DIY Home Care Products, Earth Medicine, Essential Oils

Greening your home during Earth Day week


If you want to make a DIY spray cleaner/disinfectant using all natural ingredients – and don’t have a handy stock of essential oils – try this very simple cleanser with just two ingredients: orange peels and household vinegar.

You’ll need to be a little patient, as it takes a couple of weeks for the orange peel oils to do their magic in the vinegar 🌞

The acetic acid in regular household vinegar is great for cutting grease, removing soap scum marks, hard water deposits and cleaning countertops, and is perfect for this cleanser. It’s also a natural disinfectant!

Being a natural product, you will need to use more elbow grease vs. chemical-based commercial cleansers. But it is a great disinfectant for all surfaces, and can also be combined in various ratios with water and/or baking soda (to create a cleaning paste), depending on what surfaces you are cleaning.

One option is to use a heavy-duty cleaning vinegar for the base. It has a higher concentration of acetic acid and is even more effective than regular household vinegar at cutting through grease. If you do so, be sure to add an extra caution on your prep jar and decanted cleanser/disinfectant:

!!! for external use only – do not use for cooking!!!

Cleaning vinegar has a much stronger vinegar smell, so you may want to add 10 or so drops of citrus-based essential oils to your decanted product. I use cleansing vinegar to make my own version of “thieves” vinegar, using natural herbs rather than the orange citrus peels. Powerful stuff!


You will need:

  • a 1-litre/1-quart storage/mason/canning jar (glass, not plastic)
  • the clean peel of two or more oranges (be sure to wash the oranges thoroughly before peeling!)
  • white vinegar to cover and fill the jar (organic if possible)
  • cling film / plastic wrap, for using if your jar has a metal lid



  1. Fill the jar with orange peels (you can also toss in lemon peels), cleaned of all pith and pulp.
  2. Cover the peels with white vinegar and close tightly.
  3. Label the infusion jar with the ingredients and date you started your batch, so you’ll know when to decant.
  4. Store in a cool dark place for at least two weeks.You could even cover with a paper or cloth bag, to reduce the light even more.
  5. Decant the vinegar – using a coffee filter or fine mesh sieve to remove any botanicals – into a spray bottle. Test it out, as you may find that you will want to dilute with water. Some people like a 50:50 ratio (half water, half vinegar), but find what works best for you.You could decant into two bottles – one at full strength, one with a 50:50 (or other preferred ratio) of vinegar:water.
  6. Label your spray bottle with your new DIY cleanser ingredients, the vinegar:water ratio (if diluted, or mark as “full strength”) and the date decanted – you should always know what’s in a cleaning container!

‼️ If your jar has a metal lid, be sure to put a layer of cling film / plastic wrap across the top of the jar before affixing your lid — vinegar corrodes metal ‼️



  • As an alternative – or addition – to composting, save leftover orange peels for making a fresh batch of cleaners… or for drying and using in cooking, potpourri, etc



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