Easy Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

During the Christmas season we had a lot of oranges given to us as gifts, and we also happened to buy a bunch of them, since that seems to be the time that oranges are so dang cheap!

If you eat a lot of oranges, you can save the peels and make a nice, easy, homemade cleaner for your home.  Eco-friendly and affordable.  (I’ve posted about this before, but wanted to share again.)


Put the peels in a quart-sized canning jar.  Pack them in until the jar is nice and full.  It took me a few days.

Natural Orange-Vinegar Cleaner

Once you’ve got the jar nice and packed full of orange peels, pour some white vinegar over them.  Fill the jar completely.


Once you’ve done that, you’ve just got to wait!  Put a lid on the jar, let it sit for 7-10 days, and then you’ll strain the mixture.  Put the strained liquid in a spray bottle and fill the remaining of it with water.  You’ve got a citrus-scented cleaner that will disinfect, deodorize, and clean!!:-)

15 comments for “Easy Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

  1. August 23, 2014 at 4:24 am

    This is great. What kind of things would you use this cleaner for? Does it make your furniture shine like something like Murphy’s orange oil? Thanks for linking up on Frugal Friday. :)

    • August 25, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      Thanks, Sarah! I personally use it more as an all-purpose cleaner – you know, to wipe down my kitchen counters and/or mop my floors. I ought to look into making an orange oil replacement though – thanks for the awesome idea!! :D

  2. February 5, 2013 at 11:56 am

    This is a great recipe for a homemade cleaner. I have been using it in the kitchen on the stove and countertops and it’s been awesome at cleaning up greasy messes without all the chemical smells as in store-bought cleaners. Thanks!

    • April 2, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      You are more than welcome! I’m so glad it’s working for you!

  3. Carrie
    January 10, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Hi Evelyn! I found this picture + recipe on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/pin/245024035946702270/

    It currently has 1817 repins and 344 “likes” – it’s uncool that the original source is not cited, but what can ya do with sites like Pinterest or Tumblr, I guess. Anyway, just thought you might like to know! :)

    • April 2, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      Wow Carrie, that’s incredible!!! I really wish I could get all the traffic for that, but like you say, what can I do? In my heart I’ll be happy, knowing it was my original post and pic. :)

    • Donna
      January 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Carrie, on Pinterest things aren’t usually cited because the picture itself serves as a link back to the original post. That’s how I got here (quite a whie later, I see, but still). As long as Evelyn doesn’t delete this post, clicking on the picture on Pinterest will bring the interested person here.

      Evelyn, thank you for posting this — I can’t wait to try it!

  4. Kim
    June 26, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Can you use this as a fabric freshener (like Febreeze)? Could you also substitute the orange peels with lemon or lime?

    • June 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      Kim, absolutely! I use this as a freshener for fabric all the time! (I have an un-potty trained child, haha!) Usually what I’ll do is spray a light mist over whatever fabric I’m freshening, and let it sit. If I feel like it needs more, I’ll sprinkle some baking soda over the fabric and let it sit for 30 minutes, then vacuum it up.

      As for substituting lemon peels, YES, in fact, if I bought lemons, I would probably prefer that over oranges, just because I LOVE the smell of lemons! I have done a mixture of lime and orange peels in a jar before, and I think it turned out great.

      Hope that helps!

      • Kirsten
        September 14, 2012 at 11:35 am

        Evelyn…This is Kirsten from the neighborhood! You are so smart! I followed this orange vinegar thing earlier, and now just have oranges and vinegar in a jar, because I couldn’t remember what to do with it after it sat for 10 days! Now I know. What I didn’t know, was that this was your blog!!! I just saw the comments and noticed your picture!! Love it. I sure miss you guys.

        • September 25, 2012 at 10:47 am

          Kirsten! Girl, how are ya doing? I miss seeing you! I’m glad you found the blog and that you found a use for those orange peels!

  5. Jessica
    June 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    So i’ve made this stuff and it smells great :-) what all do you use it for?

    • June 21, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Yay, I’m glad you like it! I personally use it for windows, floors, counters, etc. I also use it to deodorize when my son has an accident on the carpet. :-)

  6. Jessica
    May 28, 2012 at 12:41 am

    This is so cool, I bought oranges so I could try it. But i only have a 1 liter jar, do you know how much water I would add to this in a spray bottle? Yes, I’m horrible at math, thats why I’m asking :-)

    Thank you

    • May 28, 2012 at 7:32 am

      Jessica, here’s the beauty of this “recipe”…it doesn’t matter a whole lot! As long as you use at least as much water as vinegar mixture, you are good. I usually put in about 1.5 times the amount of water as vinegar, but I’ve done equal amounts of both when my bottle was getting too full, and it works great either way. Good luck, I can’t wait to hear how it works for you!

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