Locals learn to make cleaning products from scratch

Plus- a recipe to try yourself
Aug 20, 2016

About a dozen visitors gathered for a workshop on do-it-yourself cleaning products on August 20.

Round the Bend Farm hosted DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Products at its 92 Allens Neck Road location. For $5-10, attendees learned how to make anything from all-purpose degreaser to a sink scrub from basic ingredients including white vinegar, essential oils, and borax.

Motivated by all the non-identifiables in household products, Assistant Farm Manager Shaun Van Laarhoven explained that DIY offers people an opportunity to control what chemicals they expose themselves to.

“I don’t want to one day die from some sort of cancer by exposing myself to environmental hazards,” he said after teaching the workshop. “The more we can control by making our own, the better it is for our personal health.”

Attendee Karn Vilandry of Fairhaven agreed. “People are asking questions. They want to know why children are being born with cancer,” she said, explaining that exposure to heavy metals and toxic chemicals is causing people to get sick.

Jessica Cook of Westport said she’s been dabbling in DIY products, and even though she could find recipes online, the class was a must because it offered know-how from people she trusted, she said.

“Getting actual measurements was helpful,” she said. “A lot of times I’ve been winging it.”

Cook said it was comforting to see so many people share her interest, but according to Van Laarhoven, the movement towards healthy living is gaining traction.

“There was a lot of info sharing. The cleaning products in the store are causing them—one person said ‘dizzy,’” he said. Van Laarhoven added that many chemical cleaners include warnings like “Caution—it might burn your lungs; caution—this will irritate your skin,” and that is a cause for concern, he said.

Round the Bend’s next workshop will cover how to extend the growing season. Stop by on September 17, and see the recipe below to try your own DIY cleaner.

All Purpose Degreaser

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tbs. borax

½ tsp castile soap

10 drops lemon essential oil

1 ¾ hot water

Products last an average of 1 month in a spray bottle.