Citrus cleaner

This is an eco-friendly way of using up your citrus peel and having a natural, low-cost cleaning product. It is also a good way of keeping toxins out of your home. It is kinder to the environment and to our pets too.

It uses white vinegar which is a good germ cleaner and cuts through grease. Combined with bicarbonate of soda it can be effective since bicarbonate of soda absorbs odours and acts as a mild abrasive.

Please note that I’m suggesting you use white vinegar and not white wine vinegar to make this cleaning product. White vinegar is distilled acetic acid diluted in distilled water with a very sour taste whereas white wine vinegar is mellow, fruity and delicious in your salad dressings.

This cleaner is not suitable for marble or granite surfaces.

I keep a large gallon jar with a screw top lid in the kitchen. I fill it three quarters of the way with white vinegar and then any leftover citrus peel that isn’t being used for other projects, gets tossed into the jar and the jar shaken after every addition to ensure it is immersed until the jar is filled.  

Lemon peel is particularly good since it has natural antibacterial properties. I add natural lemon and tea tree essential oils to the spray since they have antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

This is more of an idea than a strict recipe – adjust according to what jar you have.


You’ll need a 1 gallon jar (or bucket) with a sealed lid

3 litres of white vinegar

Citrus peel – lemon, orange, lime or grapefruit – whatever you have.

15 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

10 drops tea tree essential oil (optional)


Fill three quarters of your jar with white vinegar. Add citrus peel until the jar is filled. Keep adding to it, you don’t have to fill it all at once. Make sure you keep the lid on to prevent fruit flies getting in and spoiling your cleaning fluid. Agitate the jar every now and again so the citrus peelings release their essential oils.

After a month, strain off the vinegar by passing it through a fine mesh sieve.  Pour the citrus vinegar into a glass spray bottle. Add the essential oil if you wish.

TO USE: Spray to polish sinks, worksurfaces, tiled floors and bathrooms. To remove stubborn stains, sprinkle the surface with bicarbonate of soda first and then spray with the citrus vinegar.  It will fizz up on contact and it is quite fun to watch. Then when it’s finished bubbling, use a damp cloth to give it a rub and clean it off.

WARNING: This is not an edible product and should be kept away from children and pets and treated with care like you would other cleaning products. This cleaner is not suitable for marble or granite surfaces.

White vinegar infusing with citrus

White vinegar infusing with citrus