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Homemade Cleaning Spray + Repurposing Spent Citrus Rinds Recipe

Got Citrus?

Are you sick of contributing to waste and landfills taking over our oceans? Same. Despise toxic chemicals and artificial fragrances? Me too. Desire an easy peasy DIY to bring 'garden to table' to a whole new level, and say goodbye to toxic chemicals in your home? Yup!   
Not only is this recipe incredibly easy to make, it also serves the added benefit of repurposing spent Citruscraps instead of trashing them! Just repurpose any type of Citrus peel to make this cleaning spray: Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Lime… whatever you have on hand! On its own, white vinegar provides natural but effective antimicrobial activity. By infusing white vinegar with Citrus peels, this cleaning spray takes on a fresh and enjoyable scent. Furthermore, citrus (especially, Lemon) has its own formidable cleaning powers too! Lemon is known to have natural anti-fungal, antibacterial, insecticidal, and deodorizing properties.

So, are you ready to make your own Citrus cleaning spray?


  • Enough Citrus scraps to fill half of your jar – organic if possible!
  • White vinegar (you could also substitute with over-brewed acidic kombucha vinegar!)
  • Large glass jar for steeping
  • Spray Bottle
  • Fine mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth
  • Optional: fresh aromatic, antiseptic herbs such as lavender, rosemary, thyme, sage, or mint

Gather CitruRinds

Collect your spent rinds in a large glass container (or two - we like to prepare multiple batches at a time for easy peasy back up). We typically use a half-gallon or gallon mason jar. If you can’t collect your rinds all at once, pour in enough white vinegar to submerge the Citrus peels. This will prevent the Citrus from molding while you continue to add more.

Soak and Wait

Once you finish collecting half a jar of Citrus rinds, pour plain white vinegar to the brim. Feel free to add a handful of fresh herbs (listed above) for increased natural aromatherapy and disinfecting power. Soak the Citrus in vinegar for at least 2 weeks and up to four weeks on your counter. To help encourage the infusion, you could give the container a shake every few days to mix things up.

Strain and Bottle

After your concoction has finished steeping, it is time to separate the Citrus rinds from the vinegar. Remove as many particles as possible, to avoid clogging the spray bottle. Therefore, you could pour the entire concoction into a fine mesh strainer perched over a bowl to catch it. Another option is to pour the solution through cheesecloths. I invite you to squeeze and squish the Citrus rinds a bit – extracting as much vinegar and juice as possible. Finally, pour the strained solution into a spray bottle. If there is extra solution or you made multiple batches, simply store it in a jar until your bottle needs a refill! 

Get Cleaning!

You did it! Compliments on creating your very own non-toxic Citrus vinegar cleaning spray. Now you can refresh your space, save money at the grocery store and dive further down the road of DIY cleaning solutions for the home!

Want to grow your own Citrus?

Your local nursery may carry Citrus trees. Meyer Lemon and Lime trees are the  most common amongst every Zone. Some of you reading this may be in a Zone that allows for year-round Citrus trees to be planted in the ground. In Zone 6B, where I reside, bringing Citrus trees inside for the Winter is a MUST. And yes, I've killed many Meyer Lemon trees over the last six years. But in the year of 2021, I shall overwinter our Lemon trees in a controlled heated and grow light environment. As the Lemons utilized by our household, in a normal week, is a bit obnoxious (think juices, salad dressings, sauces, nut cheeses, pastas, ie.). In my lifelong dream to grow all that we consume and use; successfully growing Lemon trees is part of that vision. Along with Olive and Avocado trees!

What can I use vinegar cleaning spray on, you ask?

We use this vinegar cleaning spray on our kitchen counters, sinks, shower, toilets, bathtub, on tile, stainless steel appliances, inside the refrigerator, and other durable, sealed surfaces. One of my favorite uses for it is to eliminate residual odors from cutting boards. In addition to sanitizing and deodorizing, vinegar is great at lifting stains, and sticky messes like sticker glue!

Spray and allow it to sit for a minute to reach its full antimicrobial potential, and then rinse or wipe away – such as with a damp sponge or cloth. For a deeper clean and stain removal, such as on shower grout, allow the vinegar cleaning spray to sit for up to ten minutes. You can also add a splash into the dishwasher, or even in the washing machine to freshen up laundry! Your Citrus spray may leave streaks on windows and it's best to work with a pure white vinegar solution when cleaning windows!

Please note that vinegar and Citrus are extremely acidic! Therefore, it is NOT recommended to use this vinegar cleaning spray on granite, marble, or other sensitive stone surfaces. The acid may cause staining and etching to them. We use it on our laminate “wood” floors but avoid using vinegar on our natural hardwood floors or wood furniture. On the other hand, we DO use this spray on our wood cutting boards. When in doubt, use caution and perform research on the surface in question - before dousing it in citrusy vinegar.

My hope is that your Citrus Cleaning Spray will become a staple in your household! If you enjoyed this recipe, please spread the love by sharing with your loved ones. Thank you for your time and energy.

To saving Planet Earth, one less plastic bottle at a time!


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