The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag

A website celebrating and enumerating Juneau, Alaska's food culture

Organic Orange Household Cleaner

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Homemade Orange Cleaner

Household cleaners are over a billion dollar industry in America. They’re a chemical product that we encounter at our jobs, restaurants, schools, and homes. Many of the materials in cleaners we find under our sinks are toxic. The liquids and powders we use to clean our home can contain carcinogens, among other health endangering ingredients which can be harmful to our families and pets. Enough of my Preachie McPreachington soap box schpeal – here’s the goods.

Wouldn’t it be awesome not to spend a bunch of money on something that can be simply and safely made at home? Wouldn’t it be the raddest thing ever to make your own non-toxic cleaner? That’s what I was thinking.

Organic Orange Cleaner
It’s not as pretty up close, but here’s a look at my jug o’clean!

I have a love for the smell of the ridiculously expensive product, Citrisolv but limited means to keep it in stock at our house. So I thought I’d try a simple recipe for a household cleaner with the star ingredient being organic orange peels and white vinegar. I’m still in the process of letting my cleaner mature in a cool dark corner of my house. It takes about 2-3 weeks for the vinegar to soak up all the limonene from the orange peels. A word of warning, limonene, the main chemical in orange oil is strong and can even melt plastic at the right concentration. It’s important to dilute your homemade orange cleaner with some water when it’s done brewing. Also, test your cleaner on a small surface area before going big.

Ingredients:
1 gallon jar
7 cups of white vinegar
5-7 organic orange peels (you can mix it up and throw in an organic lemon or tangerine peel if you want)
1 spray bottle
Some water to cut your mixture

Instructions:
- Collect your orange peels over the course of a few days. Eating a ton of oranges just to make cleaner doesn’t really make sense.
- You can keep your peels in the refrigerator in a container covered with paper towels to ensure they stay fresh.
- Put your orange peels in a gallon jar and add 7 cups of white vinegar and let sit covered for 2-3 weeks.
- Shake your gallon jar often, you’ll notice that your cleaner will begin to turn yellow.
- When ready to use strain the peels and vinegar through a strainer, and fill a spray bottle with 1/2 to 3/4 cleaner to 1/2 to 1/4 water.
- The smell of vinegar, if still prevalent shouldn’t linger when your cleaner dries on surfaces after cleaning.

Enjoy your economical and safe household cleaner with all the smugness of some trust fund douche working a corner for Green Peace! Let me know how your cleaner turns out and if you’ve made your own cleaner before. Did you make it differently?

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