Citrus Cleaner

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Introduction: Citrus Cleaner

About: What you WILL find in my Instructables: food, crafts, crochet, foraging, and much more. What you WON'T find in my Instructables: heavy machinery, tech-related projects (I'm just not very good with computers :(…

Just because April is over doesn't mean Spring Cleaning is too! Especially since most of us are at home right now, it's a great time to get down and dirty, getting those cleaning tasks checked off and making your environment a clean and healthy one.

Enter this easy peasy Orange squeezy citrus cleaner :) It's so easy it only takes citrus peels and vinegar. I dislike using harsh chemicals when cleaning, especially since we have a dog and since my family loves fruit, we go through cases and cases of oranges for snacks and desserts. The peels would otherwise go straight to the compost, but now we can make use of them!

Step 1: Ingredients+Materials

This only takes 2 ingredients but each one has powerhouse cleaning properties. (See notes in steps 1+2)

You will need:

  • Lots of citrus peels- enough to fill your vessel to the brim
  • White distilled vinegar
  • A jar or vessel with an airtight lid
  • A spray bottle (optional but highly preferable)

*Notes: Since you will be saving the peels after eating your fruit, try not to have any of the fruit on the peels or you'll diffuse sugars into your cleaner.

If you're concerned about the smell of the vinegar white vinegar acts as a deodorizer-- its smell will evaporate along with undesirable household smells. Also, the citrus peels do a nice job of masking it with their oils.

Step 2: Peelin' Fabulous

Gather your peels into your jar and pack them down gently. You want enough to fill up whatever container you're using.

*Note: The more peels you use, the more citrus oils can get infused into the vinegar which gives it color, a fresh scent, and most importantly, d-limonene, the natural solvent that cuts through grease and dirt.

Step 3: I Have No Pun for Vinegar

Take your distilled vinegar and pour it into your jar, completely covering your peels. Take your airtight lid and screw it shut.

*Note: White vinegar (aka acetic acid) is a solvent, which dissolves grease and other things. It also acts as a disinfectant, killing away bacteria and other bad pathogens.

Step 4:

Step 5: The Waiting Game

Let your peels and vinegar sit at room temp for optimally 1-2 weeks. The longer the better, as it gives the citrus peels a good chance to release their oils into the vinegar.

Step 6: Strain and Use!

After you've let your jar sit for a good amount of time, remove the lid and strain the liquid out into a spray bottle. You'll want to dilute the vinegar with water in a 50/50 ratio or else you'll end up with a cleaner that is too harsh. That's it! Spray and use like you would any other cleaner.

There are studies out there that show distilled vinegar is nearly as effective as a disinfectant, in comparison to chemical alternatives. It's natural, it's cheap, and to me, it smells way better than Clorox. Just be aware that you shouldn't use this cleaner on anything marble as the acidity of the vinegar will dull the surface.

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21 Comments

0
mongtasia
mongtasia

2 years ago

Hi, what a great tips that you share! I find it very useful, could I translate it into Vietnamese and share on my Facebook page so that many people can know about it too? Thank you so much!

0
someOTATO
someOTATO

Question 2 years ago

I am trying to become low waste. Do you know if vinegar and/or citrus peelings are dangerous for dogs?

0
38ren
38ren

Answer 2 years ago

From what I’ve found through my (admittedly surface) research, citrus is fine in moderation for cats and dogs. Obviously better than bleach or windex, too.

0
sillybj
sillybj

Tip 2 years ago

Don't throw away the vinegar soaked orange peels. Freeze them (in a ziplock bag) and once frozen clean your garbage disposal by running cold water while adding a couple of peels. Frozen peel will scrape away the "BLACK GUNK" and deodorize at the same time

0
38ren
38ren

Reply 2 years ago

What a great tip! And even more low waste. Thank you for sharing

0
charlessenf-gm
charlessenf-gm

2 years ago

Neat. Going to try it. One question rearding your comment "...and other bad pathogens.." Are there any good pathogens?

0
38ren
38ren

Reply 2 years ago

Ah good catch I should fix that. Assuming you’re asking a serious question, if it was good it wouldn’t be a pathogen by definition

0
charlessenf-gm
charlessenf-gm

Reply 2 years ago

The question was, let's say " tongue in cheek." I read literally and such uses of the language set off something akin to a patellar reflex and I write. Not a good way, I'm told, to either win friends nor influence people.

Come to think of it, I may not be the only sufferor - considering the wide spread use of Twitter.

0
obillo
obillo

2 years ago on Introduction

Kudoes to you, 38Ren! Simple, ludicrously cheap compared to commercial version, highly effective. I'd recommed light chopping the peels to get more into the jar. For spray bottles, take a furtive look into your local recycling bin and the result will be somewhere between 'spoiled for choice' and'embarrassment of riches.' Now then--can you come up with something to make from Christman tree needles>

0
davel
davel

Reply 2 years ago

Well, you could try:
https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/easy-foraging
but I have no idea whether it would work for your specific kind of pine needles.
Also, I wouldn't drink it unless you're sure that the tree hasn't been treated with any unpleasant chemicals, but it might make a nice disinfectant, or room scent.

0
38ren
38ren

Reply 2 years ago

I’m always down to try new things, and find excuses to get out there and forage! Plus a citrusy-pine scent sounds very appealing. Thanks for the interest :)

0
davel
davel

Reply 2 years ago

No Problem.

I'm looking forward to trying out vinegar-citrus cleaner too!

0
38ren
38ren

Reply 2 years ago

Thank you for the kind words! Lovely ideas too :)

0
jrcurtis
jrcurtis

Question 2 years ago on Step 5

Do you add dilute vinegar with water before adding to citrus peels, or after the mixture sits for a couple of weeks?

0
38ren
38ren

Answer 2 years ago

I apologize for any confusion! Once you have your fully infused citrus vinegar and you’ve strained out the solids, then you dilute with water.

0
Jessee1991
Jessee1991

2 years ago

Where did you get the conical shaped spray bottle?

0
38ren
38ren

Reply 2 years ago

I’ve had it around forever so I can’t give you a definite answer, but I believe it was the container store.

0
CathyNoyb
CathyNoyb

2 years ago

The pictures show clementines. Will any kind of oranges work? Is there any particular kind of orange that works best?

0
38ren
38ren

Reply 2 years ago

Yes, any orange will do, in fact any citrus will work because fruits from that family all contain the necessary compounds for cleaning!