As you may have picked up, I am not a fan of harsh chemical cleaners. If I can find more earth (and nose!) friendly options, I will choose them every time. In the past I have bought orange based cleaners and they did fairly well, but they were harder to find. So imagine my delight when I realized I could very easily make my own!
The first instructions I saw for this process said to clean the oranges, peel them, place the peels in an empty jar, and then cover with white vinegar. Now this part was the same for all the directions I found. I did got and do some extra research on different methods before I started.
Steps 2 and 3 are where the directions took different paths. All the directions I found had a different amount of time that you should let the mixture steep. It ranged from 10 days to two months, which is a very large difference. I sort of split the difference and let mine steep for one month. Just remember to keep these stored someplace dark and cool, I left mine under the kitchen sink.
Step 3 is to strain the mixture and cut it with water. Again, there was a massive difference in the ratios. Some instructions said to add 1/2 cup of water per quart of mixture but some said to add 2 cups of water. I started with the lesser amount and oh boy it was way too syrupy still. The fact that the vinegar got that syrupy to being with was a shock. In the end, I added 2 cups of water to one quart of mixture to get the right consistency.
The cleaner has a very light vinegar smell, the orange scent really takes over. It works very well on removing greasy spots on your stove, removing buildup off microwaves/toaster ovens, and cleaning soap scum off of shower walls. I was not a fan of how it cleaned the bathroom sink, for some reason it was not great at removing toothpaste residue.
The main downside is that I had to wipe down the surfaces after I cleaned them. For some reason they took longer to dry off with this cleaner. That might be in part to the extra rinse I gave most surfaces after cleaning them that I don’t always do with cleaners like Seventh Generation.
The verdict is that I will be making this again. It will take some extra planning to make sure I always have some made as it takes a month of inactive prep time. However, I feel like that will be worth it. Besides, I can use the fruit to make chocolate coated orange segments again!
Love and DIY,