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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