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Citrus Household Cleaner

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Citrus-Household-Cleaner1One of the staples in our kitchen is lemons.  Once a week, I juice 2 lbs of lemons. My husband loves fresh squeezed lemonade.  So, I keep a jar of fresh lemon juice in the fridge and throughout the week I combine some juice, water, ice, and a sweetener to a mason jar.  I put the lid on and shake! That’s it.  It’s so refreshing and it puts a smile on his face.

Anyway,  this always leaves me with a pile of lemon peels.  I use them to scrub my sinks, boil them to add a wonderful scent into the air but often I just have to many to deal with. Sometimes I even freeze the peels until I have enough to make a batch or two of cleanser.

Homemade Cleaner

When you allow the citrus peels to sit in vinegar for a few weeks, it infuses the vinegar with the oils and scents of the peel.  These oils in the citrus not only provide a great scent, but they also provide a bit of extra cleaning power. This is due to D-limonene which is a powerful solvent for dirt and especially grease.

Scent Ideas:

Cinnamon Orange: Add cinnamon sticks, star anise, whole cloves, almond extract and orange peels. Lemon Lavender: lemon peels and lavender buds. Lemon Rosemary: lemon peels, rosemary sprigs, and vanilla extract. Lime Thyme: lime peels and sprigs of thyme. Grapefuit Mint: grapefruit peels and mint sprigs.  The combinations keep on going. Be creative!

The smell of vinegar…

If you still find the smell of vinegar too strong, keep in mind that the vinegar scent will fade once the cleaner dries. You can also add a few drops of citrus essential oils to the solution to improve the scent.  Add either 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of extract or 4-5 drops of essential oil.


These citrus vinegar cleaners are considered all-purpose except for use on granite, marble, and wooden floors. Vinegar is acidic and can mar the finish of porous stone countertops. This acid could also eat the finish off of wooden floors. These cleaners can be used for almost everything else but if you are ever in question, always do a small test spot that is hidden.

Let’s talk Towels:

For years I have been using Kirkland Signature Ultra High Pile Premium Microfiber Towels (36-Pack). They are over-sized, 16×16″ which is a great size. I am not sponsored by them, just love them! I purchase them at Costco for $15.99.  They absorb liquid really really well for dish drying, cleaning, etc. They work like magic without scratching, linting, or streaking. And since I am always in the kitchen creating recipes, I go through a LOT of towels in one day. lol  And once they start to wear out, I take a magic marker and put a “X” on the corner of the rag.  This then becomes a shop rag.   I hope this post inspired you. Many blessings, amie sue


  • Citrus peels
  • white vinegar
  • mason jar with lid
  • Possible herbs or spices


  1. Fill a glass jar with clean chopped citrus peels.
    • There is considerable wiggle room in how much citrus peel you add to the vinegar. I fill my jars 3/4 ways full of peels, then add the vinegar.
  2. Pour vinegar over the peels until they are completely submersed and screw the lid on the jar.
  3. Add any herbs or spice combinations as listed above if desired.
  4. Allow the concoction to sit, occasionally shaking the jar to mix the liquid.
  5. After 10-14 days, strain out the peels by dumping them into a mesh strainer, catching the liquid in another bowl.
    • They are ready when the vinegar has a strong citrus odor and is yellowish or orangish in color.
    • Compost the peels, don’t reuse for another batch.
  6. Transfer the cleaning liquid to spray bottles and have fun cleaning!  Yep, FUN!
  7. I used these glass bottles, which I love.
  8. Dilute with water if you so desire. The concentration depends on your intended use and preference. I used a 1:1 ratio.
  9. Multi-use:
    • Wood… To use for dusting wood furniture, mist the cloth, then clean.
    • Wooden Floors.. Be very careful with orange/citrus with wood floors, it will “eat” away at the poly finish.
    • Stainless steel appliances… It cuts grease and cleans up grime.
    • Glass… Use on mirrors or glass.  To prevent streaking and a build of film, add a few drops of liquid dish detergent to the spray bottle.
    • Granite… DON’T USE.
  10. Shelf-life – should last darn near indefinitely since vinegar is a preservative.  But apparently I clean to much because I am always needing to make more. haha

My Philosophy of House cleaning…

Citrus-Household-Cleaner3I don’t do windows because … I love birds and don’t want one to run into a clean window and get hurt.

I don’t wax floors because … I am terrified a guest will slip and get hurt then I’ll feel terrible.

I don’t mind the dust bunnies because … They are very good company, I have named most of them, and they agree with everything I say.

I don’t disturb cobwebs because… I want every creature to have a home of their own.

I don’t Spring Clean because…  I love all the seasons and don’t want the others to get jealous

I don’t pull weeds in the garden because…  I don’t want to get in God’s way, HE is an excellent designer!

I don’t put things away because… My husband will never be able to find them again.

I don’t do gourmet meals when I entertain because… I don’t want my guests to stress out over what to make when they invite me over for dinner.

