Description of ChallengeMany of the cleaning products we use in our houses today contain chemically reactive and toxic ingredients. This is a big risk to take for the health of our bodies and our planet since we directly inhale these chemicals and they also pollutes the soil and water.
It is possible to generate a practica, cheap and ecologically sound solution with wood ash and natural lye for cleaning.
Wood ash and natural lye have been widely used in villages for centuries as a cleaning material in the form of soaps by being mixed with natural oils in certain amounts.
Wood ash can be directly used in its dry form for cleaning by scrubbing as well as in the form of lye through mixing it with water.
How to prepare lye?
Preferably oak or olive wood is used. Chemically processed wood ash should be avoided. Natural ash can be obtained from the bread ovens in your neighbourhood. After the ash is riddled, it is mixed with cold and clean water (or rain water), at the rate of 1/4 in a cup preferably made of glass, cupper or earth (aliminum is not recomended as it interacts with lye).
As this mixture rests 15 days, you will find a yellowish water at the top with residues at the bottom (this process is faster in the case of boiling). If this water is greasy as with detergent water, you can carefully transfer the top water with the help of a cup or bowl without mixing it with the residue.
This lye can be directly used in washing machines and dishwashers as a natural detergent, as well as for other external cleaning purposes. Olive oil soap and vinegar can also be used for softness and shine. Skin contact with lye can result in irritation due to high Ph level, so using gloves are recomended in case of direct exposure.