Here is how best to store your ingredients. (Remember that these requirements remain when they’re mixed with other ingredients. E.g. any mixture containing olive oil should be stored away from light and heat.):
- Very stable and self-preserving, does not require refrigeration and can keep indefinitely.
- However, will keep best stored in a dark cool place, especially natural (unpasteurised) vinegars.
- Do not store vinegar in metal as the acid will cause corrosion. Also avoid plastic containers if you plan to consume the vinegar, as the acid can leach out toxins.
- Store in an airtight container away from heat as it breaks down into sodium carbonate (soda ash), water and carbon dioxide when exposed to heat or any acid.
- For this reason, if you are using bicarb as a deodoriser it will need to be replaced periodically to keep functioning at its best.
- Can be stored indefinitely.
- Needs an airtight container to keep moisture out as it readily absorbs water which can cause it to cake.
- To de-cake salt, dry it in the sun or an oven. It will be otherwise unaffected.
- To prevent caking, add a few uncooked rice grains or a little cornstarch to your salt.
- Store away from light and heat, preferably in the fridge.
- If freshly squeezed, keep in the fridge for short-term use, or freeze in ice cube trays and transfer to plastic bags in the freezer for up to six months.
- Shop-bought lemon juice often has preservatives added and will keep for long periods even unrefrigerated.
- As with vinegar, avoid metal containers (which may corrode) and plastic if you are going to consume the juice, as the acidity of lemon juice can react with these.
- Requires an airtight dark or opaque container as it can easily turn rancid if exposed to light or air.
- Keep in a cool dry place.
- Olive oil can be refrigerated, except for very delicate premium extra virgin olive oil. It can even be frozen.
- If frozen or refrigerated, olive oil needs to be returned to room temperature before use, as it will turn cloudy and solidify when cold.
- Avoid metal or plastic containers which can react with olive oil to produce toxic compounds.
- If unopened and properly stored, olive oil can keep for one to two years.
- Coconut oil is very stable and resistant to oxidation in comparison to other oils.
- It is resistant to heat, but will keep best in a cool dark place and can be refrigerated.
- Light and air can harm any oil so keep it in a container with an airtight lid and away from direct light.
- If stored properly coconut oil will easily keep for two years, even if opened.
- Use a dark or opaque container for peroxide as it breaks down readily into water and oxygen if exposed to light.
- Make sure the container is airtight as it will also break down if exposed to air.
- Do not store peroxide in a metal container as it will react with the metal and cause rust.
Containers for easy use
- Spray bottles, including opaque one(s) for peroxide
- Glass jars, various sizes; dark glass is especially useful for products that will stand in the open
- Tubs with airtight lids, various sizes
- Squirt bottles
- Any old rags will do for most cleaning jobs, with soft cloths being best for wood and metal surfaces.
- We’re great fans of microfiber cloths. They clean amazingly well, even just using water, are very absorbent, and good quality ones last a long time.
- An old toothbrush is an invaluable cleaning tool for lots of small or finicky jobs, and a good scrubbing brush is often handy.
- A mop and bucket are pretty indispensable for cleaning floors.