Blog post 3: DIY cleaning products

Most of my cleaning products…

Did you try to make some cookies? I hope it was a success. Each time you make some, it is a packaging less. If you don’t have time to bake every week, why not alternate?

Ready for a new challenge?

Cleaning products… we collect so many of them. Strangely enough, we can reduce them to a few of them: laundry powder, “all use cleaning, dishwashing detergent, and dishwasher soap. You’ll also need to store some of the ingredients for your home made-products (citric acid, soda, soap, vinegar), but you need very few of them.

First a funny story… I wanted to try the recipe from a friend called “toilets bombs”: I had to make some “ice cubes” with a mixture of baking soda and citric acid; and add a little bit of water to bind the mixture; but not too much otherwise the baking soda gets transformed in carbonic acid (H2CO3) and then in H2O and CO2 => bubbles).

 I thought “it will take me no more than 5 minutes”… yeah… I added much too much water… and it has been “making bubbles” for about 1,5 hours!!! I’m happy that I used a huge cooking pot…I had to keep stirring otherwise it would rise and get bigger and bigger and go over the pot every 2 minutes… so to go to the toilet, I had to run 😉

Laundry

Let’s starts with the one I like the most, and the easiest: the laundry powder.  I mix baking soda, crystal soda and soap flakes… done… 

You can also make liquid soap if you want; but I’m not fan of it. You have to cook your mixture, let it cool down and pour it into a bottle (hum… always a mess with me). Not so quick, so I’ll not share it on this website.

I’m probably like you: I want to be more ecological, but it fits my family life better if it doesn’t take too much time!

You can also do your laundry with Ivy or horse chestnuts! Very easy and free!

As softener, I only use vinegar! Easy, he?

All purpose cleaning

According to me, the second best time/quality product is the “all purpose cleaning”. Mix vinegar and water. That’s it. I promise that the smell of vinegar doesn’t stay in your house! I reuse spray bottles, and I’ve added a mark with a permanent pen to indicate the volume of vinegar I’ve to add. So, when I need to refill: Vinegar to the mark, and water to the top… And done!

If you want it to smell better when spaying it, you can add pieces of lemon or oranges for a couple of weeks (then remove it before it gets rotten); or add some drops of essential oil.

You can use this for cleaning your bathroom, windows, remove the dust in your living room,… Don’t use it on natural stone!!! (The vinegar destroys the limestone in your natural stone…I’ve done it once…don’t try it).

I’ve found a lot of other fancier recipes, but this one is very easy and quick and I’m happy with it!

All along this blog, I’ll try to keep to easy and quick solutions, hoping to motivating you to use some of them.

Toilet cleaning

For cleaning the toilet, I follow the advice from the “famille zero déchet”: a tea spoon of citric acid that I try to stick on the side (if you do it after flushing, it works). They add flour; … I tried it too, but as I’m always forgetting it for too long… the flour gets very sticky into the toilet…. You can alternate with baking soda and vinegar.

I also tried a recipe of “toilet bombs” (as explained here above). But, in fact, it contains citric acid and baking soda (+ essential oils). Water is to make it hard and have nice looking cubes. But if it is for yourself, you don’t need a good looking product, right? Just working products. If citric acid works, why make good looking cubes?

Dishwashing

Update October 2019: I’m now making my dishwashing powder.

Up till now, those are the recipes that I’m using often. It is maybe enough for you to start?

To buy the ingredients, I either buy at the zero waste shop in Antwerp (https://www.berobuust.com: Marseille soap flakes, baking soda) or ask the bio shop to order for me (paper bags of crystal soda from “la droguerie ecologique” https://la-droguerie-eco.com). But I’m still looking around for more packaging free. If I find a zero waste cheap solution, I’ll let you know. If you leave in Antwerp, I can buy it for you (I buy in big quantities to reduce transport pollution and transport cost).

If you have good tips, don’t hesitate to write me (ecowithkids@gmail.com or via the contact form).

Have fun,

Anali

PPS: and if you liked my post, don’t hesitate to “like” it, and to share it to friends and family!