We’re always looking for homemade cleaner recipes! I was turned on to this all-purpose citrus cleaner about a year ago by a friend and decided to give it a try.
Friend: “Do you eat a lot of citrus fruit?”
Me: “My wife does! She’ll go through a bag of those mini tangerines in a week or less!”
Friend: “…and do you keep white vinegar in your house?”
Friend: “Then you’ll never run out of cleaner!”
I had to try it! …and I’m glad I did! We use it daily, and it cleans great!! Want to know how to make it?
First, of course, you eat a bunch of citrus fruit (how else could you make citrus cleaner?!). I mentioned that my wife loves these little tangerines, and lately, I’ve been eating them, too. We also add lemon to our water quite often, and I like a grapefruit for breakfast now and again. As you can tell, we always have some kind of citrus in the house. Anyway, eat the fruit and save the peels. Try to make the peels relatively small – like around the size of quarters, give or take. The smaller the pieces, the more “citrus-y” your cleaner will be.
I’ve been told apple cider vinegar is good for cleaning, too, but I haven’t used it before, so for the sake of this article, we’ll stay with the white vinegar.
Let the peels steep in the vinegar for a couple of weeks. After a week, turn the jar upside down to make sure you soak all the peels.
You’ll probably notice after a week that the vinegar is starting to look a little syrupy, and maybe even changing color a little. This is normal – it’s the essential oils mixing with the vinegar.
After a couple of weeks, strain the vinegar into another container for pouring (or directly into your spray bottle). Fill the jar with hot water and pour that over the peels, too, mixing the water and vinegar. A lot of people will tell you that you need to use distilled water so the chemicals from the tap doesn’t affect the cleaner… but honestly, I just use tap water.
I like to let it sit and drain a few minutes. While it drains, I drink a cup of fresh coffee from my percolator back there. 😉
After the peels have drained, pour the citrus cleaner into a spray bottle. If you don’t have something with a spout for pouring, use a funnel. If you don’t have a funnel, you’d better be a good pour! Of course, if you spill it, it’s ok… just use a sponge or cleaning cloth, soak it up, and use it to wipe off the counter.
You can use an old spray bottle if you have one, just make sure you rinse it out WELL, or you could just start with a clean bottle.
As for the peels, I put them into the garbage disposal with a handful of ice and run it with cold water. It cleans the disposal and makes it smell great! …it’s pretty noisy, though.
We use this stuff mainly in the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s great for counters, stoves, vent hoods, refrigerators, cabinets, knobs, sinks, mirrors, toilets, showers…. I think you get why we call it “All-Purpose” now, huh?
That’s it! Simple, cheap, environmentally friendly, and works great! What more could you ask for?