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There for a while you couldn’t find toilet paper to save your life, could you? Now I’m having a hard time finding all purpose cleaners. And one cleaner that I did get from the store I was majorly unhappy with the scent.
The thing is, I don’t know how to make my own toilet paper. And if I did, I probably wouldn’t. That sounds tedious and perhaps a bit gross. But homemade cleaners? Not only CAN I do that I HAVE done that.
Making your own cleaner at home is easy and, most importantly, extremely cheap. Perhaps you might have some up front investment in tools, like spray bottles, but once you’re set up you can make a bottle vinegar cleaner for mere change. And if you’re the type that wants to make sure everything gets used, this is an excellent way to use up peels from any citrus you eat.
Now, if you’re thinking… wait! I can’t stand the smell of vinegar? Neither can I. Yuck. But adding strong citrus scents helps mask that strong vinegar odor. Now is the vinegar smell completely gone? No. This isn’t magic. But it IS something I can totally stand to clean my kitchen and bathrooms with on the regular even DESPISING the smell of vinegar.
To make your own homemade Citrus Vinegar Cleaner you will need:
- Cheap White Vinegar
- Clean Mason Jars
- Mason Jar Lids
- Citrus Peels
- Chemical Resistant Spray Bottles
- Waterproof Vinyl Sticker Paper
When buying white vinegar to make cleaner get whatever is the cheapest. Seriously. Fancy vinegar isn’t going to clean any better than the cheapest you can find.
Getting good spray bottles is important. Darker bottles like amber or blue are technically better than my clear ones. Less light getting to homemade cleaner is always going to be better. Glass spray bottles are amazing if they’ll work for you. Me being so clumsy and having nothing but hard tile floors, I have to use plastic spray bottles. If using plastic spray bottles, they need to state that they are “chemical resistant“.
A Few Tips Regarding Vinegar Cleaners
Vinegar should never be used on natural stone, like marble or granite. It also should not be used on aluminum or cast iron. It can pit these surfaces and ruin them.
When making your own cleaner make sure all of your tools are clean. Run your jars through the dishwasher or rinse with very hot water if they’ve been sitting in the cabinet for a while. Brand new jars, also, will need to be cleaned prior to use.
Since these jars aren’t used for canning anything, you can set aside the lids with wax seals that come with them. I have a stack of metal lids that are all one piece (not a ring + a seal) that work well for this kind of project. They aren’t perfectly water tight, however, so make sure they don’t tip over and leak.
Store your cleaner in a dark, cool place (like under the kitchen sink) to ensure the longest shelf life.
Cleaning Your Citrus Peels
Have you ever made marmalade? I LOVE MARMALADE. I partially love it because you only need 3 ingredients… oranges, sugar, and water. That’s it. Homemade jams and jellies normally need pectin to make it gel up. But the pith, the soft white part inside of a citrus peel is full of pectin so adding it isn’t necessary.
If you’ve ever tried to make homemade citrus vinegar cleaner in the past and it got thick it might be because you didn’t remove the pith. Luckily, it’s super easy to make sure you only get the outer peel for this DIY cleaner recipe…
Most often when I’ve got orange peel it’s because I’ve eaten an orange that I’ve sliced up. Using a metal spoon, gently scrape away the soft pith until only the peel remains.
But what if you want to borrow the peel from citrus you haven’t “used” yet?
A vegetable peeler can make easy work removing just the outer peel from lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit. Once the peel is removed, the fruit will start to dry out. You can keep the fruit you’ve peeled in a zipper bag with a little bit of water for a few days, up to a week. Also, quick tip, even with the peel you can keep citrus in the fridge longer if stored in a bag of water because they don’t dry out as quickly.
How to Make Homemade Citrus Vinegar Cleaner
As you collect the peels place them in a mason jar. Fill the jar with cheap white vinegar until the peels are totally covered.
And just a reminder – PEELS ONLY. It may not seem like it but a lemon DOES contain sugar. And know what doesn’t work well for cleaning kitchen counter? SUGAR. Unless you like ants. Then have at it! :)
You can use any citrus fruit you’d like to make vinegar cleaner at home including lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges or any combination of them.
You can also add herbs to your citrus vinegar cleaner that pair well with citrus scents. Mint and lime go together very well, just like in a mojito. Rosemary pairs well with oranges normally. For some reason this last time my rosemary and orange batch came out smelling like pickles. Yuck.
My absolute favorite combination is lemon and lavender. It’s seriously the nicest smelling vinegar cleaner EVER. It might be one of the nicest smelling cleaners full stop.
Once your jars are full screw on a lid until finger tight. Place the jars in a cool dark place like in a cabinet and allow to rest anywhere between a few days to a few weeks. I typically shoot for 1 week. That’s when I can smell citrus rather than vinegar.
I’d suggest that every couple of days give your cleaner a sniff test. Once you’re happy with the scent that means it’s done!
Transferring Your Citrus Vinegar Cleaner to Spray Bottles
Place a clean paper towel or coffee filter inside of a funnel. Put the funnel inside the neck of your spray bottle. Pour your citrus vinegar from the mason jar through the funnel. Once most of the vinegar has dripped through, squeeze the filter to get out all of the scented vinegar you can. Throw away the filter and any solid materials.
Though your homemade vinegar cleaner can be use as is, you can also cut your vinegar with water up to 50%.
Label your cleaner to make sure it gets properly used. Even better, use our FREE vinegar cleaner label.
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Free Citrus Vinegar Cleaner Spray Bottle Label Printable
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Making Waterproof Labels for your DIY Vinegar Cleaner
Labels can be printed on waterproof vinyl sticker paper for great looks and longevity. Simply print, cut out and apply to your DIY citrus vinegar cleaners. For an extra layer of protection, print your labels and allow them plenty of time to dry. Apply a light, even spray of sealer, like polyurethane, to ensure your labels look great for even longer.
Citrus Scented Vinegar Cleaners
- White Vinegar
- Citrus Peels (lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, etc.)
- Waterproof Vinyl Sticker Paper
- Use a spoon to remove all pit from your citrus peels. All of the fleshy white material should be removed.
- Place your peels inside of a mason jar. Pour vinegar into the jar until the peels are completely covered.
- Add herbs like lavender, rosemary or mint to enhance the citrus smell. Screw on the mason jar lid until finger tight and store in a cool dry place for 1 day to 3 weeks depending on personal preference of the strength of the citrus smell.
- Place a paper towel or coffee filter inside of a funnel placed into the neck of a chemical-resistant spray bottle. Pour the scented vinegar into the bottle and dispose of the filter and solid materials.
- Print your labels on waterproof printable vinyl. Spray with a sealer like polyurethane, if desired. Cut the labels and place on your spray bottles.
Isn’t that great? Cleaner that smells pretty darn good for very little money! What scents are you eager to try?