Last week I wrote about making your own Citrus Enzyme Cleaner, which got me thinking about how the whole idea of cleaning with citrus just makes so much sense to me (not to mention that I LOVE the smell, taste, and just about EVERYTHING else related to citrus!)
I mean why pay ridiculous amounts of money for harsh commercial cleansers when you can create your own INEXPENSIVE and EFFECTIVE versions using citrus peels? What makes them so effective? Citrus peels contain oil called D-limonene which is a powerful solvent for dirt and especially grease.
I want to once again thank loyal reader Denise in ARK (of “How To Clean Your Bathroom Like A Pro” fame!) for her help in compiling this list of homemade cleaners using citrus peels. I can’t wait to make up each and every one of them using LEMON peels!
1. Citrus Vinegar All-Purpose Cleanser
Fill a glass jar with clean chopped citrus peels. Pour vinegar over the peels until they are completely submersed and screw the lid on the jar. Allow the concoction to sit, occasionally shaking the jar to mix the liquid. After four weeks, pour the concoction through a mesh strainer and into a spray bottle. Use the cleanser to clean countertops, stovetops, appliances, floors and glass.
2. Powdered Citrus Cleanser
Combine 1 cup baking soda, 2 tsp. cream of tartar, 1/8 cup borax and 1/4 cup grated citrus peel in a bowl. Mix the ingredients well and pour the mixture into a glass jar. Sprinkle the mixture onto dried spills and scum. Use a sponge or soft brush to scrub the mixture into the mess, breaking it up. Wipe clean with a wet cloth.
3. Carpet Freshening Cleanser
Combine 2 cups baking soda, 1 cup borax and 3 tsp. citrus zest in a bowl. Let the mixture sit until all moisture has evaporated. Mix it well and store in a glass jar. Sprinkle it onto dirty carpets and allow it to sit, absorbing odors and loosening dirt. Vacuum the carpets well after at least five minutes.
4. Disinfecting Citrus Cleanser
Chop up the peel of a large citrus fruit. Combine it with 4 cups water and bring it to a boil in a saucepan. Allow it to cool until it is warm. Stir in 6 tbsp. vinegar and 3 tsp. borax. Mix well and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Shake before use to mix the liquids. Spray hard surfaces with the cleaner and wipe clean.
5. Citrus Furniture Polish
In a jar, combine 1 cup lemon juice, 2 cups olive oil and 1/2 cup finely chopped citrus peel. Dip a rag into the concoction and use it to wipe wooden surfaces. Screw the lid onto the jar and store in a cool, dry place.
6. Citrus Disposal Degreaser
Drop the peels into the disposal with three or more ice cubes. The ice cubes cool the grease, solidifying it, and the acid in the peels cuts it away. Turn on the disposal until the peels, ice cubes and grease are gone. The citrus peels release a clean scent as they are broken down.
7. Citrus Microwave Degreaser
Combine 1 cup of water and 2 tbsp. of lemon juice in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the liquid for about 3 minutes, or until hot and steaming. Remove the bowl from the microwave. Dip a clean rag into the liquid and use it to wipe down the inside of the microwave until it is clean.
8. Citrus Scrub Degreaser
Cut through caked-on grease on stovetops or kitchen counters. Sprinkle salt heavily over the grease. Cut a lime in half and squeeze the juice over the salt. Use as many limes as necessary to cover the salt. Allow it to sit for about five minutes. Scrub the salt and lime juice into the grease with a sponge or rag to loosen it. Wipe it up with paper towels or a wet rag.
9. Citrus Spray Degreaser
The acids found in the vinegar and lemon juice work together to quickly cut through grease. Mix together 1/2 cup lemon juice and 2 cups of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Keep it in the kitchen and quickly spray grease splatters with the solution. Wipe them up with paper towels.
10. Citrus Metal Polish
When it comes to copper, brass and chrome, nix harsh chemical polishes and instead put some elbow grease behind half a lemon. For extra oomph, before scrubbing, dip the fruit half in salt—it will help exfoliate the surface for added shine.
Wow! That’s a whole lotta citrus! Of course I personally can’t get enough. If you’re like me and simple LOVE LEMONS….you might want to check out my Pinterest board “Lemon Joy” for all sorts of citrus inspiration!