No grime with enzymes
> Spreading awareness on natural remedies and recycling
HOW many of us know what goes into the cleaning solutions we use on a daily basis? And how organic and natural do some claim to be? Orange peels, sugar and water are the only ingredients Jessica Tan uses to make her enzyme cleaners.
After quitting her job two-and-a-half years ago, her hands broke out badly from helping around with chores due to eczema which runs in the family. It is unfortunately inherited by her youngest daughter and although she doesn't have major breakouts, she itches when her clothes are washed with commercial detergents.
"I started reading about natural cleaning remedies and started using vinegar and baking soda to clean. It works, but not entirely. And when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, it made it more so to apply natural remedies at home.
"I came across enzyme cleaners and was disgusted with it at first. I mean, why would someone ferment something and use it to clean? And would it even clean? I started making the first batch and tried using it to wash the floor. My helper liked it and said it was cleaner than using vinegar and baking soda," Tan said.
It was during Chinese New Year when her son was nagging about helping her make the enzyme cleaners when the other kids were playing that he said why not sell it so they have some motivation to do it. Tan read more on how people make commercial cleaners and realised there is potential. There are many homemade, organic food but there was no one selling cleaning solutions.
Sold under the name J Homemade Natural Cleaners, Tan mainly uses orange as well as grapefruit, lime, lemon and pineapple peels to make her multipurpose enzyme cleaners. She has also created cleaner paste, fabric softener, bleach, fizzy pods and mosquito spray. Tan said she didn't know where to start telling people how to use her enzyme cleaner. Most of her customers had to engage with her to know how it can be used and hence, she has come up with a blog to share the measurements needed for different uses. Some of the ways it can be used is with laundry, dishes, floors and even, bathing. Tan read a case study on a diabetes patient who needed to amputate his leg due to a wound that wouldn't heal. He started soaking with enzyme cleaners and it healed. She then realised she could shower her daughter with it and it works wonderfully. She no longer itches after bathing.
"I want to create awareness of using natural remedies as well as push the message of recycling. A lot of people want to recycle but they don't know how to do it. The most convenient way is to throw it away, but there will come a day when we will be drowned by it," Tan said.
She wants to tell people they can reuse before throwing it away or turn it into something useful. Tan reuses any kind of bottles to ferment her enzyme cleaners, and reuses cordial bottles, milk bottles, breast milk bags and tau foo fah containers to sell the finished products.
"I don't force my family and friends to buy my cleaners. I don't want them to buy and keep it at home just to support me. But when I started, I brought it to my family's homes and swap their stuff. They slowly adapted it to their life and they see a change.
"Feedback has been positive. People are starting to be aware of it and are keen to try. I have customers who buy one to try and come back for more; you know that is a good sign. "You have to be willing to use it. I tell my customers upfront that my cleaners have no bubbles and has a fermented smell, but it is not smelly," Tan said.
Tan said people are starting to be aware of enzyme cleaners.