Before I had my first child, I really did not give much thought to the products I used to clean. There was no one crawling on the floor or potentially licking the window (yes totally happens all the time!) When I found out I was pregnant, I started doing research on basically everything in my life. My cleaning products all had to get the heave-ho. The amount of chemicals that I was using on my floor, on the counters, the windows, the mirrors, was totally ridiculous.
So, I made a plan to look at alternative methods for cleaning. Products like baking soda and vinegar. One that really stuck with me was Homemade Orange Vinegar Cleaner. I get the best of both worlds, the cleaning and disinfecting power of vinegar but a better overall smell. If you really want to kick it up a notch, add some fresh herbs at the end of the curing process. In different batches I have added Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, or Basil. All have disinfecting properties and will add benefits as well as they help with the vinegar smell.
Where I clean with Homemade Orange Vinegar Cleaning Solution
Now, I will be the first to admit that Orange Vinegar Cleaning Solution is not for cleaning everywhere in your home. I use it mainly in the kitchen, bathroom, walls (check first that it will not hurt your finish!), and on my windows and mirrors.
The vinegar really cuts grease, so it works wonders on your stove top, the microwave and even the counters (just make sure they are not any of the ones listed below!). I use it to disinfect the sink, but I also scrub with baking soda and water to get the sink looking shiny again.
Before you can make your Homemade Orange Vinegar Cleaning Solution, you have to make the concentrate first.
Homemade Orange Vinegar Concentrate
- Orange peels (you can use any type of citrus peels you want, or mix them up!) you just need enough to fill a large mason jar. I used a half-gallon jar for mine\
- Mason Jar (or other clean large jar with a lid)- prefer a half-gallon, but you can use what you have available
- White vinegar (enough to fully cover the peels)
- distilled water (or filtered)
- cheese cloth or a mesh strainer
- glass bottle and sprayer
- essential oils (optional)
- Take orange peel and pith (or any citrus!) and place in a glass jar. I used a half-gallon mason jar. Use what you have available. Fill up the jar at least halfway with the peels.
- fill the jar with white vinegar so that it covers the peels.
- Store in a cool dark place.
- Let cure, shaking once a day or so. For at least 2 weeks. I let mine set for 4 – 6 weeks.
- Strain the liquid into a clean jar. This is your concentrate.
Homemade Orange Vinegar Cleaning Solution
In a glass bottle mix 1/2 Homemade Orange Vinegar Concentrate with 1/2 distilled water. If desired add 10 – 20 drops of orange, lemon, sage, or rosemary essential oil to the bottle. Screw the lid on and shake. Now you are ready to clean!
If you are wondering about the glass bottle, it is an old vinegar bottle that i used a nozzle from the dollar store one. better to have glass for sure! Plus repourposing the glass is a total win in my book.
What you should avoid using this cleaner on
- Granite / marble (or any other stone surface)
- Hardwood floors
- Stainless Steel
The best advice I can give is that if you have concerns that it may leave a mark, do not use it!
Now time to get ready for cleaning!