DIY Citrus Vinegar Cleaning Solution

Lemon Cleaner Day 1 Jpeg.jpg

A family member sent me an easy recipe earlier this month for a homemade scented vinegar cleaning solution.  I had success with it, so I wanted to share it with you!

In an effort to reduce chemical exposures in our home, we’ve almost exclusively cleaned with diluted vinegar since having children ten years ago.  It works well in bathrooms, on counter tops, windows, stainless steel sinks, floors, microwaves and stovetops.  And while it doesn’t always offer the same shine as some of the more industrial cleaners, it’s worth it to me to know I am not exposing my family to harmful substances and still keeping surfaces clean.

As you probably already know, chemical exposures have massively increased in all of our homes the past fifty years, and unfortunately kids are much more vulnerable to their toxic effects than adults.  This is for a few reasons: 1) Kids have a greater quantity of exposures per body weight, 2) their ability to metabolize chemicals is different than adults due to their immature metabolic pathways, 3) during times of early development, known as “windows of vulnerability”, chemicals are especially capable of causing lifelong disruption that would otherwise have no effect on an adult.  If you want to read more about this, check out the following study.

In the past, our recipe has been the following in a large spray bottle:

  • 1/2 bottle warm water
  • 1/2 bottle white vinegar
  • 10 drops of essential oil (we usually use Thieves for its antimicrobial properties and because I like the cinnamon and clove smell).

My husband complains sometimes about the vinegar smell, so the idea of having a stronger scent already infused in the vinegar was appealing.  We also end up using 1-2 lemons every day, so it was a great option for reusing some of the peels that we typically throw away.

Here is the citrus vinegar “recipe” if you want to give it a shot.

  • 1 airtight jar
  • Lemon and orange peels
  • Cover the peels with white vinegar and seal the jar
  • Let the jar sit for +/- two weeks – vinegar will turn yellowish in this time
  • Strain the vinegar into a spray bottle 1/2 diluted with waterLemon.jpg

You’ll immediately notice the fresh lemon scent when you use it – and you can always mix and strengthen the smell with about 10 drops of whatever essential oils you love most.

Super easy, nontoxic, and way cheaper than store-bought cleaners (especially if you make it without essential oils).


If you’d like support creating your own rituals, yardsteading and nature connection practices, check out The Handmade Life!  There I offer nature-based coaching sessions, share herbal traditions, handcrafted goods, DIY workshops and herbal consultations.

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