Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Return of the hubble bubble

You may remember that a while ago I set up a little trial to see if I could brew a natural citrus enzyme cleaner. Its been three months and a couple of days through the hottest summer on record and I reckon if anything is going to be fermented, it would have done so by now. There have been no signs of anything happening in the jar for a while now so I suspect it has gobbled up all its sugar and settled down. Time to open it up... I put it into a muslin lined sieve over a bottle to strain. The lemon chunks turned to lovely slime when I poked them with my finger. After it sat in the sieve for a while, there was almost nothing left except every vinegar fly in town had come to see what was happening! The smell is pleasant, fresh, lemony, slightly alcoholic and slightly drying to your skin. It looked cloudy at first but settled to a lovely clear liquid.

I set off with a little undiluted brew and some paper towel and tested it on glass, enamel, ceramic tiles, plastic, stainless steel and laminate flooring. It was brilliant on the stainless steel stove hood, cutting through the grease and a weeks dust easily and polishing up nicely with a dry piece of towel. Magic on the bathroom mirror too - no smears. Best of all was the dreaded shower screen where with a little extra elbow grease it cut through the build up of soap scum. The tiles and the laminate floor dried nicely, I was afraid that any remaining sugar residue may leave a sticky residue but it didn't.

I imagine that if you dilute the brew with hot water for greasy areas, you wouldn't have to rub quite so hard. For floor surfaces it is would be great used with a microfibre mop. I am going to add 1% of lemon scented gum essential oil to the bottle to add disinfectant and antibacterial propertiesto it and use it as an all purpose cleaner. It is certainly environmentally friendly and cheap and easy to make. I have another brew due next month that I have made with even less expensive white sugar.

You are not going to see before and after photos - I need to mop the other half of the kitchen floor; explain why one light switch is cleaner than the rest; why there is a nice clean circle of glass in the middle of the shower screen; why only the front of the stove and the handle of the refrigerator are clean. Who am I kidding? I'm the only one who will notice and I can ignore it for days if need be. I'm going to put on another brew to use up the last squishy lemons that would otherwise end up in the compost.

May your cleaning be painless,


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