How to make Homemade Citrus Cleaner

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Homemade citrus cleaner cut grease?  No way!  Much less remove pet odor from carpet as well as hardwood floors!  I would have never believed it had I not tried it myself!

citrus peels on a counter. How to make homemade citrus cleaner. Hidden Springs Homestead


I’ve used vinegar for pouring into my water-bath canner, when canning, to prevent the white hard-water build up on my jars.  I’ve even poured it down the drain to make it smell better.  Even cleaned windows with it for years, but to remove grease and pet odor – I didn’t think it would work!

We’ve had pets in the house forever, they’re just a part of the family.  There are times that we have accidents and I’ve tried every commercial product on the market to get rid of the odor.   Nothing ever worked!

Another draw-back with store bought cleaners is not being able to breath a gas mask required to catch your breath.  The toxic fumes from the commercial products are not safe for you, your family, or the environment.

When I began seeing all purpose citrus cleaner popping-up in various blogs as well on Pinterest I decided I needed to try it.  Why not?

I’m so glad I did, it’s now been 4 years since I began making my own all purpose citrus cleaner and I’ve not looked back.  So enough talk, let’s get started.

You will need:


Homemade Citrus Cleaner Recipe

Begin by collecting citrus peels from fruits (orange, lemon, grapefruit and lime).  Just whatever your family uses.

I store mine in the refrigerator using a gallon size Ziploc bag until ready to use.   (This makes it easy for little hands to put their peels into the bag).

Gallon size Ziploc bag full of orange citrus peels
Citrus Peels in Ziploc

Fill a mason jar about two-thirds of the way with your citrus peels – once you have enough.

Pour white vinegar into jar until peels they are submerged and the jar is full.  Place lid on jar and close tightly.

Set aside and forget it for 2-3 weeks.  The longer it sits, the stronger it will be.  (I date mine with a piece of tape on the lid so I don’t forget)

Wide mouth mason jar full of orange peels and vinegar with lid on it
Citrus Peels in Vinegar

After the time has passed, remove peels form the jar and strain vinegar solution through a fine strainer or nut milk bag to remove any citrus pulp that may be floating in the vinegar.    

Dilute solution in a 1:1 ratio with water. (1 part water, 1 part vinegar)

To add additional scent- put in 3-4 drops of citrus essential oil (optional)

If you use the essential oil, add in 1 tsp of witch hazel to help the oil to mix well with the vinegar/water solution.

Pour into your spray bottle.   (note-if your spray bottle will not hold the full amount, it can be stored in a mason jar with a tight lid)

Citrus Peels and Spray Bottle sitting on a wood surface
Citrus Cleaner in Spray Bottle

That’s it.  Super simple, easy to make homemade all purpose citrus cleaner.

Ways to Use Homemade Citrus Cleaner Around the House

Spray on and wipe off –

  • Stove
  • Counter tops (laminate or wood) (Test spot on stone tops before using)
  • Kitchen and Bathroom sinks & faucets
  • Shower or tub
  • Inside microwave
  • Toilet
  • Floors (Wood and laminate)
  • Oven Door
  • Appliances
  • Door knobs
  • Pet Accidents

How to Use Homemade Citrus Cleaner on Pet Accidents

Since we’ve had pets in the house for years, we have had accidents.  It just goes with it…

When I find an accident on the wood floor or laminate, I first wipe it up well with dry paper towels that can be tossed into the compost.  (Don’t use a cloth towel because of the bacteria in the urine)

Spray the homemade citrus cleaner solution directly on the spot in the floor and let it sit for a minute or so.  The acidity in the vinegar and the citrus from the peels work together to kill the bacteria that causes the odor.

After it has sat for a minute or so, I use a dirty cloth towel, from the laundry, to dry it up and just toss it back into the laundry.   I don’t use a paper towel to clean the vinegar solution because it doesn’t smell. The bacteria is dead and my towel will smell like citrus cleaner.   Done!

It’s amazing how much easier it is to clean around the house when all you need is one simple cleaner you can make yourself.  No longer will you need a gas mask and rubber gloves to clean the tub and toilet.

Cleaning is still not fun, but it’s much nicer since I’m no longer holding the towel in one hand, over my face, and cleaning with the other – just to breath!

Slice oranges on a table. How to make homemade citrus cleaner. Hidden Springs Homestead

Have you tried a natural citrus cleaner with vinegar?  What’s your favorite recipe?

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