Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Homemade Orange Oil Cleaner

Don't throw away your orange/citrus peels the next time you have a snack! You can very easily turn the waste into a fancy, all purpose cleaning, laundry boosting, super grease/soap scum fighting solution.


Ingredients
Citrus Peels
Vinegar

Yep. That is it. Fill a clean jar with your citrus peels, and cover with vinegar. Put the jar in a cool, dark place, and let it sit for 4-6 weeks (the longer the better). Every few days, take the jar out and give it a stir or shake. It will begin to smell less vinegary and start to smell like a dream. A lovely, sparkly fresh, clean dream... filled with citrus.

Once it is finished, strain the liquid from the peels using a coffee filter or cheesecloth. For most cleaning situations, dilute the orange cleaner to 1/2 cup per gallon of water. Spritz away!

For greasy stovetops, don't dilute the mixture. Just spray a thin layer of straight-up cleaner on the stove and be amazed at the superhero peels that you almost tossed into the trash!


You don't need to eat a bunch of oranges all at once to fill up your jar. Just keep adding the peels to your jar and covering with vinegar until you are sick of citrus or until the jar is full. If you do the add-as-you-go method, start the 4-6 week countdown after you toss in the last peel.

Remember to give your citrus a good scrub before peeling and eating. If you are not using organic oranges, scrub 3 times as hard (preferably with some type of veggie/fruit cleaner) to remove the wax sealing and whatever chemicals have been sprayed on them.

Be careful using any citrus oil in your house if you have some cuddly, purring kitties. They are sensitive to it, and cleaning an area around their usual hang out spot may cause them to get all catty and pee on your bed.

41 comments:

  1. I am going to give this a try. Can you add lime and lemon peels to it?

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    1. Yep, any citrus will work. Having spare orange peels is more common than lemons and limes, so most people just make a straight up orange version. In the photo of my jar, I actually have about half oranges/half lemons and limes. It smells amazing!

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  2. Bookmarked. Thank you so much! :-)

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  3. Waaaaaait a minute. Using citrus in my house might make my cat pee? No joke? Controlled experiment time.

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    1. Only if you have super vengeful cats like mine. If I do anything they don't like, they will pee on my bed. Jerks.

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  4. I can't believe how many citrus peels we are throwing away. I hadn't gotten a chance to make anything with them, and had never heard of this before. Sounds easy!! Will be getting a big jar soon, and trying this out. I love to use homemade cleaning products, and look forward to trying this! Thanks for sharing.
    ~~Lori

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    1. Even though they would just get thrown into our compost, and not necessarily the trash, I still like to get as much life out of things that I can before tossing them.

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  5. Well, I can hardly believe it, but Belle recently started doing exactly the same thing! Great minds think alike.

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  6. Thanks for this! I'm going to try it right away!

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  7. Can't wait to try this, who knew it was so simple!! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for all your wonderful advice on starting my seeds. I am excited to have been introduced to your blog in return, I love the back to basics theme of it, life simple!!
    Love it! Cheers Julia =)

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    1. It is so simple, it's amazing. Thanks for visiting!

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  8. oh awesome. I use a lot of vinegar and water for cleaning, but my family doesn't like the stinky smell until the area is dry. Any idea how long this mixture keeps?

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    1. Since the mixture is basically vinegar, it should keep for a really long time. Just make sure to keep it in a dark place so that the oils in it don't degrade over time.

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  9. Ooh, I've been making this cleaner, too! My jar right now is a mish-mash of orange, lemon, and lime peels :)
    -Jaime

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  10. You get my vote as thread of the month! What a fabulous idea thank you for sharing this.

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  11. I'm going to try this. We eat a lot of oranges.
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Glory Farm

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    1. Glad to hear you are giving it a try. Thanks for visiting!

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  12. I started mine!! Right after I read your post, I decided to have oranges and grapefruit with dinner. I can't wait to see how it turns out. Now I just need to wait 4-6 weeks. ;)
    ~~Lori

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    1. That's fantastic! The only difficult thing about making it is the waiting.

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  13. Thanks so much for this post! I'm going to make up a batch of citrus cleaner right away. I'm wondering, if I make a batch using only lemons, would that be safe for my Mom to use since she has cats and I know orange peel is toxic to cats. Also, what did you do with the peels you strained out at the end. Did you compost them? Or did you dry it and then sprinkle it around outside where neighborhoods cats tended to dig in the yard as a deterrent?

    Anyway, I only just found your blog and am bookmarking it so I can learn more... Thanks.

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    1. Most cats are sensitive to all citrus smells, so they may not enjoy the lemon oil too much either. I use our cleaner even though we have cats, but I am mainly cleaning areas where they don't go (countertops, stoves, sinks, tables). If you are concerned about using this on places where your cats frequent, you can use the cleaner and then go over the area with a hot water rinse.

      We just ended up composting the peels. Scattering them around as a cat deterrent sounds like a good idea, but our dog would probably just end up finding and eating them!

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  14. Seriously...you're so amazing and organic. I love it!! I miss you, girly!!!!

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  15. GREAT IDEA 2 questions:

    1. Can I keep this in my refrigerator? Or is this too cool?

    2. Can I keep a lid on it during the 4-6 weeks?

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    1. Your refrigerator is probably too cool and damp for the solution. I keep ours in the back of a kitchen cabinet.

      You can definitely keep a lid on it! Just make sure to give it a shake or stir once a day to keep everything all nice and combined.

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  16. I imagine you can use this cleanser on a tile floor, but probably not on granite? What about on wood? I'm very excited to try it - thanks!

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  17. My daughter's make a WONDERFUL orange marmalade, and I have always regretted not having anything to do with the leftover peels. Thanks!!

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  18. The citrus peels soaked up the vinegar made the top half of the jar void of vinegar so the top few peels started turning brown (rotting?) is this normal? Should I throw out the brown peels and add more vinegar?

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  19. Another question…will ALL the vinegar eventually become citrus oil? and you you have to wait until it has NO vinegar smell? (that was another 2 questions…sorry :)

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  20. Instead of a jar can I use a Plastic container? A container that held nuts or other things..or does it have to be a glass jar?

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Thanks for visiting, and I appreciate you taking the time to comment!