All purpose cleaner
As daggy as it sounds, my favourite hot drink is lemon in boiling water. Once I’ve finished with the lemon pieces from my drink, I add them to a jar of white vinegar for a few days. I then strain the liquid into a bottle, add the same amount of water and use as a cleaning product. The remaining lemons I put in our compost rubbish (in our apartment we have a separate collection bin for compost).
I use this mix for all surfaces, sinks etc and to clean mirrors. My mother taught me that the best cloth to clean glass or mirrors is newspaper, and I’ve always found this to give the most sparkling result. Combing this home-made lemon cleaner with newspaper (I don’t buy Finnish newspapers so I grab used ones from our apartment paper collection bin or recycle paper used as packaging from second hand goods) gives a perfect clean and a great feeling or repurposing waste!
Liquid soap is not very eco-friendly in terms of packaging as most seems to come in single use plastic bottles. While solid soap on the other hand can be fairly easily purchased package-free or in recyclable cardboard. However for the bathroom sink I much prefer liquid as I find it faster to use and doesn’t leave the soapy scum often left behind by solid soap. So I recently made a big batch of liquid soap by boiling a large pot of water, adding chopped solid soap and some essential oils for extra scented loveliness. It’s much faster to make if you grate the soap instead of chop it but I was being lazy with grating. The thermomix would be even faster but I was hesitant to use it to make soap in case it left a residue.
Once I finally got my balcony garden up and flourishing I had another problem- aphids. They were everywhere on my zucchini plant and had started to spread to the strawberries and parsley :O. I found a simple diy recipe online which worked wonders.
In a spray bottle mix a little liquid soap (made as above) with water and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. I added some citronella essential oil as an added inspect repellent (and because I like the smell) then spayed liberally on the leaves of my invaded plants (making sure to get all the undersides of the leaves where aphids love to hang out). I repeated a few times over 2-3 days and was impressed with the quick result.
Congregations of aphids on the undersides of the leaves!