Why throw natural household cleaners into the trash can? Go green instead.
There are many be benefits to be had from converting kitchen waste into what is now called garbage enzymes. The raw materials are available to us all and cost next to nothing. In countries like Malaysia for instance, using enzyme cleaners made of kitchen scraps, water and sugar has changed the environment for the better. A lot of people have been encouraged to make and use the enzymes for general household cleaning. They also pour them down drains, sewers and open water systems to restore the natural balance of microbes in the environment. Garbage enzymes are eco-friendly, cost-effective and good for us, our pets, our homes and our planet. They really work, as you will find out and. Make some and you will be doing something really good that makes a big difference to life on this planet and all who depend on her.
We cannot fight the way nature works with rotten stuff
We peel and chop up our fruit and vegetables and then toss the scraps into the kitchen bin and have to empty out what becomes stinking, rotten garbage. Yuk! We then reach for powerful cleaning products to sanitize and deodorize the bin again. We blast the flies with a poisonous insect spray. After a few days the flies are back, maggots crawl around, the stench is overwhelming and we have to take out the garbage again. On the internet there are many suggestions about killing maggots. Maggots look like hideous worms but they are the larval stage of flies that lay their eggs in the fermenting kitchen waste.
Good wet waste management gets rid of odour, flies and maggots
I also found out that trying to kill maggots is just about impossible. Once threatened by chlorine, petrol or other deadly chemicals, the maggot converts to the pupal stage and becomes sealed off in a metamorphic capsule. Sooner or later another fly will hatch out. They actually do have a purpose just like all of God’s creatures - no matter how hideous they may look! In modern medicine special maggots are bred and used by doctors to clean up septic wounds on patients. They do a better job because they are designed to clean up yucky stuff. They are also a good source of food for birds, especially chickens who relish them. We can respect the cleaning jobs nature takes care of and help the process along but maggots don’t have to live in your house.
You can find out how to control flies and maggots by linking to the article that I wrote on Info Barrel. Always wrap up wet kitchen or household waste in a few sheets of newspaper and you won’t have any flies buzzing after it. The newspaper parcel also prevents maggots from escaping out of their bespoke new living quarters.
You can make a counter top waste collector with a plastic tub, lined with newspaper. Always keep the lid closed and you will not attract flies or midges. This is a good way to collect the material for making your garbage enzymes and the other leftovers can be buried to make compost in the garden.
How to keep flies and midges out of the kitchen with a simple trap
Fruit flies and midges are attracted to the carbon dioxide gas that fermenting waste releases. Lure them outside with a trap made from a plastic bottle. Put a cup of water, some yeast and sugar or pineapple skins inside the bottle. Close the lid and make a few holes is the side of the bottle. In go the flies and they stay trapped inside because they fly upwards to try to escape.
Appreciate the value of microbes and enzymes
Handling stinky household waste is not a pleasant task. But the topic is great to talk about on TV. I love to share recipes for household cleaners, probiotics, air fresheners with a live audience but it is more important to give a well illustrated guide that people can refer to constantly.
It is important to know why overdoing the disinfecting with harsh chemicals is a self-sabotaging mission. It shows how little we understand about what we call rotten stinky stuff that is actually closely linked to natural biology. This discussion provides simple solutions to all of this. But we first need to understand a bit more about the world of microbes and enzymes. Planet earth has a very efficient protocol to break down and recycle every morsel of plant or animal life. That includes us, because eventually a corpse is reduced to compost or ash to enrich the soil!
All creatures great and small are part of a complicated food chain that ends up as nutrients for the soil to feed plants. Plants win in the end, as we know because it is said that one day we will all be pushing up daisies! During the process of decomposition we provide food for maggots and earthworms. Nothing is wasted. But in our modern homes it is another story. Man is trigger happy with an arsenal of killer chemicals to clean and sanitize the place. Kill the germs! Then we exterminate all the microbes and enzymes that produce the best home cleaners of all.
How to make your own enzyme cleaners
If you are a curious DIY fanatic like I am, you will be keen to start brewing up your own enzyme cleaners. It takes a long time to produce a perfect and pleasant smelling “bio-zyme” concoction but there is very little effort involved. I find now that I only need to set up my brew twice a year and it costs next to nothing to keep the home fresh, fragrant and free of pathogenic microbes. I let the enzymes take care of that. They wage my war against cat pee, vomit and other unmentionable deposits on Persian carpets. Here are the tried, tested and trusted recipes that work the best.
Limonene from citrus peel – smells great and cuts the grease
Pack thin strips of orange, lemon or grapefruit peel into a glass jar.
Pour in white vinegar to the brim.
Close the lid and leave the jar in a warm place for at least a month.
Shake up the bottle. Pour off the liquid and strain it through a cloth.
The liquid will be a beautiful orange to yellowish colour from the citrus oil that has the active and fragrant grease cutting chemical known as limonene.
Dilute the extract with the same amount of water and fill up a spray bottle.
This is the classic recipe for a limonene spray. Use it for cleaning windows, tiles and mirrors. Be careful on other surfaces because the extract of citrus oil known as limonene is quite corrosive.
Variations for limonene-based sprays
Once you have mastered the art of this spray you can try a few variations.
Use vodka or ethanol instead of vinegar to extract the limonene. It produces a higher yield.
To the citrus peel, add fragrant herbs that are rich in oil. Good choices include rosemary, rose geranium and lavender. A few whole cloves and cinnamon sticks will add to the insect repelling effect.
