How can I reuse or recycle excess sterilising solution?
We’ve covered a wide range of things during our cleaning themed week here on Recycle This – bleach bottles, plug-in air fresheners, making dishcloth & pot scrubbers, and yesterday’s very interesting discussion on reducing plastic waste from cleaning – so I feel it’s fine for me to go off on a bit more of a tangent for this last one: sterilising fluid.
When I’m making jams & preserves, I use the hot soapy water then time in the oven approach for “sterilising” my glass jars – but that doesn’t work for John’s homebrew stuff. Some of it is plastic, some of it is just too big for the oven, and some of it is both plastic and too big. Instead, he uses sterilising solution – either bought as a concentrated liquid or made up from tablets. The stuff John uses is 2% sodium hypochlorite – weak bleach – so maybe this isn’t off on such a tangent after all ;)
Anyway, when he’s doing some homebrew, John mixes up a big vat of the sterilising fluid and uses it to sterilise this things – but since they’re hot-water-clean already, the liquid doesn’t get too messed up. I’d imagine people sterilising babies bottles would be in a similar position. It apparently has an effective life of about 24 hours so we can reuse it for other things – but what?
According to this forum on MoneySavingExpert, it’s a good halfway house for bleach – you can use it as a safer bleach for cleaning places you wouldn’t want to use full strength bleach (the microwave, tea cups, camping water bottles).
Does anyone have any other suggestions for things to do with it? I know some people use a weak bleach solution for cleaning plant pots before sowing seeds/delicate seedlings in them – would this be suitable for that?