Citrus Infused Vinegar and How To Use It


Citrus Infused vinegar is one of the best natural cleaners you can make yourself and can replace many chemical cleaners in your home. It is cheap, simple to make and highly effective to break down grease, soap scum and sticky messes. This post will show you two different recipes and explain the many ways to use it.

These days, most people are aware of the harmful ingredients contained in cleaning products, even the ones we believe to be more natural and ecofriendly can contain chemicals we just don’t need in our homes and around our families. But we need an alternative, right?

There are hundreds of green cleaning recipes out there for a variety of individual cleaning tasks, but this is the ONE recipe you really need.

Contrary to what you might read, green cleaning doesn't require you to mix up a whole heap of concoctions and usually one homemade item can replace many, so don't ever feel like you need to set up a mini laboratory in order to avoid chemicals and packaging of store bought products.

By making just this one product you can clean a host of areas and items, and don't worry, it won’t smell like a fish and chip shop!

Recipe 1 – Lemon Infused Vinegar

Most recipes you read will just add the citrus peels, and this is fabulous for a refreshing smell to cover up the vinegar, but this first method I’ll be showing you is going to include the whole lemon.

Lemon is a natural bleach and has been used for possibly hundreds of years as a solution to removing grease, stains and soap scum. Using the entire lemon makes this homemade product so much more effective at cleaning in the bathroom and kitchen that you’ll never swap back to harsh chemical cleaners. This is the recipe I use the most to clean the bathroom, like the shower, tiles, areas prone to mould, bathtub, sinks and toilet.

Ingredients

1 Lemon

White Vinegar

A glass jar or bottle with a wide opening

Method

>Slice the lemon and place into your jar

>Fill the jar up with white vinegar, secure the lid and shake.

>Allow it to sit under your kitchen sink or in the pantry away from sunlight and heat sources.

>After 4-5 days the lemon will have infused and it is ready to use. For a stronger cleaner, allow it to sit for up to 2 weeks.

>Pour the mix into a spray bottle using a funnel to prevent any lemon slices escaping. This can be dilute with 30-50% cooled boiled water.

Don’t forget to top up your original jar with vinegar. The lemons will give you quite a few batches of citrus heaven and the vinegar prevents it from growing mould

Typically I use the wrinkly soft lemons and that is exactly what I used in the photo (despite it appearing perfect) as my dad has had so many lemons from his tree this year we have had trouble consuming them all. Lucky us to have free organic lemons!

Recipe 2 – Citrus Peel Infused Vinegar

This recipe I use mostly in the kitfor the stovetop or any other areas that tend to get greasy and it is a great way to use food scraps for something purposeful.

Recipe

Citrus Peels

Vinegar

Method

For this you can use lemon, lime, orange, mandarin, grapefruit or any other citrus peel from the fruits you eat. You can also combine them in one jar if you wish. My absolute favourite is tangerine and in less than 24 hours it gives off a beautiful smell.

>Cut the peel into strips, add to your jar and top up with white vinegar. Secure the lid and shake.

>Allow it to sit under your kitchen sink or in the pantry away from sunlight and heat sources.

>After several days, the citrus will have infused and it is ready to use. For a stronger cleaner, allow it to sit for at least 2 weeks.

>Pour the mix into a spray bottle using a funnel to avoid transferring the peels. This can be dilute with 30-50% cooled boiled water.

Don’t forget to top up your original jar with vinegar and extra peels for the next batch.

This one below is a combination of mandarin and tangerine peels in a repurposed passata bottle and it smells amazing!

Great Ways to Use Your Infused Cleaning Vinegar

These 2 recipes can be used on anything you would typically use bleach or caustic cleaners, surface sprays and other common cleaners....but steer clear of grout areas when using anything but lemon in your mixture as it can cause discolouration.

Spray onto the surface and wipe immediately for simple jobs and wood surfaces, but for more stubborn areas, spray and allow to sit for 10minutes or up to an hour. On porcelain, ceramic and glass surfaces, sprinkle a little bicarb soda on just before scrubbing for an abrasive boost.

Here are my top uses around the home:

1. Greasy, baked on messes on the Stovetop and oven door.

2. Spray baking dishes and griller trays to easily remove fat and grease.

3. Microwave Splatter and odours - Simply spray and leave for a few minutes before wiping.

4. Bathroom and laundry tiles, including mould.

5. Shower alcoves, grout and glass screens.

6. Bathtubs - fabulous to remove grime and tub rings as well as leave a streak free shine.

7. Mirrors – vinegar dries quickly and won’t leave streaks.

8. Drain Cleaner – You can read the full instructions here.

9. In and Around the toilet, (fantastic for urine smells).

10. Bathroom and laundry sinks with soap scum and build up – Sprinkle a little bicarb soda or salt if you need a bit of abrasive action.

11. Stainless steel surfaces and appliances to remove finger prints and grease.

12. Tiled floors and linoleum – Add ¼ to 1/3 of a cup of undiluted lemon vinegar.

13. Sweat stains - Spray recipe 1 on marked areas for a natural laundry stain treater for sweat marks, especially on whites.

14. Eliminate Jar Smells – add the mixture and dilute with water, allow it to soak and don't forget to do the lids too.

15. Removing sticky labels.

16. Shine up your vases and glassware by wiping or rinsing in the vinegar solution.

17. Vases with scum can be left to soak with the mixture and when you are ready to scrub, add bicarb or salt to remove any hard to clean areas.

Precautions

Avoid frequently using on rubber, wood and delicate surfaces and if unsure do a test patch first.

Remember – only use lemon when grout is involved as it may discolour over time.

Vinegar is not particularly friendly in the garden so don’t tip your cleaning waste or water on anything except weeds.

Now you have two simple methods for making your own cleaning vinegar infused with citrus AND have a list of ways to start using it right away.

I keep the lemon vinegar for bathroom and laundry and the orange or miscellaneous peel vinegar for the kitchen. If you wanted to keep it super simple, just go with Recipe 1.

You'll be fighting food waste AND making your home less toxic while saving the planet in less than 5 minutes.

Did I mention, because it is non toxic, even little kids can start helping out with cleaning chores and it is completely safe to spray around the bathroom surfaces while your waiting for your kids to get out to the bath.

What's your favourite citrus fruit scent? Let me know what you try out and get in touch if you have any questions.

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Head to the Green Cleaning page for more simple DIY recipes.

#GreenCleaning #VinegarBicarb #ecofriendly

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