Some time ago, my aunt passed me a bottle of brown, citrusy-smelling liquid and said very proudly that she had made this very effective multi-purpose cleaner. She claimed it was so good it could replace any cleaning agent at home and save me some money, as well as protect the environment at the same time.
It was a bio enzyme cleaner and I have been using it to mop the floor since. I love to use it to clean the sinks and toilets too as they will turn out sparkling clean – so wonderful! Why not give it a try and make your own bio enzyme cleaner?
- Tap water
- Fruit peels
- Brown sugar
- Airtight plastic container
- Measure and add 1 part brown sugar, 3 parts fruit peels, and 10 parts water into the plastic container. Use any multiples thereof, maintaining the same ratio. (For example: 50g brown sugar, 150g fruit peels and 500g water)
- Cover the container tightly.
- Label the date on it.
- Shake the ingredients in the container to mix them thoroughly.
- For the next 3 months, open the lid of the container once every 2 days to let out the gas build-up from the fermentation process. Otherwise, the container will explode.
- After 3 months, filter the residue to get a clear, dark brown liquid. There is no expiry date for the enzyme once filtered.
The result is a home-made vinegar cleanser that can be used as an all-round non-toxic cleaner. It can smell really nice, depending on the fruit waste that goes into the fermentation – use orange, lemon, or pineapple peels/ pulps for a nice citrusy smell.
As the fermentation process takes a minimum of 3 months, it is best to stagger the enzyme-making in batches, with labels indicating when they are made. This will ensure a continuous supply.
Things to note
- Do not use metal or glass containers which cannot expand as gases build up, and will explode.
- Store the container in a dry and cool area away from direct sunlight – under the sink is a good place.
- Do not worry if you see a white, black, or brown layer that forms on top of the enzyme. It is naturally-occurring yeast that has come up for air. Keep releasing the gas and stir the mixture once in a while.
- If you see worms, this means that you have not kept the lid tightly closed. Add an extra portion of brown sugar in the container and cover it tightly. Continue to release the gas. The worms should then disappear.
- You can reuse the residue by combining it with fresh vegetable/ fruit peels as a starter for a new bio enzyme batch. It will hasten the fermentation process and the enzyme will be ready in 30 days.
- Diluting the bio enzyme with water for most uses will increase its effectiveness. This is especially important when using them as fertilisers for plants, where high concentrations are too acidic.
Start today and join me in turning kitchen waste into something restorative! Share tips on waste minimisation and recycling with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.