Homemade, Natural Citrus Glass and Surface Cleaner

I consume a lot of citrus fruits like lemons and oranges during the week. Living in the city with a deck on a busy, high-traffic street, makes composting and a garden something I will do once I get a place in nature. For now, I’ve been using my lemon, orange, lime, even grapefruit rinds to make a natural, toxin-free glass and surface cleaner.

My first batch was officially tested out this past weekend with incredible results. I ran all around the house like a giddy schoolgirl trying it out on mirrors, hardwood floors, toilets, counter tops, and all were squeaky clean, smelled of fresh citrus and streak-free!

Attendees of the YumUniverse Launch Party taking place at the Chicago Urban Art Society August, 12, will receive (among many other goodies) samples of this cleaner to take home. Unable to join us, or can’t wait ’til then? Try out this recipe yourself, it couldn’t be easier.

Ultra fine cheesecloth, muslin scrap, or a fine-mesh strainer
Glass jars for soaking (re-use pasta sauce bottles or buy some wire-bail Mason jars or vintage-style milk bottles)
Glass spray bottles (mini ones are great for gifting)

2-4 organic lemon rind
1 organic orange rind (optional)
1-2 organic lime rind (optional)
32 oz. organic white vinegar
Organic lemon, lime and/or orange oil (optional)

Let’s get started.
Fill your glass jar about 1/2–2/3 full with citrus rind. You can’t go wrong here with amount of citrus. More rind yields a stronger citrus smell, and less rind—you guessed it—less citrus smell.

Pour organic white vinegar over rind until jar is full. Seal airtight and let sit on counter for 3 weeks.

Feel free to peek/sniff over the next few weeks, you won’t disturb the infusion process by opening the jar. After 3 weeks, strain mixture with your cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer. Don’t stress over the infusion time—I’ve left bottles of rinds in vinegar for months with success. If you want to amp up the scent, add 1 drop each of organic lemon and/or lime, and/or orange oil, and/or grapefruit essential oil. Lavender and/or vanilla is a nice compliment too.

Use your spray cleaner either at full concentration or you can stretch the batch by diluting a bit with water. Have fun and share.

The best part about this recipe is that it can be used to wash fresh veggies and fruits, too!

Spray on veggies and give them a gentle scrub and rinse. Vinegar and lemon are natural antibacterials and do a fantastic job of cleaning produce naturally.


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  1. Kathy@merrimentdesign.com

    Love it! So clean and perfect for cleaning near Elise. Great tags, too.

  2. This sounds so easy! And also cheap, sensible, environmental, and I bet it smells good too. Thanks.

  3. Amanda

    This is amazing. I liked it so much, I’m making some to give as gifts this holiday. I especially like how it works on wood floors and cutting boards. The lemon really helps remove any garlic flavor left behind from making your creamy kale salad! Thanks!

  4. lin

    sounds great. how long will this keep? do you think grapefruit skin would work too?

    • Hi there Lin,
      I do think grapefruit skin would work as well. Concentrated cleaner would last 6 months or longer, where if you dilute with water, you may want to use it up in 3 months. Keeping it in the fridge will definitely prolong life.

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