I love making something out of nothing.
I’m still not a composter even though I know how easy it can be (*cringe* I know, I know, get on top of that one, Katie), so anytime I can reuse food scraps (orange peels, in this case) before I toss them, it makes me indescribably happy. I posted a while back on Ways to Cook with Garbage, and now I have a great one for how to clean with garbage.
Here’s one way to use orange peels for cleaning rather than tossing them.
- Juice about 3-4 oranges or save the peels from eating them.
- Put empty rinds into a quart jar.
- Cover with white vinegar.
- Allow to sit for about 2 weeks, either in a cabinet or on the counter.
- Shake when you think of it.
After 2 weeks, strain out the vinegar, which will smell clean and citrusy. Really. It will. There’s no other way to describe it – the bite of smelling straight vinegar is gone, and the orange smell is heavenly.
Citrus will help cut the grease when cleaning and be a good substitute for those commercial orange cleaners that harness the natural cleaning power of oranges and then adulterate it with a bunch of other junk.
A reader shared in the comments that she makes this out of grapefruit peels, which makes me pretty confident that lemon would work excellently as well. Maybe I can finally have that “Pledge” smell for dusting again but without the chemicals!
Store citrus vinegar in a glass jar for a very long time – no reason this should go bad. I got about 1.5-2 cups from a quart jar, and I was still using a jar from last year just this week.
How to Use Your New Orange Power Cleaner
- Mix in a ratio of anywhere from 1:1 to 8:1 with water in a spray bottle and clean anything, from counters to floors to toilets, with it (but vinegar is not recommended for wood floors, granite, or marble). I also use this DIY all-purpose cleaner.
- Pour into your rinse aid dispenser in your dishwasher.
- Use the orange vinegar as part or all of the vinegar for the natural dishwasher cleaning method.
- Use it in place of any of the uses for vinegar mentioned is this post.
Those readers who know me will have already guessed that I tried using the rinds for another batch. It works great! The result is perhaps slightly less dark than the original, but surely will still have great cleaning power and smells great. (I do the same thing with bones for everlasting chicken stock.)
Use the Orange Peels a Third Time To Clean Your Garbage Disposal!
Once you’ve strained out your vinegar, keep the jar of orange rinds by the sink. They shouldn’t mold after all that vinegar. About once a week or when your garbage disposal gets a little stinky, use the rind to wipe around your entire sink, especially the drain area, and then put down your disposal. It smells great! Combine with a little baking soda to really scrub the grime out of the sink.