Tag

cleaning

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

DIY Cleaning Spray

diy cleaning spray

I have got a great winter scented DIY cleaning spray for you today, that I’ve been using to naturally clean my home.

February is always a difficult month, I find. The clocks go back in October, and from then on in it’s the cheery march to all the end of year festivities, twinkly lights and delicious food and all. January comes, and it feels like a bit of a reset. A quiet time to take stock, reflect and make plans for moving forward.

And then comes February. Pesky February. Far away from the festivities to make them seem like a long distant memory. And far enough from spring that it doesn’t feel like the mornings and early evenings will ever be anything but dark. I tend to find the worst of the winter weather seems to bite in February too. Right now, it’s snowing and we’ve just come through Storm Ciara. Hibernation until Spring always feels like a good idea round about now.

I’m trying to change my mindset on winter, and recently I read an article on the Norwegian secret to enjoying winter. It turns out Norwegians view their long dark winters as something to celebrate, so I’m trying to bring about some of that Norwegian attitude to Scotland.

I’ve started small – adapting an old favourite natural cleaning recipe to make my home smell like a forest in wintertime. I may not want to go out in the snow today, but at least I can pretend I am. It’s a start, right?!

Here’s my favourite DIY cleaning spray recipe with a winter twist, that can be whipped up in seconds:

DIY Cleaning Spray Recipe

You Will Need:

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A 500 ml spray bottle

500 ml cooled boiled water

2 teaspoons liquid castile soap (the citrus, eucalyptus or peppermint Dr Broners liquid castile soap works particularly well in this recipe, but any version is fine).

10 drops pine essential oil

10 drops cedarwood essential oil

Method

Add the two teaspoons of liquid castile soap to your empty bottle (a funnel may help), and the essential oils.

Next add the cooled boiled water, and add the spray top.

Shake gently, and you’re good to go!

Directions for Use

This DIY cleaning spray is a great multipurpose spray that can be used all around the house. Shake well before use to disperse the oils and away you go.

If using on wood I always recommend spraying the cloth and then wiping your surface to avoid over saturating your wood, as this could cause it to warp.

Safety First

Keep all homemade cleaning products and their raw ingredients (particularly essential oils) out of the reach of children and pets.

Wear gloves for cleaning if you have sensitive skin.

Some essential oils aren’t recommended for use around children, pets, or during pregnancy. I’m off the personal belief, that using essential oils in this highly diluted manner for a product that is not ingested or applied to the skin doesn’t pose a risk – certainly not more of a risk than using conventional cleaning products. However, I would encourage you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions as to which, if any, oils are right for you.

Home, Home and Garden

Plastic-Free Dishwasher Detergent

plastic-free dishwasher detergent

plastic-free dishwasher detergent

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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!