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Just do it (yourself)!

For years, my attempts to be a conscious consumer in the cleaning aisle led to little more than frustration. I spent a lot of time sneezing and itching as I stared at the shelves, looking for ingredients lists and eco-labels, trying to remember which ingredients were the goodies and which the baddies, which eco-labels were legit and which were just greenwash. When I finally found a product that looked good it seemed to signal to my supermarket to either stop stocking it or at least never have it on special. And then there was all the packaging.

I toyed with the idea of making my own cleaning products. I pinned lots of recipes and it all looked wonderful, but did the products really work? Would they wreck my clothes? What were all these ingredients and where would I find them? It was totally overwhelming. I gave up and continued to a pay a premium for products with flowers on them, hoping for the best. Then I was introduced to Figgy cleaning recipes and ingredients.

Sneezing and itching along the cleaning aisle is now a thing of the past. I make my regular cleaning products myself. If only I had started sooner.

Reasons to try DIY cleaners:

– They work. They clean just as well if not better – Figgy’s recipes work as least as well as anything I’ve found in the supermarket. Recently, I cleaned my Mum’s place before an open home. She had a pile of conventional cleaners, but all I wanted was my Figgy Cleaning Paste (that stuff’s magic).

– You already have the equipment – Figgy’s recipes don’t need any special equipment, they use stuff you already have in your kitchen. Even a food processor is optional.

– It only takes minutes – Figgy’s recipes are quick and easy. They also make good sized batches for a typical Kiwi family. I guess I spend between 30 to 60 minutes per month making my cleaners.

– You’ll feel like a total beating-the-man-bad-ass – I love the feeling that I can make these products myself, that I know exactly what’s in them and that I’m not shelling out for packaging and marketing.

Simple does it

I’m all about keeping things simple – simplifying laundrysimplifying houseworksimplifying your wardrobe. Making your own cleaning products doesn’t need to be complicated. If it was, there’s no way I’d be doing it.

Before I went along to my first Figgy workshop to learn about DIY cleaners I was worried it would be tricky and time consuming, that I’d try it for a while and give up, or buy a mass of ingredients and never use them. Watching the demonstration, I was shocked by how simple it is. The great thing about Figgy’s recipes is that they use a core set of ingredients, some of them you may already have.

I’ve never added up the costs and tried to compare how much making my own products saves over buying eco-labelled products at the supermarket. However, following the workshop, I made two simple swaps that started saving me money immediately – 1 ingredient rinse aid (aka Figgy Strong White Vinegar) and 1 ingredient stain treater (aka Figgy Coconut Soap Bar). From there, I haven’t looked back.


Amy has been using Figgy recipes and ingredients to make her own cleaners for about a year. Amy is a mother of one with fingers in many pies. She wants the world it know that it’s okay to slow down and shares inspiration, tips and tricks for slow living in the real world on her blog: moretimethanmoney.co.nz