If 2010 was the year of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and 2019 was the year of Marie Kondo’s complimentary Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” then 2021 will be the year of a new cleaning perspective fostered by “Simplicity at Home: Japanese Rituals, Recipes, and Arrangements for Thoughtful Living” by Yumiko Sekine. The book discusses the art of oosouji, a Japanese ritual dating back to the eighth century, which involves deep cleaning one’s house to welcome the New Year.
Oosouji takes a minimalist approach and encourages participants to cultivate a pleasing environment with fewer things. It’s also a champion of upcycling, or reusing something for a new purpose. One good way to practice this is by using food waste to clean your home – and yes, it really is possible! Here are 2 cleaning recipes from the book, courtesy of Real Simple.
Orange Peel Cleaning Spray
Oranges and other citrus fruits are great natural cleaning agents. Oranges contain a natural oil called limonene, which cuts through grease and conditions wood surfaces. Plus, they smell really fresh and are safe for households with pets or children.
• In a small saucepan, combine the peel of one orange for every 1 cup of water.
• Bring this to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
• Once it cools, transfers to a clean spray bottle. It will keep for up to one month. Use throughout the kitchen and on wood.
Cleaning with Apple Peels
Similar to orange peels, apple peels are ideal for cleaning, once you’ve used up the flesh of the apple. Apple peels contain malic acid, which is also a great cleaning agent to combat grease and grime on wood and other surfaces. Apple peels are also a totally organic material, so they are also pet and child-safe.
• Using a large piece of fresh apple peel, wipe down the inside of your sink or countertops.
• You can also add apple peels, along with a bit of water, too dirty or stained aluminum pots. Just boil this mixture for 15 minutes or so. It will cut through even baked-on grease.
Inspiration can come from anywhere – just ask the team at Oxford at Sonterra Apartments in San Antonio, Texas. By passing along this information, we hope to inspire you with new ideas, projects, and goals, too.