Leading a plant-based lifestyle, as the phrase implies, is not just about a diet, but embracing a lifestyle. It involves making conscious decisions that involve a level of mindfulness and compassion that transcends what we put in our mouths. Like the clothes we wear, the products we use and the manner in which we relate to and interact with other human beings.
Living as eco-friendly as possible, with as few contradictions as possible, certainly comes with this way of life, too!
Whenever I can, I try and reduce my wastage. One of the ways I do so is making my own enzyme cleaner.
It helps me re-use plastic water bottles, and makes great use of fruit scraps by fermenting them, creating this amazing magic potion that have saved you heaps of money on household cleaning products in the long run!
I use it to clean my laundry, my mirrors, my bathrooms… I’ve even dared to use some of it as a toner for my face!
Is it edible? Technically yes, I wouldn’t recommend it. HOWEVER. There was a time that my I absentmindedly poured a wee bit of of enzyme cleaner into a full flask of fresh homemade fruit juice. It ruined the entire flask, making it taste off. But a few hours later, I tasted it again, and the fermented taste and smell had disappeared. If anything, it must have added more enzyme goodness to the juice!
The ratio of making enzyme cleaner is:
1 part brown sugar
3 parts fruit scraps
10 parts plain water
Some tips on making enzyme cleaner:
- Any fruit / veggie scraps would work, but citrus peels are one of the most fragrant options for your cleaner. I’ve heard that pineapple scraps offer high enzyme value but I’m not too sure of that!
- ALWAYS store your enzyme cleaner in a clean bottle made of soft plastic. This is because gases can accumulate in the bottle from the fermentation process. Storing in containers or bottles made of hard, solid plastic or glass could result in an explosion! For this reason as well, do not seal your bottle cap too tight in the first few weeks of fermentation, and unscrew the cap every few days to allow gas to escape.
- Keep your preparation environment as sanitary as possible. The last thing you’d want to do is contaminate your solution, which turns it green / grey / black in colour. Should this happen, try and add a bit more sugar and allow it to ferment again, which would hopefully create more yeast and change the chemistry of the solution back to yellow. But this reversal process is hard to achieve.
- The ideal length of time to ferment your cleaner is 3 months, but the longer you keep it, the more potent the solution becomes. Remember to mark the date of ‘manufacture’ on the bottle every time you make a new batch of cleaner, to make it easier to keep track!
- Do note that this is a concentrated cleaner, so it’s best to use it diluted. But for hardcore cleaning matters, feel free to use undiluted.
I’ve only been fermenting my own cleaner for the past two years and I’m still learning about the wonders it can do. If you have any tips or suggestions to offer from your own enzyme-making experience, do let me know! Let’s learn together 🙂