Kitchen Experiments: Carpet Freshener 💯

If you are old enough to remember The shake and vac song from days gone by (haha now you have it stuck in your head), you’ll also remember how noxious some of them were scent wise, and also what it was like to get stuck in a sneezing fit because you were a massive tit and accidentally inhaled some when you were throwing it all over the shop.

I haven’t bought any for YEARS.

I bulk buy bicarbonate of soda from Amazon (yes I know but principles cost money and I’m sadly not rich), because I use it all over my flat for a multitude of purposes. One of them is carpet freshener. Here’s my current gubbins for it:

A screen-cap from the very enthusiastic lady in the old advert.

Stuff and things:

  • Some manner of large receptacle for shoving the powder in – I use a 900ml glass jar that used to have black olives in it before I scoffed them all like a pig. 🐷
  • Bicarbonate of soda or baking powder.
  • Wooden spatula for mixing.
  • Essential oils or non flammable fragrance.

I have a lot of carpet to cover, so I will probably use a fair amount of essential oil. If you only need a small amount of carpet freshener, just use a capful of the stuff. The idea is that you slowly add and combine the bicarb with your chosen scent until it’s powdery enough to sprinkle. You don’t want hulking big lumps of it, unless you want to spend time on your hands and knees mashing it into yer carpet. If you WANT to do that, go right ahead but you’ll probably look a bit daft.

Once you’ve made it, all you need to do is cover your carpet space with it, leave for half an hour, and do your usual vacuuming routine. You can also use this for fabric sofas, cushions, pillows, and mattresses.

You can use essential oils or whatever fragrance you like, as long as it’s not a flammable fragrance. If you use this on fire retardant upholstery or carpets, with a flammable fragrance, you’re at risk of damaging that layer of protection, and also potentially setting fire to yourself if something gets too hot and burst into flames. 😱🔥

That’s yer lot. You can make this up each time you want to use it, or you can make it up in bulk for storage. It works nicely either way, just make sure it’s stored in an airtight, cool, and dry environment.

ADDENDUM:

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED TO REMOVE THE USE OF ZOFLORA, AS IT HAS BEEN DEEMED UNSAFE TO USE IN THIS MANNER DUE TO ITS FLAMMABLE POTENTIAL IN ITS UNDILUTED STATE.

Kitchen Experiments: Shaving Solution 🛁

I’ll be the millionth to say it; shaving foam/gel is shite.

I’ve used oil and hair conditioner to shave with before, but doing this will clean your skin and give you a shaving medium at the same time with only two ingredients. If you wanted to be REALLY green, you could just shave using olive oil, or warmed coconut oil, but if you like a bit of foam with your shave, this will work.

Here is a picture of an olllllld safety razor because reasons.

Stuff:

  • Empty plastic bottle.
  • Your chosen brand of shower gel.
  • Baby oil.

Fill the bottle with half shower gel, and half baby oil. Shake it. It will combine and product a thin liquid that feels silky on the skin, and lathers up.

This WILL separate in the bottle after each use, so all you need to do is shake prior to each use. You can use this anywhere on your body. Whenever I make it, I use a cheap basic shower gel, and whatever brand of baby oil I can get my hands on. It doesn’t need to be fancy pants, unless you want it to be. Add essential oils if you want, just don’t add more than ten drops.

That’s it. It’ll last you a good while too.

Kitchen Experiments: Body Scrubs 🛀

I am forever seeing overly priced body scrubs that don’t really feel like you’ve scrubbed ANYTHING, much less your skin. I am not paying upwards of £10 for a minuscule pot of scrub that probably wouldn’t cover me big toe at a push.

The most basic of scrubs could just use an oil and any granulated sugar. That’s your base. I personally use olive oil, but I have also used coconut oil. Those empty glass jam jars you’ve been hoarding in the cupboard that might have doubled as wine receptacles so you don’t smash yer fancy crystal, are perfect for this, with a lid on, obviously.

It’s a stock image mate, I wasn’t throwing sugar all over me counters for a blog post.

The messy bit:

  • A glass jar with a lid.
  • Granulated sugar.
  • A wooden spatula for mixing.
  • Olive oil.
  • Essential oils of your choice – no more then twenty drops.

Fill yer jar about three quarters with sugar. You can use white granulated sugar, it’s totally fine but if you want to be bloody fancy-pants, go ahead and use granulated golden sugar.

Start drizzling olive oil into the sugar, mixing it with your spatula until you get a thick oily paste consistency. Once you’ve managed that, add your chosen oils and mash that about a bit until you’re convinced they’re well combined. That’s what I do anyway.

Stick the lid on, because you don’t want stuff falling into it. Use as you would any other scrub, and pat your skin dry after rather than rubbing the fuck out of it, so the oils stay nicely on your skin. The best thing about this is that you don’t need to apply lotion after, your skin will be soft and smooth.

You can add extra things to the mix such as honey, or coffee grounds; if it’s in a scrub in a shop, you can shove it in. Just don’t eat it if it smells too nice.

Kitchen Experiments: Face Wipes 🌱

I have a few of these home made personal products up my sleeve, so I’m putting them here because they’re not going to find their way to anyone sitting in the journal I have hidden in my kitchen.

You can pretty much buy dirt cheap face wipes these days since supermarkets realised that we can make them for much less than they can sling them, but they can be a bit crap and dry up easily, and be shit to folks with really sensitive skin (like me for example).

When it comes to making wipes of any kind, I use Regina Blitz, mainly because the pieces are MASSIVE, and so you can cut them in half and they won’t be tiny. Whenever I see a vendor describing a packet of wipes as large, I often think “in what fucking universe is that even CLOSE to large!?”

WONDEROUS.

Shit you will need:

  • Strong kitchen roll – it doesn’t have to be the stuff I use, just make sure it’s a decent strong roll that doesn’t fall to bits when wet.
  • A rectangular tub with a lid.
  • Half a pint of water, warm but not boiled.
  • One tablespoon of baby lotion, or baby oil.
  • One tablespoon of baby wash, or baby shampoo.
  • I use about half a roll of Regina Blitz whenever I am making wipes. Make a pile of them, and cut each piece in half. Dump the pieces into your plastic tub, it doesn’t matter if the pile looks too big, when you pour the solution on them it will shrink down.
  • Before you add it to the water, combine the baby lotion/oil with the baby wash/shampoo. You can use other lotions and oils, it’s just if you’re using these to remove eye makeup, anything other than baby products is going to make you wish you don’t want your eyes anymore.
  • Pour the water into that combination, stir well and pour over the pile of kitchen roll in your tub. Depending on the absorbency of your chosen paper, you may need to adjust the amount of water you use, but if they’re waterlogged you know you went too far, you utter muppet. The warmth of the water will help the ingredients melt nicely.

Tips:

  • Only make enough for a week as they don’t contain preservatives obviously.
  • DO NOT FLUSH THEM DOWN THE LOO YOU ABSOLUTE TURNIP SHEPHERD. Do you not remember the great London fatberg that lurked in the sewers and threatened humanity as we know it?
  • You can substitute baby oil or lotion for things like olive oil or aloe vera gel if you prefer it. Don’t use coconut oil however, as it will set things badly and nobody wants that. Be aware that if you add anything that might irritate your eyes, not to use the wipes to remove eye-makeup.
  • You can store them inside a resealable plastic bag if you want to take them with you anywhere.
  • You can experiment with essential oil combinations – mint and tea tree oils make refreshing face wipes for oily skin, but you HAVE TO BE CAREFUL. I would only ever use five drops of each of those oils maximum because you really don’t want skin burns. Once you add oils, the wipes have to be kept away from your eyes.
  • If you stick to baby products, that means you’ve essentially got baby wipes for your little ones too.
  • Avid recycling folks could replace the kitchen roll with muslin squares. This would make the wipes reusable as all you would have to do is wash them after. In fact any soft cotton material would work just as well if you want to produce less waste.

