To celebrate this beautiful citrus season, I want to share with you a super easy and effective DIY citrus cleaner spray recipe, why it works, dos and do-nots, and my favorite ways of using it in our home.
There is so much to love about citrus: the beautiful colors, tasty juice, and the refreshing fragrance. And there is more: citrus peels have magical cleaning powers!
This really easy and effective DIY citrus cleaner is a citrus infused vinegar. If you are wondering how and why it cleans, let’s start with a little green cleaning basics. Feel free to skip to the recipe if you are already familiar with green cleaning! ( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )
Why green cleaning?
I love green cleaning. Lots of conventional cleaners have harmful chemicals and unhealthy ingredients in them. Personally I am very sensitive to many of them.
In contrary, I feel refreshed and uplifted after using all natural cleaners like Dr. Bronners liquid soaps, and our own easy and effective DIY green cleaners, recipes here!
In summary, green cleaning products are easy to make, cost much less, and are good for people and for our planet!
How does vinegar cleaner work?
Vinegar is one of the most effective natural cleaners and disinfectants. The acidity in vinegar kills many germs, molds, and bacteria by destroying their cell structures. Distilled White vinegar is a favorite ingredient in green cleaning because it is colorless.
Vinegar also absorbs odor effectively which makes it a great natural deodorizer for trash cans, toilets, etc.
Vinegar is great for cleaning and deodorizing, the vinegar smell will disappear in less than 30 minutes. However, we can improve on that by adding essential oils, or infuse the vinegar with something great smelling like citrus peels!
What is citrus cleaner?
This DIY citrus cleaner is a citrus infused vinegar that smells amazing, with extra cleaning powers from citrus oils.
Limonene is the major component in the oil of citrus fruit peels (orange, lemon, mandarin, lime, and grapefruit). In addition to its numerous health benefits, limonene is also a natural solvent and a great de-greaser and deodorizer.
When we infuse our vinegar cleaner with citrus oil from the peels, we get an extra powerful citrus cleaner that smells amazing too!
How to make DIY Citrus Cleaner
Save some citrus peels from your oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, etc. You can keep the peels in the fridge for a few days until you get enough to make a batch. You can also dry them for future use when citrus season is over.
Fill a clean glass jar with citrus peels, pour distilled white vinegar into the jar until all the peels are submerged.
Close the lid and keep the jar in room temperature out of direct sun for 1-2 weeks.
By the end of the first week the citrus infused vinegar already smells great, and the peels are actually enough to infuse one more batch of vinegar.
What I like to do is pour the liquid out into a spray bottle, keep the peels in the the glass jar, and fill it with white vinegar one more time. This gives us 2 batches of great smelling citrus vinegar!
How to clean with citrus cleaner
Dilute the citrus infused vinegar with equal amount of water as a cleaning spray, or add 1/2 cup of citrus vinegar to 1 gallon of water to wash floor or tub.
We love using this citrus vinegar as a cleaning spray on windows, mirrors, tiled backsplash, sinks, tubs, laminate or tiled floors, fridge, microwave, oven and cook-tops, trash cans, and even carpets!
Things that you should not clean with citrus infused vinegar (or any vinegar)
Vinegar can remove finishes on waxed furniture, certain hardwood floors, the acid can also damage stone countertops and floors. To be safe, use diluted Sal Suds, which is a coconut based natural cleaning concentrate.
Learn more about how to make other types of easy and effective DIY green cleaners, recipes here!