Skip to content

DIY All-Purpose Citrus Cleaner

April 5, 2012

The Prairie Homestead

Homemade cleaners are all the rage right now, and it’s easy to see why–

People are tired of paying big bucks for store-bought cleaners than almost require a gas mask in order to use safely. Plus, many homemade versions work just as good, if not better than the commercial brands. So what’s not to love!?

I’ve used a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water as an all-purpose cleaner for years now… But, not gonna lie– sometimes I miss the fancy “flavors” and scents of the store-bought cleaners.

Which is why I’ve been thrilled to find a new “recipe” for my all-purpose cleaner. It’s still all-natural and safe enough to eat (not that I would recommend that, but you could if you really wanted too…)

Plus, it’s a great way to use up those citrus peels that I always seem to accumulate. My goats and chickens generally don’t care for them, and you can only put so many down the garbage disposal!

DIY All-Purpose Citrus Cleaner

You will need:


  • 1 or 2 quart sized mason jars
  • A spray bottle (a repurposed one is just fine!)
  • White vinegar (around 1-2 quarts)
  • Orange, grapefruit, lemon, or lime peels (any combination of these will work, too)
  • 3 -4 drops of lemon, grapefruit, or orange essential oil (optional)


Fill your quart jars about half full of citrus peels. Feel free to pack them in there if you need to. I used a combo of orange and grapefruit peels for this batch. Allow the peels and vinegar to steep for 2-3 weeks. (The longer it sits, the more potent it will get!)

After time has elapsed, remove the peels from the mixture and strain through a fine strainer to remove any bits of citrus that might be floating in your vinegar. Dilute 1:1 with water (one part citrus vinegar to one part water) and place in a spray bottle.

You may add 3-4 drops of your choice of essential oil if you wish at this point. It’s not absolutely necessary, but I like the extra citrusy-boost that the oils give the mixture, plus they also boost it’s cleaning power!


Fill the jars the rest of the way up with white vinegar. Cover tightly with a lid, give it a good shake, and then write the date on the top so you don’t forget!

Use as you would your plain vinegar cleaner: on sinks, countertops, bathtubs, toilets, floors, etc!

It’s amazing how the little changes can make your daily tasks just a little more fun. I won’t go as far to say that I LOVE cleaning the bathroom now, but it is just a little more pleasant than it was before.

From → DIY, Home & Garden

  1. I am excited to find a use for citrus peels. I am juicing a lot these days, so I have lots of scrap left over. Great idea!

  2. Ditto to areafoodlover’s comment about juicing and peels. Thank you for finding a use for them. I have lemons at the moment which will be perfect. Anything to get me enthused about cleaning, I’ll take it.

  3. Hey, anything that will make cleaning the bathroom more pleasant…
    A thosand thank yous for this idea. Am tweeting and facebooking it all around. I LOVE it!!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Homemade popsicles from juice! | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: