By Cassie Johnston
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Meet the cleaner that we use on (almost) every surface in our home—my Homemade Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner. This baby has just a handful of ingredients—ones that you probably already have kicking around—and it is an all-natural, good-smelling cleaning machine!
We use this cleaner on our solid surface countertops (I wouldn’t recommend it on natural stone because it may cause pitting), on our appliances, in our bathrooms— almost everywhere! The base of this cleaner is the all-natural cleaning powerhouse, vinegar. But to add to the disinfectant properties (and honestly, to put a damper on the vinegar smell), the vinegar is infused with citrus peels.
After a few weeks of infusing on your counter, you strain out the citrus peels and bottle up your cleaner “concentrate.” Mix the infused vinegar with water, a touch of liquid castile soap, and some (optional) lemon essential oil, and you’ve got yourself the perfect all-natural cleaner, made for just pennies.
In fact, this cleaner is made using stuff from your trash. Eat your grapefruits and mandarins and lemons, and then save the peels for this cleaner! Compared to the price of some of the all-natural cleaners on store shelves, you can’t beat the frugality of this recipe.
Now, I know what you’re thinking—who wants their house smelling like a pickle? And I get it. And I will 100% say this stuff still smells like vinegar, but the vinegar scent dissipates very quickly. Spritz this a few times, and you’ll immediately smell vinegar, but within a few seconds, all your nose will pick up on is a bright citrus scent.
Like I said, we use this in our kitchen on a daily basis, and it doesn’t smell like a pickle. Trust me, I make pickles. I know that nose-burning vinegar scent that can linger, and this cleaner doesn’t have it (at least not for long).
You can use whatever mixture of citrus peels makes you happy. I was being serious up there– just buy whatever you normally like to eat and save the peels. When it’s time for me to make more infused vinegar, I keep a wide mouth mason jar on the counter and just fill it up with peels as we eat. Once it’s all full, then I pour over the vinegar and infuse. It doesn’t get any easier.
I keep my cleaner in an old glass bottle that happens to fit a spray lid from another recycled bottle. I store the leftover concentrate in a Mason jar in my cleaning closet, ready for the next time I need to refill. Happy cleaning!
Homemade Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner is a cleaning powerhouse that you can make for just pennies. It can clean your house from top to bottom!
Keywords: natural home, cleaner, vinegar, citrus
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A great use for the peels once you start using your cleaner is to disinfect your garbage disposal. I keep a jar of peels in vinegar next to my sink and I use a few pieces at the end of every day in my garbage disposal to keep odors down. Once I run out of peels, I use the vinegar for cleaning and start a new jar of peels.
I’m totally going to do this! How long does the vinegar solution stay good for?
Months! I’ve had it in my broom closet for six months with no issues.
Have you tried infusing any herbs with the citrus peels? I love the idea of a rosemary citrus blend!
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