DIY Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner

I love citrus. At the moment every time I walk into the lunchroom I get these beautiful wafts of oranges and mandarins. Then comes afternoon tea and I get to devour a nice fresh lemon… don’t judge me… I am pregnant and I am allowed to eat weird stuff! But it did pain me to see all the peels getting chucked in the trash especially considering that so many cleaners boast about their citrusy scent or about how powerful they are due to the use of real lemons! As with most things I have decided that it would be much easier (and healthier) to go straight to the source, which is always nature.

Looks almost good enough to eat!

Unless you have your own citrus tree (lucky you) you might not get through enough peel to make a lot of this. Firstly, as long as you put it in the fridge your peel will last up to ten days. Secondly, a good trick is to put a container in the kitchen at your office and ask people to put their peel there instead of the bin. Anyone that follows my Facebook page may remember that at first I got called a ‘freak’ for this email request BUT by the end of the week I had had plenty of interest in the recipe and I had enough peels to make a good few batches of cleaner. Once it is ready I am going to take it into work (along with the recipe) to show people how well it works. Sharing the eco love people!

What You Need

  • Citrus peels – any kind! If you want an extra strong cleaner use only orange peels
  • Bicarb soda
  • White vinegar
  • Essential Oil (optional)
  • Something to scrub with – scourer, dish brush, nail brush
  • Old jars
  • Old spray bottle (use one of the containers that used to hold your nasty cleaner!)

Method

1.  Gather your peels and place in a bowl.

2. Cover with water and then sprinkle bicarb soda quite liberally over them.
3.  Dip the peel and give a quick scrub. Place the scrubbed peel into a colander. (This is to remove all the nasty chemicals from the peels and make it a truly natural cleaner).
4.  Once all the peels have had a quick scrub rinse them thoroughly.
5.  Place all the peels into a jar.
6.  Fill the jar up to the level of your peels with vinegar.
7.  Store in a dark, cool place for between 2 weeks and a month. Shake it once a week if you remember – make sure the lid is on tight!
8.  Shake the mixture vigorously then pour the mixture into a container, straining the old peels.
9.  Mix 1 part vinegar mix with 1 part water and pour into your spray bottle! If you would like add ten drops of an essential oil with antibacterial qualities (i.e. teatree, lavender or lemon).

It is a fantastic cleaner and will work on most surfaces (not glass) and strong stains. Be careful if you use only orange peels as the oil in orange peel is very strong and can be quite abrasive. It is always best to do a spot test.

At first I had hoped that this could be used as a detergent but I want to actually test that recipe before I just send it out there as I am not sure quite how well it will work. This one I have used before and it is tried and test! As soon as I try the detergent mix though I will make sure I report back to you all.

Happy Cleaning!

P.s. This is also a great plastic free cleaning recipe if you are partaking in Plastic Free July. See here to register

DIY Ginger Tea

Vegan – Vegetarian – Gluten Free – Quick

Time-  15minutes 
Serves as many as you like!

There is something very satisfying about brewing your own tea and it can be a really love end to a dinner party – especially in a vintage teacup and saucer.  Even better, there can be massive health benefits from brewing from scratch as well! Ginger is not only absolutely choc-a-block full of antioxidants but it also sooths sore throats, KO’s any fluey bugs and is great for indigestion. I use cabbage a lot in cooking and salads which is great – apart from the bloating factor. I have started having this tea after every cabbage-centric meal and it seriously does wonders for your belly.  The great thing about this tea is that there are so many variations (hot and cold) that you can try out. Give it a whirl…

 Ingredients

  • Water – 1 cup per person
  • Fresh Ginger Root – about 6cms per person
  • (Optional Variations listed below)

Method for Easy Peasy Ginger Teasy 

  • Boil kettle with 1 cup of water per person
  • Remove ginger skin and grate. 1 tablespoon per person
  • Put grated ginger into a teapot (or microwave safe jug) and pour boiling water over it.
  • Allow to steep for at least five minutes. I left mine for ten and it was amazing… the longer you leave it the stronger it tastes.
  • Add any variations you  can think of (some suggestions below)
  • Pour into a delightful little cup – preferably with a floral design on it
  • Enjoy!

Variations

This is only limited by your imagination. Ginger is a versatile flavour that can be paired with so many different ingredients. Here are some of my faves;

  • Squeeze Lime or lemon in at the end for a tart tangy tea
  • Add some Agave Nectar, Stevia or Honey for a sweeter tea
  • Grate nutmeg while it is steeping and squeeze some orange into it at the end
  • Add a cinnamon quill for a spicy sip
  • You can also cool it and use it in summer punches or as a mixer
  • Bruise some fresh mint leaves. I used these fresh chocolate mint leaves from my garden…