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Home and Garden

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Homemade Oven Cleaner

homemade oven cleaner uk

Hello!  Today I wanted to share a recipe from Fresh Clean Home – my homemade oven cleaner.

This time last year I barely came up for air as I beavered away on writing the book.  Honestly, ask me what happened in May last year and I cannot tell you, aside from busying away in my kitchen and on my laptop, so it’s a huge relief that precisely 365 days later I can share the fruits of my labour with you!

Anway, back to the oven!  I really like my homemade oven cleaner recipe because no noxious fumes come off it.  It was recently reported that regular use of cleaning sprays has an impact on your lung health, comparable with smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.  My clean green oven cleaning gel has none of that nastiness, but all of the effectiveness.

The best part?  You can pick up all of the ingredients (mostly from the baking aisle!) next time you’re at the supermarket!

Homemade Oven Cleaner Recipe

from Fresh Clean Home

Is cleaning the oven your least favourite job?  Mine, too, my friend, mine, too.  I shan’t admit how often I clean my oven (you might judge me), but let’s just say it’s not as often as I should.

For me, the big problem is that I find the caustic fumes from conventional oven cleaners overwhelming.  Instead, I’ve come up with this oven-cleaning gel that does the trick without the noxious atmosphere.  The gel ensures the cleaner clings to the sides of your oven overnight, allowing the soda crystals to really get in and help dissolve the cooked-on grease and grime.  The result is a clean oven without the chemical stench.

homemade oven cleaner uk

Photography for Fresh Clean Home by Rachel Whiting

You Will Need:

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (buy it from the baking section of the supermarket or health food store)
2 teaspoons glycerine (again, but it from the baking section of the supermarket)
2 teaspoons washing-up liquid
300ml just-boiled water
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons soda crystals (find it in the cleaning aisle of the supermarket)

Makes: a single use gel

Use: immediately

Method

Put the xanthan gum and glycerine in a large bowl and stir well to fully combine. Add the washing-up liquid and stir again.

Put the just-boiled water in a jug and add the salt and soda crystals. Stir until the crystals dissolve.

Pour the warm solution into the bowl with the xanthan gum mixture and use a hand-held blender to pulse for 1 minute, until fully combined.

To Use

Switch off your oven at the socket and remove the racks from the inside.  Wearing rubber gloves, use a sponge or scrubbing brush to apply the gel liberally to the surfaces of your oven, including the door.

You can also use the homemade oven cleaner on your oven racks and trays, too, if you like.

Leave the gel on overnight, then in the morning, again wearing rubber gloves, use a scrubbing brush to give your oven a thorough clean.  If burnt-on spots remain, sprinkle over some bicarbonate of soda to give you some extra scouring power.

When you’re satisfied, wipe the oven down with a clean, damp cloth, rinsing the cloth in fresh water as necessary.

Warning: Do not use on aluminium surfaces.

Fresh Clean Home, packed full of natural cleaning recipes for every corner of your home, is available now through your local bookshop or via online sellers.  You can buy it here:

Amazon / Foyles / Hive / The Telegraph / Waterstones / Wordery

Home, Home and Garden

Plastic-Free Dishwasher Detergent

plastic-free dishwasher detergent

plastic-free dishwasher detergent

This post contains affiliate links, denoted by *

Hello!  In an ongoing quest to try and reduce my plastic usage let’s talk plastic-free dishwasher detergent.

In Fresh Clean Home I show you how I make 95% of my own cleaning products.  This saves on so much plastic.  The other 5%?  Dishwasher detergent and washing up liquid.  Both have eluded me.  Dishwasher detergent in particular.

After trying countless formulations and re-formulations, nothing cut the mustard.  Everything I tried either left a white film on all of our dishes, or a greasy film.  Sometimes, it even left the double-whammy – a white greasy film.  The worst.  The homemade dishwasher powder experimentation era in our house was a grim time.

I sat down and did some extensive research to see where I was going wrong and discovered that pretty much all commercial dishwasher tablets and powders, even eco-friendly brands, contain an ingredient called sodium silicate powder.  Sodium silicate rinses away food and soap deposits and is completely soluble in water.  As a result, dishes always come out clean and streak-free. 

Great, you’re thinking, just add sodium silicate powder to the ingredients of your homemade powder.   It’s not that simple I’m afraid.  Sodium silicate powder is only available commercially.  Its sale is very heavily restricted.  One supplier of sodium silicate powder says “we have a duty to control the supply of these chemicals and any private individual attempting to purchase these chemicals may have their details passed to the police in their area“.  Eco-friendlier shop-bought dishwasher detergent/tablets it is then.  The pursuit of homemade dishwasher powder is simply not worth the very real threat of getting listed as a suspected terrorist!

Eco-friendly dishwasher detergents/tablets are one or two a penny, but eco-friendly and plastic-free dishwasher detergent has proved to be a trickier thing to source.  Even Ecover tablets are wrapped in polypropylene plastic.  Here’s what I’ve found (that won’t get you in trouble with the law):

Plastic Free Dishwasher Detergent

plastic free dishwasher detergent UK

Ecoleaf Dishwasher Tablets (£12.85 for 70*; or £4.99 for 25*) are the only eco-friendlier AND plastic-free dishwasher detergent/tablet I’ve come across.  Made from plant-derived ingredients, the dishwasher tablets are free of phosphates, SLS, SLES, parabens, triclosan and synthetic fragrances.  They are also certified cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.  The one downside is that they do contain palm oil, but as in all aspects of ethical living, it is practically impossible to find a product that is 100% perfect in every way.

Each tablet is wrapped in a water soluble wrapper, that dissolves as your dishwasher starts running.  I initially worried that this wrapper might break down into something bad for the environment, or contribute towards microplastic, but Grist says no – it breaks down to carbon dioxide and water.

The dishwasher tablets are designed to leave your dishes sparkling clean, with a built-in rinse-aid, degreasing agents and powerful cleaning action.  I’ve been using them in our soft water area and I concur – I have found that they perform great on our dirty dishes and glassware, and I’ve had no issues with their cleaning ability.

Other Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Solutions

If Ecoleaf isn’t for you then the only other option I can find is by Faith in Nature.  Here you can purchase a 5-litre pack of dishwasher gel for £38*.  Although in a plastic carton, this is enough for up to 300 washes, which is an eco-friendlier low plastic option if you can afford to shop in bulk like this.  It is worth noting that this dishwasher gel also contains palm oil.

While searching for plastic-free dishwasher detergent I also came across Ecover Dishwasher Powder on Amazon, which is sold in a plastic-free recycled cardboard box.  It’s currently unavailable in the UK but is seemingly widely available in the United States.  When I checked on Ecover’s UK website it wasn’t listed as an available product.  Hence I did the decent thing and dropped Ecover an email enquiring if this was available to purchase anywhere in the UK.

Ecover responded with “At present, we do not have the dish-powder available to purchase in the UK.  I believe the reason is due to popularity.  We do collate customers interest in our products so I’ll certainly pass this on.  Hopefully, the more people who become interested in this product the more widely available it will be.   Thank you for taking an interest in our products.  Best Regards, Kay“.

Here’s Ecover’s Twitter handle – @ecoverUK – and here’s their email address – hello@ecover.com – so, if this is something you would like to purchase in the UK then you know what to do!

Have you found any other plastic-free dishwasher detergents?  Or have you been able to make your own dishwasher detergent successfully, without the horrible white and/or greasy films?  If so, you have my eternal respect!  Let me know in the comments below!