Here’s to clean faces and not feeling like a filthy bugger. 😎

Spicy black bean nachos

  • Lightly salted tortilla chips.
  • One can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • One can of sweet corn.
  • One jar of tomato passata (mine was 680g).
  • One cup of chopped onions.
  • Crushed chilli to taste.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 250g grated cheese of your choice.
  • Sour cream to finish.

It is currently too fucking hot in the United Kingdom. We are SHIT at summer. Our infrastructure cannot cope – it is actively melting in parts of the country, train lines warping in the heat with signal failures causing massive train delays, especially in London where I hear the underground is like walking into a furnace. One poor bastard got his LEG STUCK IN TARMAC, amongst various grass fires dotted about the country, along with a veritable smorgasbord of stupid sunburnt racist gammons who are currently over celebrating the World Cup. 🙄

We Britons traditionally only get about three days of summer at a time, over several periods during June to September. We may get three or four of these periods, before we miss autumn entirely, and descend straight into the dark and wonderful winters I am currently missing so fucking much because I fucking hate summer. I am photosensitive, and my relationship with bright lights and hot weather is not one of love. This makes summer even more shit for me, and since we have been experiencing an ACTUAL SUMMER, the entire country has collectively shit itself because we do not know what to do with it.

I currently have a visitor with me – who like me loathes the burny thing in the sky. Prior to her visit, we had expected this warm period to have finished by now BUT NO. It bloody isn’t. It’s still going. These nachos were the closest I was getting to cooking because I was in no way going to stand in front of a hot stove and sweat my body weight off in half an hour. Thank fuck for my slow cooker!

I chucked the passata, onions, salt, pepper, crushed chilli, sweet corn, and black beans into the pot, stirred it up to fuck and left it to cook itself into oblivion slowly for about an hour. Like I said, fuck standing in front of a hot stove when my slow cooker can do the work for me. I dumped the bag of tortilla chips in a deep Pyrex dish, sprinkling some of the cheese through them. Once the slow cooker had worked it’s magic, I poured the contents over the chips, and covered the top with the remaining cheese, shoved it in the oven, and let it bake its arse off for twenty minutes.

After twenty minutes, I put two generous portions on top of mixed bagged salad that you bet I absolutely cheated with because I have sod all energy, and finished off with a healthy blob of sour cream. I amazingly managed to scoff my portion WITHOUT dropping any down my front, so I was quite proud of myself on all counts really.

Spiced tomato bean soup 🥣

Inspired by Miguel Barclay’s recipe, I made this earlier using my slow cooker:

I threw this together after I’d been out for the best part of the day doing boring but entirely necessary things. Using my slow cooker meant I could sit the fuck down for a while and give my knees and hips a rest since they are currently really, really fucking mad at me.

Ingredients:

  • A jar of passata.
  • A tin of black beans.
  • A tin of sweetcorn.
  • Half an onion, chopped. I use frozen onions because I fucking hate chopping onions, and they’re cheap.
  • 1tsp salt.
  • 1tsp garlic powder or equivalent.
  • 1tsp oregano.
  • 1tsp basil.
  • 1tsp crushed chilli flakes.
  • 1tsp paprika.
  • 1tsp cayenne.
  • 1tblsp olive oil.

I bunged all of that in my slow cooker, making sure it was properly combined, and then set it to auto for an hour. I checked it and gave it a stir, and then left it on low for another hour.

I didn’t have any, crème fraîche so I dumped a blob of cream cheese in it, but if you want to keep it vegan, you don’t have to, OR add a vegan equivalent. It has yielded enough soup for several meals, and it’s got a little kick to it that suits my tastes. You can add hotter spices as your tastes desire, I just don’t have a cast iron gob.

This would also work really nicely as a sauce for pouring over pasta.