Homemade Citrus Enzyme Cleaner and Scrub

Citrus Enzyme cleaner

When I heard about making your own enzyme cleaner, I was intrigued because I’d heard some really 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, environmentally-friendly, and non-toxic.
  • It’s made from kitchen scraps!
  • It’s 2 cleaners in one! A liquid spray, plus a powerful baking soda scrub.
  • It’s effective!

Homemade Citrus Enzyme Cleaner and Scrub

Citrus Enzyme Cleaner


  • 300 g (or about 2 cups) lemon and/or orange scraps
  • 100 g (or about 1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 2-liter plastic bottle
  • 1 liter water

Homemade Citrus Enzyme Cleaner and Scrub

Start by pouring the brown sugar into the 2-liter plastic bottle. I used a straw to get the brown sugar through a funnel.

Homemade Citrus Enzyme Cleaner and Scrub

Cut the lemon and orange scraps into pieces small enough to fit the mouth of the bottle. Put them in the bottle and then add the yeast.
Homemade Citrus Enzyme Cleaner and Scrub
Next, add one liter of tap water into the bottle. Tightly screw the cap and dissolve the sugar by shaking the bottle for about 30 seconds. For the next couple of weeks, you’ll 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.
 Citrus Enzyme cleaner
When you’ve finished adding and dissolving the ingredients, write the date on the bottle. It will take two weeks for the ingredients to ferment (or three months if you leave out the yeast).
Homemade Citrus Enzyme Cleaner and Scrub

When the cleaner is ready, start by straining the liquid enzyme cleaner into a bowl and set it aside for later. After straining, take the pulpy stuff left over, throw it in the Blendtec, and pulse until it’s nice and slushy (you could also use a food processor) to make your cleaning scrub.

Citrus Enzyme cleaner

Next add some baking soda and continue to pulse the Blendtec until it forms a nice, thick paste. I ended up adding about 1 1/2 cups of baking soda total, but that amount will depend on how much slush you have in the first place. Just add about a half cup at a time until it’s a good consistency. Then put the concoction in a lidded container and start cleaning!

Homemade Citrus Enzyme Scrub

This scrub worked so well on my kitchen sink! The baking soda and citrus enzyme combination not only made my sink clean as a whistle, but made it smell SO clean and fresh at the same time!

Homemade Citrus Enzyme Cleaner and Scrub

Here are some ideas for using the leftover liquid and the scrub: 

  • as a multipurpose cleaner (add 1/2 cup of enzyme cleaner to 1 liter of water and mix)
  • for dishes and laundry (use 1/4 cup of enzyme in the machine)
  • for washing bathrooms and toilets (1 part enzyme to 10 parts water)
  • for removing stubborn stains and odors (colored fabrics and floors) (use undiluted)
  • to clean vegetables and fruits (1 part enzyme to 10 parts water)
  • clear blockages in kitchen sinks and drains (use undiluted)
  • as a natural insect repellent for ants and cockroaches (use undiluted)
  • for mopping floors (1 part enzyme to 20 parts water)
  • as fertilizer for plants (use 1 part enzyme to 20 parts water, or use the leftover mop water)
  • as a skincare product, e.g. facial cleanser or toner (1 part enzyme to 2 parts water)
  • wash cars – cars will look as if they have just been polished! (1 part enzyme to 20 parts water)
  • to clean a dirty kitchen sink (enzyme scrub)
  • clean the oven (enzyme scrub)
  • clean house siding (enzyme scrub)
  • bathtub rings (enzyme scrub)

Homemade Citrus Enzyme Cleaner and Scrub

Now you have two new powerful weapons in your fight against grime, high prices, and chemicals!

Citrus Enzyme cleaner

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Citrus oils are very good at cleaning (not much in the way of “enzymes” here, calling this an enzyme cleaner is not accurate). Soak peels in cheap vodka for several months to create a super citrus oil cleaner and sanitizer. Mix it with baking soda to create a scrub.

  • Hi i love your site! I am on it almost every week. I have question about your enzyme cleaner. is there a way to add this to my homemade powder laundry Detergent?


    • Hmm… I don’t think so. I would use it as a spot treatment when necessary, but I don’t think it would mix into the detergent very well.

  • It could be the pounding headache I have but am I correct in the fact that the liquid is pretty much an all purpose cleaner and the scrub would be used in the same context as something like Comet powder? How long does the scrub last, like will it go moldy or anything?

    • About 1 cup of the undiluted liquid enzyme cleaner right in the bowl is plenty! How often will depend on your drain situation, but you can start with once a week and see how it goes. :-)

    • The scrub will only last a few days on the countertop – the liquid will last a week or two. The fridge will make them both last quite a bit longer! They will start to brown when they go bad.

  • This looks awesome!
    I have some lemons that need juicing so I can use their skins for this Recipie

    I have available only smaller bottles– 1.25lt they are. Would putting half the Recipie in each work out?

  • Wow wow wow, I absolutely love this! It’s always great to find natural, homemade alternatives to gross storebought chemicals. Thanks for sharing!!

  • I’m wondering why you couldn’t add the brown sugar to the water, dissolve it, and pour it in. Or for that matter, why not chop, not necessarily liquefy, the Orange peels in the food processor to make it easier to add to the bottle. Reserve some of the water to help rinse it out and poor into the bottle.
    Just curious. Would that work, or not?

    • The sugar idea will work great! You wouldn’t want the citrus pieces too small, because you need to be able to strain them out after the two weeks are up. :-)

  • I’m wondering if the type of yeast would make a difference? I normally use the “quick-rise” yeast for my baking needs.

    Also, how much fermentation takes place?


    • I used active dry yeast, I haven’t tried it with rapid-rise. It does ferment and fizz when you open the top, but just barely. You won’t have a crazy science experiment on your hands. :-)

  • This sounds like it would smell good. It seems like you’re making a low-proof alcohol with orange oil in it, which is a good grease cutter, though very different from the cleaning enzymes used to dissolve your drains.

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