Friday, January 15, 2010

Homemade Citrus Vinegar

I've been collecting recipes for homemade cleaners for a while now. My favorite post on homemade (EASY!) cleaners is What's Under My Sink by Katie at Kitchen Stewardship - she uses baking soda, vinegar and peroxide. Click over to read about how spraying vinegar followed by peroxide (or vice versa) and letting it dry is as effective as using bleach!

My mom loves the smell of vinegar. I think she once told me that it smells clean to her. (Is that right, Mom? Or does it smell yummy as in salad dressing? :>)) Anyway, I don't quite agree, though vinegar is growing on me a bit as I've been using it more for cleaning. One of my favorite smells is citrus - you can read how I even use it to combat motion sickness here.

I found an article at Tipnut quite a while back on making citrus vinegar for cleaning, and gave it a whirl. We don't eat a lot of citrus, so in the wintertime when we enjoy clementines, I save the peels and let them dry. I begin by washing the fruit with a dab of dish soap; Tipnut has a link to a fruit and veggie cleaner on the vinegar post, or you can read Katie's experiment with several different methods of cleaning at 8 Ways To Wash An Apple: How Well Does Produce Wash Work?.

Last year, I laid the peels on the counter until they were dry and then tossed them in a bowl; then when we'd worked our way through the clementines, I put them in the vinegar. This year, I tossed them in the bowl without letting them dry and there were a few that I thought might have been moldy (I threw those away). Live and learn. I suppose it also wouldn't hurt to put them in the vinegar as you accumulate them, but I'd add some time to the four weeks of "brewing", still making sure to shake it every day.

Once the four weeks it up, you strain it a time or two, and your citrus vinegar is ready to use! If you hate the smell of vinegar, this might be enough that you can use it in your green cleaning routine. I have come to enjoy the smell of the citrus stuff, at least.

For more frugal ideas, visit Life As Mom.


Anonymous said...

YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, I LOVE vinegar in everything......salad dressings, cucumbers w/onions, sweet and sour pork, and as a cleaner/lime remover. You didn't tell them that your Dad and husband use it to clean fish!!!???


Zimms Zoo said...

We use vinegar too. But everyone hates the smell of it. So I guess I should read your links but do you use vinegar straight?

I guess I will have to start saving the peels now.

Thanks for the ideas!

Lenetta @ Nettacow said...

Mom, maybe that's 'cause I don't let Hubs use my citrus vinegar on the fish? :>)

As for diluting it, I have a spray bottle in which I do dilute the vinegar . . . and I'll admit I don't clean as much as I should (blush!) and I must dilute it because it lasts me forever.

Mum in Bloom said...

My mom swears by cleaning with vingar and now I do too. I avoided it for years as I hated the smell.. now I don't notice as much. I am going to try your recipe though. Saw your link over at Life As Mom and will visit your site more often :)

Angela said...

I love citrus smells! I really can't stand the smell of vinegar, though. I have heard from several people what a great job vinegar does for cleaning purposes.

My sister SWEARS by vodka to clean. She pours it in a spray bottle and off she goes. Funny story - she was out of vodka for her cleaning and had to go to the liquer store to get more, she was about 8 months pregnant and she had her 3 year old with her. I wonder what the cashier was thinking?! :)

Kim said...

I am really not fond of the smell of vinegar, but I might not mind it if it had essence of orange in it! You find the most interesting things, Lenetta!