In recent times, we have seen a lot more people embracing DIY, and for good reason.
This is a great way to reduce your footprint, while being creative and fun at the same time. Perhaps you are wondering how and why do people DIY? With endless different types of packaged products ready for use at the store, there is something very satisfying about creating these everyday items yourself, knowing the ingredients that are used and tailoring it to your liking. This gesture will save you a lot of money in the long term and will positively contribute to your overall waste reduction. Roughly speaking, a household of 4 might go through 1 bottle of dish liquid per month (12 plastic bottles per year) and 1 bottle of bench spray every 2 months (6 bottles). With a DIY method, you can cut these numbers down significantly, saving on cleaning and beauty products.
DIY bench spray:
Ensure you have a reusable (or repurposed) empty dish liquid and spray bottle before beginning
1. Your main ingredient will be regular vinegar, apple cider vinegar or citrus vinegar**
2. Mix one of the above with equal parts vinegar and tap or filtered water
3. Top off with a few dashes of an essential oil (tea tree or eucalyptus oil are great for cleaning products, but use any oil of your preference!)
4. For acute disinfectant, you can add a splash (or equal parts to the water and vinegar) 70% or higher isopropyl alcohol.
DIY dish liquid:
1. The same as above, though we add a small scoop of bi carb soda and a pinch of salt before the essential oil (add slowly and carefully as the bi carb will react with the vinegar!)
2. It is optional here to use castille soap as well for extra suds
You will then have a bench spray and dish liquid ready to go! Each time you make it, play around with the ratios and you will find the right mixture and combination for you. See it as a fun experiment! And regardless, know that you are cleaning your dishes and home with a safe and minimal impact solution.
**Note: Citrus vinegar can be made by soaking squeezed lemons and oranges in a jar with vinegar for 1-3 weeks out of sunlight (fill with vinegar so the peels are covered). Squeeze the citrus peels before removing from the citrus infused vinegar and you will have yourself a citrus, acidic, wonderful cleaning solution!
You can dispose of the lemon and orange peels in a slow or hot compost bin, but don’t put them in a worm farm!