I used to make this spray in our previous home but when we moved I found myself stocked up on traditional home cleaners. Packaged in plastic and containing chemicals I couldn’t pronounce nor did I know what they were for. I’m slowly settling back into the habit of making my own cleaning products not only to reduce my waste but also to maintain a safer home for our family.
This spray is completely non-toxic, just vinegar scented with citrus peels, safe enough to eat even. I use it on everything from our counters, sinks, stove, bathroom, and eventually on our floors when my other cleaner runs out. I also read it can keep your kitchen sugar ant free, which I have found in recent weeks to be true. Read on for the how-to, and make sure to share your favorite DIY cleaners and what you use them for in the comments!
What you’ll need:
White Vinegar | I don’t have many bulk options to purchase white vinegar near me so I try to purchase items in the largest container possible. Typically, that means purchasing it in plastic but currently that is the most economical choice for me. I have also used apple cider vinegar for this recipe in a pinch, which works but I prefer to use that to my salads.
Spray Bottle | We have a cheap plastic spray bottle that we use, which you can easily purchase for a few dollars. I recommend repurposing a glass bottle you likely already have in your home and pairing it with a spray nozzle from a traditional cleaner you’ve finished up. Try a few bottles to make sure you get a leak proof fit and just cut the stem of the sprayer so it fits accordingly.
Citrus Peels | 2 to 3 citrus peels of your choice will work. We tend to use clementines because we purchase them weekly but you can also try lemon, lime, or even grapefruit. Though I fear grapefruit may attract sugar ants rather than repel them. Let me know if you have any experience with this option.
It’s almost silly to write a how-to because it’s so easy. Scrap the white pith from the citrus peels so that only the outer most layer remains. Store them in a wide mouth jar and fill with undiluted white vinegar. I would recommend a jar with a plastic lid as vinegar will rust the metal lids of mason jars (see photos for proof). Let the peels soak in the vinegar for 1 to 2 weeks or until the vinegar has a citrus smell you’re pleased with.
Strain out your citrus peels and pour your now citrus scented vinegar into your spray bottle, filling it half way. Fill the other half up with water to dilute any remaining vinegar scent. If your mixture still has a scent of vinegar a bit too strong for your liking you can add a few drops of citrus essential oils, though you’ll want a dark amber glass spray bottle for that as to not lessen the oils.
Leave the remaining vinegar in your jar, sans peels. Use this to top off your sprayer as you go.
As for cleaning, simply spray your vinegar cleaner onto your surface and wipe down with a reusable cloth, as you would any other cleaner! So far I have been able to get any type of stain on my countertops off with ease and it’s a magical alternative to those harsh stove top and toilet cleaners. Plus, no sugar ants in our kitchen since making the switch!
Cleaning with vinegar is such a simple alternative. I would love to hear what your favorite scent variations are or what type of alternative cleaners you make for your home. Anything I should be trying?