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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Orangey Clean-ness!

What do you clean your kitchen with?
I used to just use whatever all purpose cleaner was cheapest at the store... but I started getting wigged out about chemicals around the house when Sam was born. I know I can't completely eliminate my child's contact with foreign and possibly harmful chemicals, but I kinda want to at least reduce what I can in our own home.
I make my own laundry soap and dishwasher soap... why not kitchen cleaner?
I have heard many people say they use diluted vinegar as an all purpose cleaner... and it makes sense. Vinegar's acidity kills mold, bacteria, and other undesirables. It also cuts through scumminess and grease. It's non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and quite economical. And it will leave your house shiny and smelling like...
Like vinegar.
I tried to get past the smell but I couldn't.
Then someone posted this on pinterest:

Ah! Great idea.
It won't smell as vinegar-y and you have the added cleaning power of those lovely citrus oils.
A few days later I just so happened to be at my parent's house for breakfast and my dad had a whole bag of oranges he was juicing. I snatched the peels and took them home with me. I cut them into manageable pieces then shoved as many as I could into three empty jars I had on hand. I filled the empty space in the jars with white vinegar, then put the lids on and set them on top of my fridge.
 After a week, I got one jar down and opened to smell it-- holy vinegar, Batman. I put it back up to hang out for a while longer. After about 2.5 weeks I tried again... this time it just smelled like oranges. Success! So I strained my orange vinegar (oddly enough it seemed to have thickened slightly and was almost a teensy bit gelatinous around the edges. Any science nerds wanna tell me why that is?), then put it back in a jar for storage. (don't toss the orange peels yet, though! Throw a few of them in your garbage disposal to clean and get it smelling spiffy fresh.)
When ready to use it... I mixed it two parts water to one part orange vinegar, and put it in an empty spray bottle. I go around my kitchen with my knit organic cotton dish cloths, and use it to clean everything in sight... counters, sink, microwave, refrigerator, floors, garbage disposal (btw, it works as a great deodorizer for the garbage disposal and trashcan!)... you get the idea. I have even used it to clean some of Sam's toys that seem to get tossed about the room these days.
Safe and effective. And leaves your home smelling clean and...
Which I like.

Happy cleaning!


  1. OK, I'm going to try this! Do you do any canning? I'm thinking of getting to that next. Oh my word. What next?

    1. The only thing I have canned is apple butter and freezer jam. So I don't have much expertise in the area... but I am fascinated with canning! :)