Make Your Own Citrus Enzyme Cleaner

Let me start out by saying I AM NOT A PATIENT PERSON. Just ask anyone in my family. No wait, don’t. Just trust me on this one.

So when I read about making this enzyme cleaner that takes 3 MONTHS to “mature”…I just knew I could never stand the waiting! So I ALMOST passed on this idea….until I read in the COMMENTS of this particular blog post instructions how to speed the process up from 3 months to TWO WEEKS!

I thought about it long and hard….and after some DEEP soul searching…I decided I COULD do 2 weeks. :-)

So the “2 weeks” were up about 2 weeks ago, but things have been a bit hectic around here so I didn’t actually get around to giving it a good test drive until this weekend!  As you can see by the date on the bottle…I ALMOST made it ONE MONTH. :-)   So I figured it should be ready enough for a good test.  I decided the bathroom would be my first “test subject”.

After cleaning the toilet and the tub….I have to say….I am very impressed!  

But let me back up a little. When I found this idea online I was intrigued because I had heard good things about enzymes. As a matter of fact….a few months back we had to call a plumber to deal with some clogged pipes that caused a minor flood. After he took care of the problem he gave us a bottle of enzyme cleaner to pour down the drains on a regular basis to KEEP it that way.  We have been CLOG-FREE ever since. :-)

So the idea of making my own enzyme cleaner was appealing for several reasons.

It’s natural, environment-friendly, and non-toxic.
It’s made from kitchen scraps!
It’s effective!

citrus enzyme cleaner

So here is the “recipe”:

Citrus Enzyme Cleaner

Things Needed:

2-liter Plastic Bottle
100 g (or about 1/2 cup) Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon yeast (optional, to speed up process)
1 liter Water
300 g (or about 2 cups) Lemon and/or Orange Scraps
Marking Pen

Pour the brown sugar into the 2-liter plastic bottle.
Cut the lemon and orange scraps (I only had lemons on hand) into pieces small enough to fit the mouth of the bottle. Put them in the bottle.
Add yeast. Add one liter of tap water into the bottle.
Tightly screw the cap so that no liquid falls out and dissolve the sugar by
shaking the bottle for about 30 seconds.

For the first couple of weeks, give the bottle a shake once a day, making sure to leave the bottle cap loosely fastened to avoid gas build-up (ie. Explosions!) from the fermentation process.

Using a marking pen, write the date on the bottle. It will take three months for the ingredients to ferment. (Or two weeks if you add the yeast.)

When the enzyme cleaner is ready…add half a cup of enzyme cleaner to one liter of water and mix thoroughly.  (Use more if you prefer a stronger concentration.)

Some uses recommended for this non-toxic, environmentally friendly enzyme:

1) for dishes and laundry (use 1/4 cup of enzyme)
2) for washing bathrooms and toilets. grime comes off easily (1 part enzyme to 10 parts water)
3) for removing stubborn stains and odours (coloured fabrics and floors) (use undiluted)
4) to clean vegetables and fruits (1 part enzyme to 10 parts water)
5) clear blockages in kitchen sinks and drains (use concentrated or blended pulp/sludge of enzyme)
6) as a natural insect repellent (use undiluted) for ants, cockroaches.
7) for mopping floors (1 part enzyme to 20 parts water)
8) as fertilizer for plants (use 1 part enzyme to 20 parts water, or use the leftover mop water)
9) as a skincare product, e.g. facial cleanser or toner (1 part enzyme to 2 parts water)
10) wash cars – cars will look as if they have just been polished! (1 part enzyme to 20 parts water)

I have EVEN read about people using this on their faces! I’m not quite brave enough….yet.  Maybe someday. :-)

I will definitely be trying out this “wonder cleaner” on more areas around my home and will continue to report my “findings” to you.

Meanwhile, if you have some leftover citrus laying around…why not make up a batch and see what you think???


