Earlier this summer, I shared some recipes for making apple cider vinegar with the mother, both for its health benefits and its cleaning properties. I use it in my chickens’water to improve gut health and clean their coops with great results, however, I am less than enthusiastic about using it inside our house due to the vinegar scent, fleeting though it may be. So, I decided to try my hand at another fermented multipurpose product, affectionately referred to as garbage enzymes, eco-enzyme or O3 enzyme. Not being a fan of the usual names for this versatile product, I call it Lemoncello Enzyme Cleaner as it is made using primarily lemon rinds and the end result is alcohol. Makes sense and sound much more appealing, don’t you think? **NOTE: This is not intended for human or animal consumption**
Much has been written about fermenting fresh kitchen scraps that result in organic, alcohol-based, eco-friendly, multi-purpose cleaners, so I won't re-hash that information; citations are provided below for further reading on the subject. The essence of the concept is that organic material such as lemon rinds can be combined with sugar and water to produce an inexpensive, natural cleaning product. Sounds good to me! The concoction requires a 3 month fermentation period, so some patience is required. I started mine in August using the following recipe:
Lemoncello Cleaner Recipe
1 cup of brown sugar (not white)
5 lemons (rinds and/or sliced lemons. I added a lime too)
4 cups water
Add lemons and brown sugar to a 2 liter bottle and add water.
Cap the bottle tightly and shake until sugar is dissolved.
*LOOSEN cap to allow pressure from the fermentation process to escape. *
Date bottle and place in a convenient location that will be accessed daily as it must be shaken regularly, ideally several times daily.
Before agitating, slowly loosen cap to allow gases to escape, then tighten cap fully and shake.
Again loosen cap before storing the bottle.
At the end of 3 months, strain the liquid into a clean container, composting the citrus rinds.
Some of the garbage enzymes articles offer varying dilution ratios for use, but I haven’t been able to find the justification for it and don’t dilute mine. I have used it to clean my engagement ring, chicken coop, kitchen counters, refrigerator shelves and more with brilliant results. The scent that is left behind is delightful! In the last few weeks of fermentation, various herbs such as lavender or thyme may be added to make a more complex scent profile.
|I discovered this week that the Lemoncello cleaner is an outstanding pine sap remover AND it left my hands smelling fantastic!|
As I was writing this blog post, one of my fellow bloggers and chicken-keepers, Jennifer Sartell of Iron Oak Farm, published an article about the benefits of chicken coop cleaning with vodka.
|Image courtesy of Iron Oak Farm, used with permission.|
In her article, Jennifer cites the following benefits of cleaning the coop with vodka:
kills mold and mildew
fabric freshener (for nest box curtains and window treatments)
can be used to make tinctures by adding lavender, vanilla beans, etc.
Whether using apple cider vinegar or alcohol to clean the home or chicken coop, both are effective, organic, natural choices that are good for the environment and the health of both chickens and humans.