When mixed with water, it can produce just the right amount of bubbles to look like a detergent. In fact, it degreases effectively without that slippery feel of commercial soaps that requires lots of water to rinse clean.
I have since found the perfect container to upcycle into a handy shaker bottle that dispense just the right amount of powder for dishwashing. The raisin tub I was using previously is dispensing baking soda now.
One of my main concern when switching to tea seed powder is its short shelf life. It is best to use up within three months after the bag is opened, according to the packaging instructions. Going by how little is required to wash my hair and the dishes, I need to have more uses for it to use up 1 kg packet every 3 months.
Here are some uses I have found so far :
// Makeup Brush Cleaner. Since tea seed powder has anti-bacterial properties, I started using it to replace diluted liquid castile soap to clean my makeup brushes. I simply mix 1 heap teaspoon of powder with water in a small glass and run the makeup brush back and forth in the glass to release the makeup, grease etc. Rinse the brush and repeat to ensure that it is completely clean of makeup. Wrap the brush with a clean cotton towel and squeeze to dry the bristles slightly. Hang brush with hair facing downwards to air dry.
// Fruit and vegetable cleaner. I got this idea when I saw commercially produced fruit and vegetable cleaner made with tea seed powder. I have only used it on fruit and vegetables with peels like apples, grapes (still attached to stalks,) zucchini, carrots, etc. I soak them in tea seed powder and water solution for 10 minutes before rinsing clean. Tea seed powder is not edible, so it is important to rinse the fruit and vegetables clean after soaking.
// Cooking oil plastic bottle cleaner. If you have tried washing plastic containers stained with oily food, you will know how difficult it is to degrease them for recycling. The oil somehow finds a way to cling really well onto the plastic surface and I often find myself running it with soapy water at least 3 to 4 times before getting them squeaky clean for recycling. Imagine the amount of water required to wash and rinse the cooking oil bottle. I end up discarding these plastic bottles instead of recycling them.
Not anymore. I mix tea seed powder with a small amount of water to form a thick paste and rub it all over the bottle. I cut open the container to washing the inner wall. Then I add more water to rinse and degrease at the same time. The above photo shows how much water I used in total to degrease the bottle, less than 300ml, not bad for such an oily plastic container.
// Pastry brush cleaner. Again, tea seed powder shows its powerful degreasing properties with just one wash and one rinse. I simply run the powder all over the greasy silicone bristles and add some water to form a thick paste, rub clean the silicone bristles and rinse. Squeaky clean once again.