How to Make Green Cleaners from Kitchen Waste
Notes from Sue Visser’s Demonstration 28 October 2011 Hout Bay Green Fair
We Cause Our Own Foul Problems
We throw away a lot of useful components every day because we are unaware of the potential value they have in terms of greening our environment. This includes the raw material we can use for making kitchen enzymes, probiotics, fertilizers and compost. We spend money buying these products and also have to buy chemicals to kill flies, deodorise and scrub drains, toilets and especially dust bins. We get poisoned by the chemicals we use to clean our homes. We take probiotics to boost our immunity and the penny never drops!
We share common bin rooms at the housing complex that we live in. For most of us, these are stinky places full of flies, maggots and rotten waste. All that can change with a bit of discipline, as we are now demonstrating. Garbage enlightenment, I call it. We teach people that they are responsible for the flies and maggots. Initially flies are attracted to the wet kitchen or bathroom waste in our homes. Flies love that smell and lay eggs on kitchen scraps, soiled nappies, and even an apple cores, if we just toss them in the dustbin.
After a day or two, people add fish heads, dog poo and stinky scraps to their bins. Then they toss everything into the communal bin rooms. Some of this lands on the floor and as you know, some people just throw bags through to open door because of the stink within. The flies have a slap up meal and out come the maggots! All that can change with the use of bio-friendly cleaners that eat up garbage and odour for breakfast! Our bin room is under a new discipline. It no longer stinks and to the extent that people wrap up their wet waste in newspaper, there are less, if any flies and maggots. We disinfect the bins, floors and drains with homemade enzyme based cleaners. This has resulted in no more smell, flies or mess.
Anybody can make the basic enzyme brew.
A 5 litre bottle that contains a 3 month old liquid made out of kitchen waste looks and smells pretty rotten. Why would anybody want to collect old peels and keep adding sugar and water to make such a stinky brew? I thought so too, until I did research on probiotics, efficient microbe technology (EM) and what they call “garbage enzymes.” They are all used to make “green” disinfectants and home cleaners!
We have a number of “green” cleaning agents for sale in supermarkets these days but few of us realize that one of their active ingredients comes from stinky rotten kitchen waste! It is innocently called EM or disguised biologically active components, should you read the fine print. In other words, these bio-friendly products contain special live bacteria that can cut the grease, zap the bad bugs and leave your toilets and drains free from odour and grime. You too, can make your own enzyme cleaner and have fun with this basic recipe.
The Classic Garbage Enzyme Brew
1 cup of sugar
3 cups of chopped up fruit and vegetable waste.
10 cups of water
Combine all the ingredients in an old 5 litre bottle.
Shake the bottle every few days and then let the gas escape by loosening the lid. Close it again.
Wait for 3 months. It should turn black in colour. Strain the liquid into a bottle. Use the solids in your compost heap or bury them in the vegetable garden.
You have now created your own enzyme cleaner! It can be diluted and used as is for a spray disinfectant.
Modifications for more pleasing effects:
Add a little dishwashing liquid to your cleaner for a soapy cleaner.
Add a few drops of eucalyptus, pine or lavender oil for fragrance.
Some people use any old scraps, including bones and cabbage. For a more fragrant elixir only use fruit that is enzyme active and that contributes to the overall bouquet. Orange, lemon and grapefruit peels provide Limonene, an oily detergent that helps to repel flies. Just add the rind, for more of this precious and fragrant oil. Useful items are: pineapple skins and especially the chopped up leaves because they contain yeast and bromelain. Paw paw skins contain the enzyme papain. Strawberries, peaches, carrots and mangoes provide 4-hydroxybenzoic acid ( = PARABENS). This is an essential factor in aerobic respiration and it aids the decomposition of waste into beneficial microbes. (Some people are terrified of parabens. You can read up on the truth about parabens on this website.)