DIY all-natural citrus zest all-purpose cleaner

DIY DIY Home Cleaning Healthy Home Natural DIY

Goodness gracious, are there a lot of home cleaning products on the market.

We’ve got kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, floor cleaner, tile and grout cleaner… oof, I’m starting to feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump (mmm maybe I’ll make shrimp for dinner tonight).

And of course, most of these products are chock-full-o’-nasties, poisoning your family’s indoor air quality with caustic chemicals that have absolutely no business being in your home.

So simplify your home cleaning routine with this DIY all-natural citrus zest all-purpose cleaner!

I admit that I used to use just vinegar and water when it came to home cleaning (because I’m lazy and it works very well) but… it doesn’t exactly smell so lovely (though it reminds me of dyeing Easter eggs as a kid which is a pleasant memory).

And I’d seen this citrus cleaner floating around Pinterest forever now so thought I’d finally try it out.

Why did I wait so long? It. Is. Awesome. So much better than plain ol’ vinegar both in smell and effectiveness.

Here’s what you need:

homemade all-natural citrus zest all-purpose cleaner

  • 1 32-oz bottle of white vinegar (I suggest buying this in a glass bottle so you can later reuse the bottle, making a DIY glass spray-bottle simply by adding a spray nozzle)
  • 3 grapefruit peels*
  • 3 orange peels*
  • 3 lemon peels*
  • A large glass bowl or jar with lid (I used a half-gallon mason jar as pictured to the right)

* Or whatever combination of peels you happen to have or want to use!

Simply put the peels into the glass bowl or jar. Pour the vinegar into the bowl/jar on top of the peels, making sure that it covers the peels completely.

Securely cover the bowl/jar and let the mixture steep for 2 weeks. Not to worry, the vinegar will prevent the peels from molding.

After 10 days, strain the mixture making sure to catch any pulp since this will clog your spray nozzle (I used a fine mesh colander but cheesecloth will also work well). Throw the peels away and funnel the liquid (this is your cleaner!) into a spray bottle. After straining, I was left with 20 oz of cleaner since the peels absorb some and diluted this mixture with 10 oz of water, giving me 30 oz of cleaner at the end — this should last me a few months!

Not only does it smell great, but it’s very effective as all.

My kitchen sink usually requires a lot of scrubbing to get perfectly type-A-personality-approved clean. But I sprayed some of this cleaner on it at night, gave it a little scrub with a wet brush the next morning, and it was more pearly-white than I’d ever seen it… no nasties necessary.

DIY homemade all-natural citrus zest all-purpose cleaner


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  1. I love your website! I love your diy creamy handsoap. I have been struggling to find a good recipe for dishsoap and body soap that I can make. Do you have any good ones? I have tried several different recipes and they always come out either watery or not sudsy. Thank you!

  2. After a week some if the peels grew white mold on them, can I still use the vinegar or should I toss it and start again?

  3. Whats the purpose of soaking the vinegar with citrus peels? Is it just for its scent? Can this formulation work as dish wash too?

  4. Love this article! I have been using vinegar to clean for ages, but didn’t think to add the citrus peels! Thanks for all the great info and tips.Best regards! Orpington Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  5. I’ve done this and found the liquid to be rather sticky. Is there something I am doing wrong?

  6. I think I’ve used a few different ones! 7th Generation and Method most likely. But I’m pretty sure most (if not all) will work.

  7. Quick question! Which spray nozzles are you using for your repurposed RACV bottles? That’s the only reason why I’m not sure how to proceed. Sorry; thanks!