Natural cleaning has been picking up speed as a trendy movement in the past couple years, but really it’s been around forever. Before all the bright colored gels and flower-scented sprays, Vinegar was the superhero natural cleaner. And if I have a choice between cleaning with something natural and cleaning with something that is probably going to give me a headache from the smell, I’ll choose the natural one so I don’t need to take Excedrin later.
What Can Vinegar Clean?
- Glass and Dusting
- Counters (Don’t use it on stone like granite or quartz, it can dull the finish)
- Tubs and Showers
- Dishwashers – I do a quick splash in ours with every load because we have hard water and no water softener. Glasses come out sparkling and no need for a rinse agent!
- Laundry and stains
- Microwave -Put a small bowl of vinegar and water in your microwave for a minute, and it will help loosen up any stubborn food explosions
- Kill unwanted grass in walkway cracks
- Soften hard paintbrushes – I’m definitely trying this. I’m notorious for not cleaning paint off paintbrushes after a project – whoops!
I’ve used vinegar in lots of ways, but then I thought – wait, can I make my own cleaner?
Yup you can.
After looking through some of my favorite homesteading books, I saw that there are several ways to make your own natural cleaner – Essential oils, lemon juice, citrus rinds, baking soda.
I decided that the abundance of oranges in our fridge was not only going to give us a boost of Vitamin C, but they would also become part of this easy 2 ingredient recipe.
Let’s Make It!
Gather orange, lemon or even grapefruit peels. You’re obviously not going to be eating enough to fill a quart jar all at once, so you can just peel as you eat them and keep them in your fridge until you have enough to fill your jar.
Grab a quart size glass Mason jar or old spaghetti sauce jar (cleaned, preferably haha) and pour distilled white vinegar over your orange peels, but make sure they’re completely covered. You can use a larger jar if you like too!
Sit back and wait a couple weeks for your natural cleaner concentrate to infuse with citrusy goodness! 2 weeks should be sufficient, but up to a month is fine too.
Strain your new natural cleaner concentrate and keep it in a glass spray bottle or jar. I really like these blue glass spray bottles, but these amber ones are pretty popular too. I tend to lean towards colored glass since I use essential oils in some of my concoctions, and that helps keep them potent. With this cleaner you can use clear glass, but I definitely recommend glass over a plastic bottle.
How Do I Use My New Natural Cleaner?
Besides the ways I listed earlier, this orange vinegar cleaner is just a great, all-around Multi-Purpose cleaner!
To use on stubborn soap scum or hard water stains in the bathroom, dilute your concentrate with water at a 1:1 ratio and spray on top of a sprinkle of baking soda. Vinegar and Baking Soda are a cleaning powder duo!
For an everyday cleaner, use a 1:3 ratio to wipe down glass, counters, shelves, etc. Spray your diluted orange vinegar cleaner and use a microfiber or lint free cloth to wipe up messes.
Like I mentioned earlier, you can use any kind of citrus peels in this recipe, but you can also add different herbs, ingredients, or essential oils to give your cleaner an aromatherapy twist! Some popular additions are:
- Cinnamon sticks
- Tea Tree Oil has anti-bacterial properties (I looooove Plant Therapy brand)
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Peppermint Oil
This Orange Vinegar Natural Cleaner can be used for so many different cleaning applications – think about how many products in your cleaning stash that this could actually replace, which in turns saves money. A gallon of distilled white vinegar costs around $3. Orange peels are technically free since they’re usually just tossed in the trash. So this quart of natural cleaner concentrate cost me $.75! The average bottle of multi-purpose cleaner usually costs around $3-4. Plus the added bonus of it being safe to use around kiddos and pets!
How would you use this Natural Orange Vinegar Cleaner in your home? What scent combinations would you try? I think I might try a citrus combo next!
I LOVE using vinegar to clean. It does so much better on glass than Windex.
Yay!! I love this recipe and using “scraps” for natural cleaners!
I’m excited to try this on my microwave. Love these ideas!