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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Clean bathrooms effortlessly (A tip a day for Chemical-free homes)

In spite of realizing the magic of Bio Enzymes, bathroom cleaning is still one area where Bio Enzyme seems to fail many people.

Here's how to use Bio Enzyme for the bathroom with as less elbow grease as possible and still have a sparkling, clean bathroom at the end of it. It will also help repel cockroaches and other insects, and act as an odour eliminator.

Post the cleaning, if there are any lingering smells of the Bio Enzyme, don't worry - it will dissipate within a day or two.

Have any other related tip for cleaning bathrooms naturally? Do feel free to comment.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Getting rid of Mosquitoes naturally

The one question that everyone wants an answer to these days is "How to get rid of mosquitoes naturally?" without resorting to using products from the market that are loaded with chemicals.

Whether you are using coils, liquid vaporizers, creams, sprays or any other product for warding off mosquitoes from your home, one thing that you MUST must know is that most of these products contain insecticides and chemical compounds that are not only dangerous for the insects but also for us!!

Here, take a look at some of the common chemicals found in these products and take a decision whether you still want to plug that liquid vaporizer above your heads at night.

Mosquito coils contain various versions of pyrethroid/pyrethrum, DEET (pesticide), bis-chloromethyl ether, formaldehyde and others. These are known carcinogens which can cause respiratory issues and lung cancers. They say burning one coil is equal to burning over 50 cigarettes! 

Mosquito Sprays contain solvents such as ethanol/propanol, a volatile propellant (Propane or Butane), fragrances, and insecticide/pesticides including pyrethroid and DEET. The common side effects are nervous system disorders, liver problems, immunity compromise, etc 

Liquid Vaporisers usually contain kerosene, insecticide/pesticide (DEET or allethrin!!), and fragrances. These chemicals are known to cause allergies, headaches, lung related issues, frequent cold and cough, asthma, etc.

So, the next time your child gets a cold or a cough, the problem might be right in your bedroom.

Now, what is a natural solution for this? How can we get rid of Mosquitoes easily and naturally? Well, turn to our ancient practices :) Here are a few tried and tested methods that has worked for me and my friends - try out one or more of it and see what works for you. You might also want to keep changing the method once in a while lest the tiny ones get used to it and become resistant!

Method 1: Burn an Oil Lamp with Neem Oil/Sesame Oil/Mustard oil and keep near entrance ways and rooms. Add powdered camphor and a few drops of essential oils such as Eucalyptus or Peppermint.

Method 2: Use a natural floor cleaner such as Bio Enzyme (can be used as a room spray or de-odouriser as well). Bio Enzymes has been known to repel mosquitoes naturally.

Method 3: Keep pure camphor in a bowl of water (replace every day or once in two days when camphor evaporates)

Method 4: Use a mix of Neem Oil (40-50%), Citronella EO few drops and Coconut oil (40-50%) mix and put in the mosquito repellent bottle we get when you buy the commerical repellants. Plug in, heat and use as you would the commercial product. Alter the ratio of neem oil and coconut to find the concentrate that works for you

Method 5: Use pure Sambrani and burn a few neem leaves along with it every morning/evening

Method 6: If there are too many mosquitoes or if you are in an open area, you might want to make a Mosquito trap with a plastic water bottle (leftover, dont buy one for this!!). Cut the neck of the bottle and insert into the bottom part of it; in the bottom part, put 1 cup of water, few spoons of sugar and 1 spoon of dry yeast. Watch for fermentation to start just like Bio Enzyme. Once its kickstarted, cover the outer surface with a dark cloth or paper. Seal the two parts of the bottles together. Now keep this in dark corners in the house/outside and watch it trap the mosquitoes!! As the yeast ferments, it will release CO2 which will attract mosquitoes and the bottle contraception will trap them!

Method 7: Make your own Mosquito repellant - Take 1-2 cups of dry neem leaves and garlic peels (equal quantity), few cloves, long pepper, 2-3 bay leaves and crush to a coarse powder in the mixie. Add sambrani as well and few drops of essential oil for fragrance. Now, take a bit of this powder and add water to it little by little till you get to a stage where you can shape the powder into a solid form (when it will hold without breaking). Just shape it into cones or pipe form and dry in shade for 2-3 days. Now, your repellant is ready. Just light it up like you would sambrani/incense stick and keep in the room before dayfall. Close the doors and windows and let the smoke fill the room if possible. Do not be in the room if possible. After 15-30 mins, open the doors and use as usual.

Additionally, invest in a mosquito bat and use as required!

Please do not use any chemical-based mosquito repellants or creams - they cause more harm than good.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sowing the seeds of one and being content with the harvest you get - Literally as well as Figuratively

I have always been a huge fan of letting my garden grow wild. While I do sow seeds sometimes (barring the first two years when I did pay attention to sowing seeds religiously), nowadays most plants in my balcony grow on their own - either through self-seeding as in the case of Greens, Tomatoes and others or through Compost as in the case of Lemons, Greens, and few others or from seeds that were leftover from a sowing spree long back.

These days, it only looks like I have to think of having a certain plant growing in my garden and making a mental To do list to take out the seeds and sow...and what do you know, it's already there in my garden growing from the compost/previous batch. Such synchronicity does not amaze me anymore for I am slowly coming to accept the magic of Nature. For those that are ready to take such things as the new normal and for those that believe talking to plants is as normal as to talking to your friends, a world of wonder sure awaits eagerly.

In a beautiful explanation that talks about something similar (albeit with a meaning that is much much more deeper), the following verses from Tirumantiram have captured my heart.

By sowing the seed of brinjal, the balsam-pear sprouted 

I dug at the dust, the pumpkin flowered 

The gardeners ran away by worshipping

The plantain became a fully-ripened fruit

-Tirumantiram: 2869

A quick garden tour to let you know what I mean:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A ready reference to replace all your household cleaning products with Natural alternatives

We can easily replace every chemical product we use at home with a natural alternative. Sometimes, these natural alternatives even work better than the chemical ones aside from being environment and health friendly, not to mention pocket-friendly as well!

Here's a quick list of alternatives I made against the typical household cleaning needs. Do take a look and let me know if you think I have missed out anything in particular. If you are using any of the natural alternatives, would love to hear your feedback on it OR if you have a better recipe/alternative, please do share.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Making Soapnut Liquid (Cook and No cook method)

Here's how you can prepare the All Purpose Cleaner aka Soapnut Liquid

The various uses of this All Purpose Cleaner (!!) are:
  • All Purpose Cleaning (If you can imagine it, you can clean it!!)
  • Laundry 
  • Floor Cleaning (without Bio Enzyme, especially for Marble, Cuddapah and other such surfaces)
  • Hand wash
  • Fumigation/Pest repellent

There are three ways again in which you can prepare Soapnut Liquid.
  1. Method 1: Cook with Water 
  2. Method 2: Steep in hot water and let soak overnight 
  3. Method 3: Soak in water and Bio Enzyme and let soak for 5-7 days
The last method is by far the easiest and will give you a long shelf life.

Let's look at each of these methods in detail:

Method 1:
  1. Take about 1 cup of Soapnuts (with or without seeds). Soak it in 3 -4 cups of water for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook them for 15-30 minutes till the water turns completely dark and the Soapnuts release all their surfactants.
  3. After the solution cools down, smash the Soapnuts in hand and ensure all the juices are extracted.
  4. Let it sit overnight (with the Soapnuts)
  5. Next day morning, filter out all the solids. The resulting liquid is your All purpose cleaner.
  6. You will need to use it up in 3-5 days. Or simply refrigerate it and use it as and when you need it. You may also prepare a large batch and freeze it.
  7. For about 6 kgs of laundry, you will need 100-150 ml of Soapnut liquid.

Method 2:
  1. Take about 1 cup of Soapnuts (without seeds)
  2. Soak it in 3 -4 cups of HOT WATER.
  3. Close and let sit overnight.
  4. Next day morning, filter out all the solids. The resulting liquid is your All purpose cleaner.
  5. You will need to use it up in 3-5 days or refrigerate.
Method 3 (No cook):

  1. Take about 1 cup of Soapnuts (with or without seeds)
  2. Soak it in 2 cups of water + 2 cups of Bio Enzyme. Ensure the entire Soapnut batch is completely covered by the liquids.
  3. Let sit for 5 – 7 days.
  4. On 7th day, squash all the Soapnuts well such that the seeds almost come out. If possible, you may remove the seeds.
  5. Let sit overnight.
  6. Next day, filter out the liquid. You will get three layers
  7. Layer  1 – Clear Soapnut liquid meant for Laundry and All purpose cleaning spray
  8. Layer 2 – Thick Soapnut liquid meant for shampoo (if using for Shampoo, reduce amount of Bio Enzyme to half a cup while soaking) and vessel, chimney and toilet cleaning.
  9. Layer 3 – The leftover fruits, seeds, and pulp. You can remove the seeds and simply pulse in a mixie. You will get the Soapnut paste. Use as you would the Soapnut paste. Alternatively,
    retain the soaked up Soapnuts in another 2-3 cups of water + bio enzyme mix and use in a sock for washing laundry. 
  10. This will stay for a long, long time – the Bio Enzyme will act as a preservative. So the Soapnut liquid need not be refrigerated – you should however try to store in dark color bottle or in a dark place. 
  11. This also serves as a Fumigation solution (along with Neem oil) for repelling Mosquioes, houseflies, etc.

Coaching on Sustainable Living

Hello there! If you would like to join my coaching sessions on Bio Enzyme, Natural Cleaners, DIY Chemical free living, Plant Care, etc do head over to my course list here and sign up. Alternatively, you can email me on adropofwisdom at gmail along with the course you are interested in.

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A wannabe minimalist trying to make it all natural! Let's see how it works.

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