Cinnamon is great for enhancing working surfaces made of polished granite. You can sprinkle on some cinnamon powder and rub it in with a damp cloth. Seeing is believing!
The mixture of peels and liquid can be macerated in a blender before soaking. Afterwards strain the pulp through a cloth. Squeeze out the liquid and spread the solid residue on newspaper on a tray. Dry it out in the sun and add to your potpourri to freshen it up.
The basic brew for bio-enzymes
On the internet there are impressive reports on what they call garbage enzymes. I prefer to call them bio-enzymes to ease the confusion. But true, they are made from fermented kitchen scraps of fruit and vegetables that get thrown away as garbage.
What are the best raw materials to use for your first attempt?
We only need 750 ml of vegetable matter, 500 grams of sugar and 5 litres of water.
The richest source of enzymes comes from papaya skins and pineapples. Papaya contains papain; an enzyme that helps to break down protein. Pineapples also break down protein and contain bromelain. O lot of our offensive spills around the house are protein based. (Yes vomit, baby mess, animal excreta, etc.) Banana skins produce a lot of ethanol gas to speed up the conversion of this waste into enzyme and probiotic soup.
People say you can use any bits and pieces, including meat, bones, cabbage and so on. Just remember that you want the product to smell pleasant, so these items are not essential. It is easy enough to make a nice fruit salad out of papaya, pineapple and banana and chop up the leftovers for a simple and very potent bio-enzyme base. This combination aids digestion and can be enjoyed as a starter or side dish with protein-rich meals.
- Take a 5 litre bottle and add the fruit and sugar:
- 750 ml chopped papaya, pineapple and banana.
- 500 g sugar. (Sugar is not all bad news!)
Optional: 15 ml of a liquid probiotic (EM) starter culture with a good choice of strains that include a balance of aerobic and anaerobic, light and dark sensitive as well as acid versus alkali activated cultures.
- Fill the bottle with water but not right to the top.
- Lightly screw on the lid so that some of the gas can escape.
- Leave the bottle to brew up for 2 – 3 months.
- For the first few weeks, release the gas if you see the bottle expanding.
- To extract the liquid, sieve the contents of the bottle.
- Strain the liquid through a cloth to refine the mixture.
- Keep it in a dark bottle and use it diluted with 3 parts of water.
How to use your bio-enzyme base
To clean drains and toilets, pour a little of the base liquid down kitchen or bathroom drains or toilet bowls. The enzymes will begin to feast off the murk and mire within. Do not confuse the issue by chasing it with chlorine, ammonia, salt or anything that will kill off your enzyme soldiers. When repeated often enough, the slit clears up and the odours will go away. To freshen up the place, use your limonene spray.
Add some of the base liquid to your laundry for a pre-wash soak. Use it in a bucket of water to clean the floor and especially your bin room. You can add a mild liquid soap to the enzyme base and a few drops of essential oil to make it more fragrant.
Take it further and make a second brew with fragrant herbs
Use some of your enzyme base for a second brewing session. Try this for a natural bio-busting household decolorizing spray. This is the bottle I keep handy to deal with a visiting card from the neighbour’s tom cat. It stops cats from smelling their own spray and that of their competitors. It keeps you house bio-friendly and saves the hassle of scrubbing the mess.
- Add to a blender goblet:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup bio-enzyme base
- Scissor-chopped sprigs of rosemary, lavender, lemon grass, citrus rind or whatever you can find
- Macerate all together in the blender
- Transfer the mixture to bottle or large jar and close the lid
- Label it with the date and what you added. Make a note of the ready to use date in your diary
- Leave it to mature for 2 months.
After a few weeks a solid plug forms at the top. You may see some mould growing, but it does not smell too bad and is beneficial. Not even as bad as army cooking. Mix it up, pour the sludge into a sieve that is lined with a cloth and drip out the liquid. Then gather up the cloths in your hands and squeeze out the rest of the liquid. The residue in the cloth is good to dig into your garden to encourage further biological transformations.
The liquid you now have should have a dominant fragrance of the herbs you added. Mine smells of lavender, rose geranium, citrus and rosemary. Although not a perfume, it makes a terrific home freshener and sanitizer. Dilute it with three parts of water and you will see what I mean. This is great to use for shoe cupboards, showers, car upholstery, carpets and iffy mouldy places.
To make a foaming all-purpose cleaner
- 1 cup of your fragrant bio-enzymes
- 1 cup of commercial “green” dishwashing liquid
- 1 cup of boiling water mixed with 10 ml borax crystals
This can now be used as your basic cleaner for daily use and is good for heavy-duty cleaning jobs. Use your limonene spray to clean tiles and glass, etc. Spray away the stinky stains with your bio-enzyme spray and rest with a clear conscience that nature is doing most of the housework for you and you are no longer interfering with the process.
The feel good factor of going green and helping your home and planet
Now we can congratulate ourselves. Wallow in the feel-good vibe of knowing that we can clean the house, the car, our pets, the drains and toilets and all the stinky areas in a way that is safe, efficient and eco-friendly. The enzymes help to heal and detoxify our water systems and the soil. They break down organic waste and help to release more nitrogen and ozone into the atmosphere.
People who live in green houses should not use harsh chemicals.
If you can't make your own then buy enzyme cleaners
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How garbage enzymes can clean up our city drain waste
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