I don’t iron because … I choose to believe them when they say “Permanent Press”


23 thoughts on “Citrus Household Cleaner

  1. Matthew says:

    Thanks for this excellent natural cleaning suggestion Amie-Sue, will have to go out and get some lemons – btw, love your philosophy – very entertaining! You are a woman of many talents

  2. Jasmine says:

    This looks so useful! I’m going to start mine as soon as possible. I LOVE your idea of treating a neighbour to some cleanser, new rags and a CD of cleaning music.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thanks Jasmine :) I enjoy cleaning in general, but cleaning with my own citrus smelling cleanser makes it even more fun. Odd huh? lol

  3. Gabrielle says:

    Lol Amie Sue… Was that an original Cleaning
    Poem? I wondered why I felt the need to clean.
    My computer is broken. Guess I should just fix it! :)
    Thanks for the tip! If you need extra citrus let me
    know. We have a bunch of grapefruit still on
    the trees. We just need to pick them off and fight
    off a few bees. But, we can call that our arm workout for
    the day, :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Gabrielle :) Grapefruit? I always have open arms for fruit and veggies! I wish we had a grapefruit tree here. I hope all is well! hugs, amie sue

  4. kate says:

    Amazing that you sent this citrus cleaner recipe. I have recently been making a body scrub from my lemon and lime peels. Slice them into strips, put into vitamix, add some apple cider vinegar, and honey (warm the honey a bit) and blend all up to make a paste. Then put into a jar and take into the bath, and use this as your soap (I never use soap, too drying). You can even put a little infused oil and some essential oils in. you will find that this is a nice skin rejuvinator. I sometimes just slice the peels and pop them into the freezer until I get enough to make a batch, then just thaw and proceed. try it.

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh that sounds interesting to try out Kate, thank you for sharing yet another great idea for our citrus peels!

  5. I love this!! I like you go through a bag of costco lemons a week (iced green tea with lemons). I’m going to start my brew tomorrow!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Seemichellecook! Good to hear from you. We have a lemon tree in our back yard but lost most of it to a freeze last year. I was just saddened to death by it. It’s coming back and showing some promise so keep your fingers crossed. I love lemons!!

  6. Millie says:

    Thank you for this!!! I will start preparing my cleaners today. I also use a mixture of white vinegar and water as a “conditioner” for my hair, and the citrus peel will give a nice smell!! Love your site!



  7. Muriel says:

    Hello Susan,
    I will make your citrus cleaner, you suggested to use on counter tops, you may want to mention not to use on granite. I would like to share a homemade cleaner for that
    I cup of alcohol
    1/2 cup of water
    10 drops of detergent
    spray bottle
    Thank you for your fabulous recipes, today I am making blueberry almond ice cream !!!

  8. Jeanne says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I’ve been throwing away rinds from juicing about 20 pounds of limes every month. I freeze the juice in batches for our alkalizing green drink–lime juice, good water, powdered greens (wheat grass, barley grass, etc), and powdered green Stevia leaf–Stevia heals the pancreas). I’m so glad to have a use for my lime rinds. I buy limes at Mexican grocery stores, which always sells them super cheap–about 50 cents to a dollar a pound–at least in California. Love, love, love your blog and yummy recipes!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you for sharing all of that Jeanne :) Good tips! We lost a ton of lemons this year to a frost! ack. That just tears me to pieces. Have a wonderful weekend. amie sue

  9. Terry-Ann says:

    What a wonderful site and real neat use of Lemon peel, I use a lot of lemons and love that citrus smell, will be using this, many thanks for sharing.

    • amie-sue says:

      Your welcome Terry Ann… I too love the smell of fresh citrus! So fresh and invigorating. Have a great evening, amie sue

  10. PBE says:

    What a great post. I just came across your site and Blessed that I did. You are a living testimony of using your gifts to bless others. May Abba continue to bless your hands and increase your wisdom for cooking is your ministry. Blessing and Favor.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you BPE, I really appreciate your kind words, then mean a lot. I hope you enjoy my site and find much inspiration and encouragement throughout it. Blessings, amie sue

  11. Kathy says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely cleaning spray recipe, like you I also am a huge fan or never wasting anything either plus it’s all natural so in everyway it’s great and I sure enjoyed your philosophy about cleaning too… thanks for always leaving me with a smile.

    • amie-sue says:

      You bet Kathy. I love learning how to maximize everything we do and use during throughout our daily lives. It never ends, does it? :) But that’s a good thing… I love learning! Oh, I said that already. hehe Besides, I LOVE the smell of citrus. It if weren’t for the vinegar, I would just spritz myself with it. lol Bob might repel from me with the “lovely” vinegar aroma. ;) Blessings. amie sue

  12. Lyn :] says:

    Hi this is really great cleaner, oh speaking of cleaner, Austin cleaned up my computer :[ = lost all emails, addresses, you get the idea!! :] Hope to be back in the loop soon !!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning my dear friend… OOOH NOO! What am I going to do with that computer of yours?!!! I will shoot you an email just in case you lost my address. Austin will get you back into the game. :) Love and blessings, amie sue

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