Most of the cleaning products you can buy at your local supermarket are riddled with a list of harsh chemicals that can be hazardous to you and your family’s health. Long after they’ve served their purpose they can continue to wreak havoc on our local ecosystems and pollute our water tables. Avoid these dangers and save yourself some money by making your own cleaner at home! Here’s a recipe for an extremely useful all purpose cleaner that is cheap, easy to make, and only requires two non-toxic ingredients that are common in most households.

 

    What you’ll need:

  • One large mason jar.
  • Several orange (or other citrus) peels, enough to fill the jar.
  • White Vinegar.
  • Spray Bottle.

 

Save enough citrus peels to fill a large mason jar or other sealable container. If you plan to make some fresh squeezed orange juice you will quickly end up with enough peels to do the job. If you’re saving them up over an extended period of time you can keep them fresh by placing them in a plastic bag inside your freezer until they’re ready to be used.



Cut the peels into pieces so that they can loosely fit into the jar, but not so small that they take up the entire volume. We’ll want the vinegar to be able to flow easily between the pieces. Fill the jar with vinegar so that all of the peels are completely submerged and secure the lid tightly.



Mark the jar with the date and allow it to sit at room temperature for 6 weeks, shaking the jar vigorously a couple of times each week. The vinegar will gradually extract the oils from the peels and you will be able to notice the vinegar smell diminishing as the citrus smell becomes stronger. Because it takes so long to prepare, you may want to start a new batch every couple of weeks depending on how much you will use.

After six weeks the liquid is ready to use. Strain the citrus-vinegar solution into a spray bottle and mix with equal parts water to clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces, windows, mirrors and more. Use the solution undiluted for tougher jobs like dried stove-tops. Pour a cup or two into bucket of hot water for mopping, or add some to a soaking dish to help cut through baked on grease!