Canadian lady in S'pore shares useful household tips using fruit skin, egg shells & other trash

Frugal habits can be accidentally environmentally-friendly too.

Sumita Thiagarajan | August 02, 2020, 04:21 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

For some of us, spending more time at home during the Covid-19 crisis has led to some frustration with the amount of cleaning to do around the home.

This is where home hacks on the Internet come in handy.

A Facebook user who lives in Singapore, Robin Rheaume, took to social media to share her household tips, from deterring ants in the home to dealing with grease, often using items that we would otherwise throw away.

Tips for cleaning the home & deterring ants

Rheaume, who is an IT consultant from Canada, told Mothership that the hacks she shared are driven mostly by the principles of frugality and waste reduction,

One does not need to be an environmentalist to appreciate these hacks.

For example, one tip she shared uses citrus rinds, or the skin of fruits such as oranges and lemons, soaked in vinegar to produce a cheap and powerful cleaning liquid, that even deters ants.

Photo via Robin Rheaume/Facebook

For homes which are plagued by ants, we can use lemon rind vinegar to deter them from the home (in addition to ensuring that you do not leave any food out for them).

For easy use, you can transfer the liquid mixture into a spray bottle, as seen below:

Photo via Robin Rheaume/Facebook

For greasy pans and unclogging drains, Rheaume recommends using tea seed powder, or Camelia cleaning powder.

She uses the tea seed powder on greasy pans and scrapes the powder and grease mix into the wet waste to prevent it from getting into the drain.

Here's what the powder looks like:

Photo via Robin Rheaume/Facebook

Saving water & other resources

For those who are trying to be more frugal, you can try the following tips to save water when showering or use the tiny bits of soap bars that are often hard to use.

One practical tip Rheaume shared is standing in a wash basin (as seen below) while showering, so that any water that is collected can be used to flush toilets, or even watering the plants.

A comment her Facebook post left by Lai Ah-Eng highlighted that recycled soap water can be used for a variety of activities around the home, such as washing shoes, toilet cleaning, and even washing the floor.

Photo via Robin Rheaume/Facebook

For those who use soap bars, a little sisel soap pouch helps to contain soap bars and utilise even the smallest bits of a soap bar.

Photo via Robin Rheaume/Facebook

As for those random bottles of hair conditioner lying around the house, you can turn it into fabric softener by mixing it with vinegar and water.

Here's the ratio for mixing hair conditioner to create your own fabric softener at home:

40 to 60ml conditioner : 1 cup vinegar : 2 cups water

Photo via Robin Rheaume/Facebook

Egg shells too can be processed into a scrub for greasy pans that does not leave scratches.

In addition, the egg shells can be used in worm compost bins to reduce the acidity or as a calcium additive for plants in the garden.

Here's how she processes the egg shells:

  • Crush eggshells
  • Boil crushed eggshells
  • When the boiled crushed eggshells are cool, grind with submersion blender and discard the floating membrane. This may take a few rinses.
  • Spread the tiny pieces on a baking tray and put in the sun to dry
  • Store the processed egg shells

According to Rheaume, the process of grinding the egg shells helps to sharpen the blades of the blenders.

Photo via Robin Rheaume/Facebook

An alternative to supermarket plastic bags for lining the dustbin

While some of us might still carry our groceries in plastic bags at the supermarket and using them to line the dustbin, Rheaume has an alternative for this.

After segregating recyclable waste and organic waste that can be used in the garden or for cleaning the home (as from the tips seen above), we might find ourselves with lesser waste in the dustbin, and might even be able to use a yoghurt tub as a wet waste bin.

Rheaume shared that small plastic bags can be used to line the yoghurt tub and closing the bag to dispose items can be done so with stickers obtained off jars and containers.

Here's what the above-mentioned set-up looks like:

Photo via Robin Rheaume/Facebook

Photo via Robin Rheaume/Facebook

For more tips and hacks for the home, you can check out the Journey to Zero Waste Life in Singapore Facebook group or SG Hacks: Repairs, Fixes & Cool Ideas group here.

Top images via Robin Rheaume/Facebook