake fixes that. So I poured mine into 3 3litre milk cartons and one 2litre one… so that there was plenty of shaking room.
The recipe says to use 1/4 cup in a load, but I’m used to using less than recommended, and our clothes aren’t generally very “dirty” as such… so I think I probably used maybe 1/8 cup in the load I did to test it out – which was a cold water wash (I only wash in cold) and included my cloth pads…. and everything looked and smelled fine…. I call that a success!
Some people complain that their whites go grey with this – as it doesn’t have whitening chemicals added… but that doesn’t bother me because not only have I never used a laundry detergent that has brighteners added, we don’t own much white clothing anyway because it’s a stupid colour for clothing 😛
So, next on the agenda is to make dishwashing liquid…. and a cleaning spray when my lemon vinegar is ready… And a liquid soap (though I still have a lot of natural shampoo base I’ve been using as liquid soap as well, so I’ll wait for that to be used up before I make my own.
I’ve made a little homemade recipes booklet of interesting recipes like these that I’ve found online. You’re welcome to download and print out. It prints to an A4 page, which you then fold in half to make a smaller booklet. It prints front and back, so you’ll need to print page 1,3,5,7… then grab that stack pop it back in the printer (the correct way) and print pages 2,4,6,8.
It’s got recipes for laundry liquid, laundry powder, dishwashing liquid, dishwasher powder, liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner, spray cleaners, bath products, moisturiser, lip balm.. and more.