Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to Make Orange Citrus Cleaner the Lazy Way

Once upon a time, my neighbor’s cat kept getting sick. Her vet said the floor cleaner she uses made her kitty sick. Poor kitty!

I’m pretty darn fond of my dog (to put it in not Crazy Dog Lady language) but not vet bills for things I can easily avoid. I looked all over to replace my cleaners with pet safe versions. I left the store empty handed and frustrated because companies do not have to print ingredient lists on cleaning product labels – so they don’t. 

Ugh.

I could take the lazy way out and never clean the house for the safety of my dog but clutter makes me cranky. You do not want to see me cranky. Think a very short and very pale She Hulk kind of cranky. Not good.

I knew frugal and green folks cleaned with vinegar because a 5% acidity solution of white vinegar will clean and disinfect a counter top (although you don’t want to use it to clean marble or natural stone because it will ruin the finish), deter a kitchen ant invasion, and kill mold and mildew in the bathroom.



How to Make Easy Citrus Cleaner



I filled an old spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water and got to cleaning. Cleaning with vinegar works!

However I wondered why it seemed that I needed to use twice as much of my vinegar and water solution to clean tough stuff like soap scum on my shower doors – my nemesis - than when I used commercial cleaners.

The answer was right on the vinegar bottle. A regular bottle of white vinegar is already a 5% acidity solution. By adding water to the vinegar, I was reducing how effective it was as a cleaner and disinfectant. That’s why I needed to use twice as much vinegar to get the job done.

 D'oh!

 I solved the problem by screwing the spray nozzle of my old cleaning bottle directly onto the bottle of white vinegar.


 Lazy spray bottle realness.

I can clean counters while I cook (hey I’m already standing there so why wait?) and don’t have to worry if an accidental spray get into food on the stove because it is just vinegar.

However, sometimes even pure vinegar needs a little oomph to cut through grease and the I-have-no-idea-what-the-ring-is-in-the-kitchen-sink-but-it-is-icky-and-will-not-go-away-quietly.

Soaking orange peels in a jar of vinegar for two weeks makes a powerful cleaner because the oils in the orange peel (all citrus actually) are an excellent cleaner and will shine your sink too.

Making citrus cleaner is more work than slapping a sprayer on a bottle of vinegar. You have to search all over for a big enough jar to hold the vinegar and orange peels while it infuses, pour the stuff in one jar, wait, strain out the peels, and eventually pour it into a spray bottle. Then there is the waiting. Oh the waiting! Two. Whole. Weeks. 

Welcome to my first world problems.

I don’t have time to wait. I have a dirty sink now. I made lazy citrus vinegar cleaner instead.

Orange vinegar cleaner

I stuffed small pieces of orange peel in a spray bottle, filled it up with vinegar, and shoved it under the kitchen sink. I started using it right away. My lazy citrus cleaner works well although it cleans better once the citrus infuses the vinegar after a couple of weeks. You can tell because the vinegar turns orange.

Then I left it that way.

easy orange vinegar cleaner
Vinegar for cleaning. If ingested, be prepared to get pickled.
Mmmm...pickles...

So far, the orange peels have not molded. The vinegar might be pickling the peels and preventing that. I’m not sure. All I know is I have homemade citrus cleaner and a clean house.

And no Hulk outs in my future.

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