Picture of homemade orange cleaner
I kept seeing this homemade orange cleaner on pinterest and knew I had to try it. If you've seen my other instructable on green cleaning products, you know that I love cleaning with vinegar! However, it is stinky. 

This helps combat that problem. :D

I use vinegar on windows, and in the kitchen and bathroom. This orange cleaner is great for wiping down surfaces!

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Step 1: What you'll need:

Picture of what you'll need:
  • a glass jar
  • citrus peels (I used two oranges, one grapefruit and one lemon)
  • white vinegar
  • a spray bottle

Step 2: Steeping the citrus peels

Picture of steeping the citrus peels
This part takes a little while, but thankfully you don't really have to pay attention. I just shook my jar every few days. :D

I trimmed away as much of the white pith as possible from the peel and put them in a jar. Pour in enough white vinegar just to cover the peels and put on the top of the jar. Let this mixture sit for 1-2 weeks, or until the vinegar has turned a dark orange. It should also smell of oranges - if it doesn't you might need more time and/or peels.

This took about a week for me - I think shaking the jar helped speed up the process!

Keep in mind this will NEVER completely get rid of the vinegar smell, but it will mellow it out and cover it up.

Step 3: Straining

Picture of straining
Once the vinegar's nice and orange-y, strain out any excess peels. You can either do this directly into a spray bottle, or pour it back into the original jar to hang out until you need it.

Step 4: Dilution and use

Picture of dilution and use
I typically dilute my vinegar 50/50 with water, which is what I did here.

A 50/50 dilution is great for wiping down bathroom and kitchen surfaces.

You can use the vinegar full strength for things like hard water spots, soap scum and grease, too! Play around with it and figure out what works best for you. :D
odomscd10 months ago

I blended the orange peels and vinegar in my Vitamix as an experiment. It smelled like an orange drink and I could barely smell any vinegar. Then I let it set for two months. However, you have to drain it. I used a nylon paint strainer. It is cheap and washes nicely. However, it left the vinegar a littIe filmy. I used it anyway. It cleans great but I had to wipe it down with water when using it on counter tops. But it did not matter when I used it in the bath tub.

HollyMann1 year ago
Thanks again...absolutely love this and will be making it
eddevine1 year ago
My wife is constantly looking for a window cleaner that will not streak, any suggestions?
I worked at a window-washing company for several summers: there's nothing that beats washing the window with soapy water (we used a water with a little dawn and a touch of ammonia) and then squeegie-ing the glass. Unger is a great brand for a squeegie.
Has she tried using news print to wipe with? If you don't get a newspaper, you can purchase newsprint tablets at most any craft or art store.
I have found it almost impossible to find a cleaner that doesn't streak, sunlight in the morning made them look even worse. I found a new method. I went to Homehardware (I live in Ontario) and bought a hand mop and hand squeegee in a kit and have never looked back. I use a mild solution of dish soap and warm water, lather up the window and squeegee and you'll be amazed how streak free they are and how little work it is to use this method. Good luck.
Spray with 50/50 white vinegar/water dilution, wipe with newspaper.
Do not clean windows in the sun (cleaner may dry too fast)
Wipe vertically inside, horizontally outside and you will be able to tell which side you might have left streakies on.
Does the orange stain at all?
jessyratfink (author)  Mina Graves1 year ago
I haven't had any problems with it yet and I live in an apartment with the most easily stained countertops ever.

I've also used it on my white painted walls with no issues. :)
Oh cool! Thanks! C:
domscard1 year ago
I've inadvertantly left a similar mix for more than a few weeks (more like months!) and it thickens up a treat. Absolutely brilliant kitchen/bathroom cleaner. The uses for vinegar are nothing short of amazing.
jessyratfink (author)  domscard1 year ago
That's awesome to know. I wasn't sure what the long term effects of leaving the peels in the vinegar would be. :D
rmiller9991 year ago
This looks AWESOME! thanks so much.
SalCal1 year ago
Good going! I have a bunch of lemons I'm going to try this with. I think I will use my blender to chop/grind it all together so it takes less time to release the oils. Thanks!
rimar20001 year ago
What if you blend/mill it and them filter?
jessyratfink (author)  rimar20001 year ago
Ahhhh, that might work if you wanted some really quickly. :D Thank you, I didn't think of that!
Now I have my ticket to the IAC (International Anxious Convention) of 2020! ;)
the wat duck now is that??????
ok good luck with that i just looked it up.
Pardon, I barely understand "official" English, but popular expressions completely escape me.
bob30301 year ago
Thanks for posting an easy recipe for an effective cleaning product.
I have these things! I can make this!