citrus fruits under water for homemade citrus cleaner


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Here we are suddenly smack in the middle of October. It seems the weather has turned cold and crisp overnight. No, wait a minute, it actually did! No kidding, one day it was 85 degrees, the next 50. That’s Ohio for ya. With the prospect of spending a whole lot more time indoors, it’s time to give the old homestead a good and thorough cleaning before snowflakes begin to fly. Rumor has it that might be as early as this weekend around here, yikes!

Today I have a super easy and very effective homemade citrus cleaner recipe for you that combines cheap ingredients and even helps you recycle a bit. It is my go-to spray cleaner all year round.

citrus peels used to make homemade citrus cleaner spray solution

Store bought chemical cleaning products don’t do it for me at all. Natural cleaners are so ridiculously easy to make, it seems like a terrible waste of time and money to go out and lug those overpriced plastic bottles home from the store. So if you have ever wondered how to make your own cleaning products, this is definitely the post for you!

The recipe I am about to share is one I have been using for a long time. I remember buying glass or all purpose cleaner back in the day, but it is definitely something I haven’t done in a long while. Who wants to spend all that cash and haul around multiple bottles? Especially if you have to do it over and over. Most commercial cleaners that advertise citrus powers and scents generally contain very little if any natural oils. And how about those plastic bottles eventually clogging up landfills? Nope, not this Mama. I am far too lazy and treehuggy for that.

Have you checked the price of citrus fruit lately? Wowza. It only makes sense to try to use as much of it as you can, don’t you think?

So, are you up for a super easy cleaner recipe that uses stuff you probably already own right this minute? A recipe that even recycles in the process? I thought so. You are my kind of gal:)

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Let’s get started making some awesome homemade citrus cleaner!


1 quart size glass jar with lid (think spaghetti sauce jar or Mason/Ball jar)

You just want the jar to be big enough to make a decent size batch of citrus vinegar

1 glass spray bottle, big enough to hold 2 cups  or more – see tip below

Glass is necessary here, because citrus oils will degrade plastic.

Ingredients for citrus infusion:

Citrus peels, enough to fill jar

White distilled vinegar

Now, you could make this cleaner recipe without citrus. It works quite well. But the citrus peels are where the essential oils reside. It is those oils that give the cleaning liquid that little extra oomph to cut through greasy messes. And it just smells heavenly. Insects like ants absolutely hate anything citrus, so by cleaning with this awesome spray, you can keep those at bay while you’re at it. Don’t you just love stuff that multitasks?

First the citrus part:

Save your leftover citrus peels. Any will work. You can mix lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit… You’ll need enough to fill the jar loosely. Store them in the mason jar or a plastic bag lined with paper towels in the fridge until have enough to fill the jar.

Once you have enough peels add white distilled vinegar to cover them completely and cover with the lid.  Let sit at room temperature for at least 2 weeks to infuse. Shake occasionally.


Alternately you could add whatever peels you have and cover with vinegar. Add more peels and vinegar as you go. Shake occasionally to keep peels submerged. Just be sure to let the peel/vinegar mixture steep for at least 2 weeks to get the maximum benefit.

The homemade citrus cleaner recipe:

1/2 cup strained citrus vinegar

1 tsp dish liquid

1 1/2cups water (distilled works best, but isn’t necessary)

Combine all ingredients in a glass spray bottle gently shake to combine.

Use this cleaner on glass and any surface you would clean with all purpose cleaner.

Helpful Hints:

  • Check out how I supercharged my bathroom cleaning routine in this post
  • Put a label with the recipe right on the glass bottle. If you run out, and you will, because this cleaner is so awesome, just make another batch.
  • Use the cleaner recipe with regular white distilled vinegar and add bottled essential oil (5-10 drops) while your citrus vinegar is steeping
  • If you prefer to use the cleaner straight from the bottle rather than spraying it, just pour a little on your favorite cleaning cloth
  • Use caution when using any kind of spray cleaner containing citrus around pets, especially cats. It is fine to use, but make sure to spray when your animals are not close enough to breathe in the droplets. Alternatively, pour the cleaner onto a cloth as mentioned above.
  • Citrus oils will degrade plastic over time. Keep this cleaner in a glass bottle and you’re good to go.
  • You can recycle glass bottles and create your own spray bottle by adding a sprayer from a cheap plastic spray bottle from the Dollar Store. Just cut the straw on the sprayer to the right length to fit your bottle. Like this:

Yep, it’s really that simple. You are done buying cleaners. You’re welcome!

This homemade citrus cleaner will change the way you clean! No more lugging multiple bottles throughout the house. This is the one cleaner I use in my kitchen from the inside of the microwave to the glass cooktop to messes on the counter. It is a workhorse!

I am so excited that you have this recipe. Because I cannot wait to hear back from you about how awesome it is!

Speaking of hearing from you… If you like fun tips, tricks and recipes like this, come on over to Facebook and join The Witty Gritty Life group and be sure to Like the TWGL page.

Follow along on Instagram, to see what it happening behind the scenes!

I hope you have an amazing day, see you back soon!

Keep it simple!

Karin signature line




  1. Love the idea of adding the citrus peels! I’ve made a similar cleaner but not with the citrus. Can’t wait to try this !

    1. Citrus adds a pleasant smell and extra cleaning power. A lot of people don’t like cleaning with vinegar because of the smell.

    1. Let me know how you like it! Natural cleaners are not only much cheaper to make, but they often work so much better than those loaded with chemicals. And they are so much better for the environment, a win all the way!

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