We all want safe cleaning products without all the nasty chemicals and that’s why green cleaning products are all the rage these days. But with this simple orange vinegar recipe you can take the Do it Yourself approach to green cleaning at a fraction of the cost.
For some people, however, the pungent smell of vinegar is off-putting. All-natural and boutique products often rely on essential oils to make things smell good, and it occurred to me years ago that the natural oils in citrus peels might accomplish the same goal.
My initial experiment involved stuffing orange peels into a Mason jar, pouring basic white vinegar overtop, and storing the jar in a cupboard without opening. After two weeks of steeping, the essence of the orange peels did, in fact, permeate the vinegar and I deemed the test a success.
Orange Vinegar (a “green” cleaner)
- 1 16-ounce canning jar*
- 2 oranges, peels only (eat the insides!)
- White vinegar to cover
Curl the peels around the inside of the jar. For my last batch, I used two large oranges and would not have been able to fit another peel. If your oranges are small and you can fit another peel, feel free to add it. Pour the vinegar into the jar to cover the peels and close tightly.
Store the jar in a cupboard or another cool, dark place for two weeks. Then remove the orange peels and transfer the vinegar to a spray bottle. For basic cleaning purposes, I dilute the vinegar with water by 50%.
Easy Ways to Use Vinegar for Cleaning
Vinegar is an excellent cleaner – it works on mold, mildew and bacteria. It’s also cheap, readily available, green, eco-friendly (doesn’t harm ground water, lakes, streams, aquatic life), and non-toxic. Here are a few quick and easy ways to use it (there are many more, but these are the ones I use all the time).
Window Cleaner – Put in a spray bottle and use it straight up on windows and mirrors. I have used this for a long time and it works just as well as Windex without all the nasty chemicals! I also use it on my glasses.
Bathroom Cleaner – Check out my recipes for homemade cleaning products using vinegar.
Disinfectant – Put in a spray bottle and spray directly on countertops, cutting boards, toilet seats, the shower, toys and more! It naturally kills germs and bacteria and the best part is, unlike Lysol, you don’t have to wipe it clean or worry about those horrible chemicals getting into your food or babies’ mouths!
Drain Cleaner – Pour down stinky, clogged drains, along with baking soda, and the two react to naturally clean gunk and stank nastiness out of your pipes!
Laundry Detergent Softener – Pour straight into the detergent softener compartment and fill to the line marked. That’s it! It does not leave a vinegar scent on my clothes and does a nice job of softening.