Make all natural citrus vinegar peel counter and laundry cleaner. Super easy DIY! With the peels left over from your Christmas oranges and winter lemons, here’s how to make citrus vinegar cleaner.
Homemade Citrus Vinegar Cleaner
Do you have leftover citrus peels lying around? Don’t put them in the garbage! Learn how to make a citrus vinegar cleaner instead.
For this homemade citrus vinegar cleaner you can use the rinds of lemons, oranges, limes or any other citrus you have on hand. Ever heard of a pomelo? It’s kind of like a cross between an orange and a grapefruit and has a lovely green rind (you’ll see it in the pictures below).
Instructions for Making Citrus Vinegar
These instructions are not very complicated. In fact, this is a great kitchen job to set your kids to accomplishing. Even young children can follow all these steps with a little supervision.
- Fill a glass jar with citrus peels, dried or fresh.
- Cover them with white vinegar, cap and shake a bit to coat all the peels in vinegar.
- Screw on a lid and wait for at least a week, or up to four, for the oils to infuse into the vinegar.
- Strain out the peels and compost them (or grind up a few in your garbage disposal to clean it).
- Put the vinegar back into the mason jar. Use for cleaner or condiments.
To Use Homemade Citrus Vinegar
If you’re cleaning with it, you can dilute this mixture to scrub counters, toilets, glass, your five year old and whatever doesn’t run fast enough.
I usually do 1 part vinegar to 1 part water for cleaning surfaces and as an after spray on my shower walls.
For cleaning the toilet, I put one cup of this citrus infused vinegar (undiluted) into the bowl and let it sit for five to ten minutes. Then, I add a 1/3 cup of baking soda and scrub the toilet clean.
You don’t have to use this stuff as a cleaner only. You could also use your citrus infused vinegar in salad dressings and sauces.
For further reading, here’s a great little article about Orange Oil Uses for Home and Beauty from Little House Living.
- Citrus Peels, any variety
- White vinegar
- Place fresh or dried citrus peels into a glass jar that can be lidded, e.g. a canning jar.
- Cover the peels with white vinegar. Shake a bit to cover the top-most peels entirely with vinegar.
- Cover and allow to sit for at least a week, up to four weeks.
- Strain out peels and return the vinegar to the jar. Use as needed.
Peels can be composted or use to brighten stainless steel sinks, scrub toilets or shine copper kitchen tools. A select few may be ground in your garbage disposal to clean it. The peels will be very soft, FYI.
Leftover Citrus Peels?
If you have citrus peels leftover after making this recipe, please visit Montana Happy for lots more ideas on what to do with orange peels.
HE Washer? Try Citrus Vinegar
A great way to use this citrus vinegar cleaner is in an HE washing machine. We had one for awhile that just always stunk. Always. Didn’t matter what I did to it or how often I used the chemical cleaner you can buy at the store. The machine stunk, the clothes stunk, we stunk.
We no longer have that machine but I’m still using this wash on whites and cloth diaper inserts (not the covers). Oh, and towels. This laundry wash along with line drying clothes in the warm sun works wonders on the laundry pile. I don’t use this vinegar citrus wash to replace my laundry soap, but rather, to augment it.
When I started using this citrus vinegar cleaner as a laundry wash that nasty HE washer smell went away. We had to use it pretty much every time, but it worked!
Special Warning for Cloth Diaperers
Incidentally, I think the constant use of vinegar is what made my cloth diaper liners stop working, so but be judicious if you’re using a diapering system that involves PUL fabric.
To learn more about our cloth diaper issues, click here.
To read about trouble shooting cloth diaper issues, click here.
Other DIY Ideas
For more ideas on what to do with vinegars, try these fine topics: