There’s a very popular, very easy, very common citrus all-purpose cleaner recipe that’s been floating around the internet for a long time now. It’s definitely one of my favorite recipes, and oh so simple! But, being me, I had to figure out a way to kick up this recipe just a notch or two. Make it more of a super hero cleaner while at the same time keeping it really simple and using ingredients that are easily accessible in most local super markets.
So that’s what I did. I made a super citrus cleaner. Here’s a break down of the ingredients:
- Vinegar. A heroic cleanser and disinfectant.
- Citrus Peels. Also a good cleaner and has grease-fighting powers.
- Thyme. A famous disinfecting herb that defeats germs.
- Citric Acid. Acts as a preservative so the cleaner won’t go bad any time soon, fights against stains and spots, and helps to kill germs.
- Lemon, Lime, or Orange Essential Oil. Smells really good and adds a touch more grease and grime fighting power.
The one and only negative about this cleanser is that it sits for at least two weeks. So it’s not something you can whip up in a pinch. It does take a tad of planning. What I do is, when my cleanser starts getting low (like there’s only 1 cup left that, consequently, lasts me about two weeks), I get another batch ready. My hubby and kids always know it’s APC (my acronym for all-purpose cleaner) making time when they have access to a bunch of already-peeled oranges.
Using this cleaner is fun! It smells citrus-y from the citrus peels and just a tad woodsy from the thyme, so if you hate everything smelling like Easter egg decorating time, you’ll love this cleaner.
It’s also super versatile! You can use it to clean counter tops (might not be safe on granite, though), sinks, tables, bathtubs, showers, toilets–anywhere you would use a commercially purchased all-purpose cleaner.
Homemade All-natural Super Citrus All-purpose Cleaner
- 2 c. white vinegar
- citrus peels*
- 1/2 tbsp. dried thyme
- 2 c. water
- 1 tsp. citric acid or LemiShine
- 30 drops (1/4 tsp.) Young Living lemon, lime, or orange essential oil (optional)*
- Put the vinegar, the citrus peels (add just enough that the vinegar covers them), and thyme in a mason jar. Put on the lid and let it sit, shaking it up once in a while, for 2 to 4 weeks (the longer you wait, the stronger it gets).
- Strain the citrus peels and thyme from the vinegar (a tea towel works very well for this). Add the water, citric acid, and essential oil to the vinegar and mix until the citric acid has dissolved. Put into a spray bottle.
- To use, shake the bottle first to ensure everything is blended then simply spray anywhere you would any other all-purpose cleaner and wipe away.
2. Orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat, and mandarin peels all work great for this recipe. Use just one or a combination.
3. To keep track of when your Super Citrus APC is done infusing, put a piece of masking tape on the jar or its lid with the date that you started making it.
Shannon@Mishmash Mama says
Thanks for sharing this version! I tried to make something similar a few months ago with yeast and it was an abysmal failure. This sounds much better!
Keara B. says
This stuff sounds amazing. I’ll have to try it when we start buying more oranges in the fall! Does the citric acid make it have a REALLY long shelf life? As in, more than a couple months? I’d hate to spend the time making this and then have it go bad. Thanks so much for sharing!
Yep, it should last I’d say probably 6 months.
Keara B. says
Kim-Karin Rausch says
Just a hint to add here. You can put the peels in just the water and add a little yeast to it. Leave open overnight and it is ready to use in under 24 hours.
I may try this with the thyme too as I am currently extracting some of its properties with rubbing alcohol.
Thanks for sharing! Quick question, what can I do with the peels after? Something eco friendly is preferred ♥️