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  1. Lilybean says

    Awesome. I have a crapload of clementines that I bought but were too sour so they're just sitting there. Problem solved!

  2. Anonymous says

    I read some where that vinegar and orange peels in a quart jar for two weeks makes a good cleaner, just wondering if anyone has tried it on kitchen cabinets, mine need cleaned…

  3. Anonymous says

    Hi Jillee,

    My friend just sent your link.
    I am going to make and I have a few questions.
    Must it be plastic or could I use a glass jar?
    Also, you say to cut into small pieces but first photo shows a hand lemon juicer. Is that just for a beautiful photo or do you sometimes squeeze the juice out first?

    Don't have a blog or any of those other choices of profiles so I went with anony.

  4. Anonymous says

    Jill!! Where were you 2 1/2 months ago when I started mine! I have 2 weeks left. If it cleans as good as it should I am definitely following your recipe!

  5. Ryann says

    So if lemons..oranges…grapefruit…will work. Can I assume that limes will work as well? I got a bunch on sale, wanted to use them up!

  6. Anonymous says

    OK, I need to share my exerience. Please don't laugh in my face, but be adult and snicker behind my back. I read this post and was so excited. I had a bunch of lemons that I needed to do something with. So I chopped them up and made a DOUBLE batch of this in my 2 liter bottle. BAD IDEA — I am so lucky that it did not explode all over the kitchen. I ended up loosening the cap and letting the pressure off until the bottle was empty. My take away from this — you for sure cannot make a double batch in a 2 liter bottle. I am going to try again — one batch, one bottle. And I love your BLOG, I will eventually try all of your homemade products. Keep up the good work and thanks.

  7. Jill Nystul says

    Natalie…not a dumb question…because it seems like it would! But nothing I have tried it on yet has felt "sticky". Of course you DILUTE it before using. :-)

    Allison…I don't see any reason it wouldn't be perfectly fine for baby clothes. It is 100% natural.

    Anony….Mar 19…I'm not sure about the pet urine. I think that the enzyme used to clean urine stains uses an oxidation method to remove the stain and odor. That being said…it certainly wouldn't hurt anything to try!

    Ruth…I think a glass jar or bottle would be just fine. The juicer you see in the pictures is from juicing the lemons first. These particular lemons I had were getting a little on the overripe side, so I decided to juice them and I froze the juice in ice cube trays and then threw the cubes in the freezer for future use. :-)

    Ryann…I think limes would be AWESOME! :-) ANY citrus fruit will do.

    Anony…Mar 22…Oh dear!! You ARE lucky it didn't explode all over everything! lol. Thanks for the warning. ;-)

  8. Dea says

    Once “fermented”and strained will it keep indefinitely until you need to make another bath or will it “expire” at some point and you need to start again?

  9. Cindy says

    I just tried out my first finished batch of this enzyme cleaner and it is absolutely AMAZING! Cuts the grim off the bathroom sinks, cleaned the toilet as good or better than any purchased cleaner I have used … I am totally geeked because I did it myself, it costs only pennies to make, and it is so versatile and works great! Thanks Jillee!!

  10. Laura says

    Today was the day I got to use my new cleaner!! I loved it, I live in a city with extremly hard water and this cleaner took all my calcium deposits away with very little scrubbing. Always a bonus!! thank youf or sharing your tips, they are fabulous.


  1. [...] 2. Filled a squirt bottle 1/2 full with ammonia. Squirted a small amount of ammonia on each section of floor I ran the steam mop over.  I ended up using MAYBE 1/2 a cup of ammonia to finish my whole kitchen, dining and laundry room area. (If you have an objection to ammonia….vinegar would be a good substitute. Next time I think I will try some of my Citrus Enzyme Cleaner.) [...]

  2. [...] a good way to use up those leftover orange, lime and lemon peels? Make this Citrus Enzyme Cleaner from One Good Thing by Jillee. Seriously want to try making this as it looks like it does such a [...]

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