While pregnant with my daughter in 2012, my husband and I grew quite concerned with the synthetic cleaning materials we used at home. Around four months into the pregnancy, we decided that my husband will doing most of the cleaning, not because I am physically incapable, but because we felt the mainstream products were too harsh for me.
Fortunately, finding a substitute natural cleaner is so easy. Recipes for homemade cleaners are actually all over the internet, waiting to be discovered! I came across the product called homemade citrus enzyme cleaner. The original post I followed is from “The Happy Homemaker”. In the end, I still cleaned the toilet even at 37 weeks pregnant. Hahaha!
ANYWAY… we have been using the citrus enzyme since September 2012 (wow, that’s already 5 years!) and are happy with it’s cleaning powers. It’s so easy to produce and we love how we are using simple fruit peels that we get for free from the neighborhood fruit stand. I have completed over 50 batches, and I always have some ready to harvest in a month’s time.
Here’s how you can make your own:
CITRUS ENZYME CLEANER
– 300 grams fruit peels
This can be dalandan, lemon, pomelo peels. We use pineapple peels because these are always available in the market. It also smells nicer once fermented.
– 100 grams sugar
Brown or white is fine.
– 1 liter water
– 1 teaspoon yeast
– 2-liter wide-mouth bottle
Left: Freshly mixed cleaner
Right: After two weeks of fermentation
- Combine all the ingredients in a 2-liter wide-mouth bottle. Shake to mix thoroughly.
- Leave the cap slightly open.
- Shake every once in a while. Remember to close the cap first.
- Ferment for 2 weeks.
- Harvest by draining the liquid from the sludge. Use a funnel to store in your re-used PET bottles.
Harvested enzyme should be clear.
- GENERAL CLEANER (1 part enzyme, 10 parts water) – for wiping of surfaces, no need to rinse
- STAIN REMOVER (pure)
- FLOOR CLEANER (1 part enzyme, 10 or 15 parts water) – for wiping of floors, no need to rinse
- DISHWASHING LIQUID (pure, add squirts of dishwashing liquid for suds)
- BATHROOM CLEANER (1 cup enzyme, 1/2 cup liquid cleaner, 5 cups water) – spray and leave on surfaces first before scrubbing
- CLASS/MIRROR/STOVE CLEANER (1 part enzyme, 3 parts water) – great for those oily surfaces on your stove
- SINK and DRAIN BLOCKAGE CLEARER – use blended sludge of enzyme and leave overnight
Sludge after fermentation.
Some additions, optional:
- 1 cup of white distilled vinger for every 1 liter enzyme for more cleaning power
- 1 cup orange/lemon-infused vinegar for a nicer scent. To make this, simply put peels on vinegar and leave for 2 weeks.
Doula Ros Padua is a Certified Birth Doula under DONA International (Doulas of North America). She is also a Certified Breastfeeding Peer Counselor of Breastfeeding Pinays, Inc. and a teacher at Kindermusik Philippines. Doula Ros is now training to be a Lamaze-Certified Childbirth Educator.