Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mean, Green, (Inexpensive) Cleanin' Machine

As Friday approaches, I can't help but get excited about mopping my kitchen floors and cleaning bathtubs. Am I crazy? Nope. The new just hasn't worn off my latest discovery, and I'm still so excited about using it! I chunked all my store-bought cleaners, organic or otherwise, and made my own. Two ingredients. About $6 per concentrated gallon. You're so jealous right now, I know!

If you want to follow suit, here's what you need:
  1. 1 gallon white vinegar
  2. 1 empty gallon jug (I used a milk jug for my first batch)
  3. 6-8 citrus peels (orange is best), depending on size

Heres' what you do:
  1. Peel and eat the oranges (not in one sitting, silly)
  2. Cut your citrus peels into small chunks, small enough to fit through the hole of the milk jug
  3. Fill the milk jug up half way with the citrus peel
  4. Fill the jug the rest of the way with vinegar
  5. Steep for 2-4 weeks
  6. Strain the citrus vinegar into a bowl
  7. Pour the rest of your original vinegar over the citrus peels from this first batch (to make a second batch)
  8. Pour the citrus vinegar into the now empty vinegar bottle and store in a cool, dark place
  9. You may want to add a couple more peels into the second batch as you use citrus, to ensure you get an equally potent brew. Don't re-use a third time.

Voila! You now have a concentrated, powerful, fragrant and inexpensive cleaner that your child or pet could drink with no catastrophic effects (OK, I'm not advocating that you let them drink it, nor would he/she find it very appetizing. Just sayin'). I dilute about a cup per gallon of water, and I use it to clean just about every surface in my home except wood.  Never use vinegar on wood! If you have wood floors, you can use a similar method, just use water and lemon peels. And if you mop wood floors with it, use a barely damp mop and make sure you dry immediately (never let water sit on wood).

My Honest Review:
This concoction is just as effective (if not more) on my tile floors as any store-bought cleaner I've ever used. It can be slightly harder to use on tubs and sinks, as it requires some scrubbing for grime. If I run into any grime I can't easily get at with plain ol' "elbow grease," I sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the problem area, then  spray with my citrus vinegar. It will bubble a bit, then I wipe it off. That usually does the trick. But use caution with this method if you're cleaning a surface that could scratch easily. The baking soda is mildly abbrasive.

What changes have you implemented in your home to make it greener and safer for your family or pets? Share!


  1. Woot! I will CERTAINLY be doing this. You know me... hippie or bust.

  2. Amen to that, hippie buddy ;)