Every frugal homemaker has come across the idea to use vinegar as a cleaner. But I don't like the smell of vinegar on its own, I'm also not sure I trust its supposed disinfectant qualities. So instead, I make an orange infused vinegar cleaner.
To make the cleaner, you will need
2-4 Large Oranges
A Large, Clear Jar (Approximately Quart Size)
Start by eating a couple oranges. Feed them to your kids, your husband, or some random person on the street. SAVE THE PEELS.
|I let her play with her food when I need cute pictures.|
I'm told that orange peels will stay good in the fridge for several days, but I've never needed to try that because we can easily eat 3 or 4 oranges in one sitting.
Stuff the peels into a large, clear jar. I use a quart size mason jar. My oranges were big, so I only used 2. Loosely filled the jar about 2/3 full.
Fill the jar with white vinegar and cover with a plastic lid or plastic wrap.
Vinegar can corrode metal, so avoid metal lids.
Place your jar in a bright, warm place to aid the infusion process. Also, so you don't forget its there.
Mine goes on the cookbook shelf in my kitchen. Nice and high where the Minion can't reach it, but out in the open where I can keep an eye on it.
Let the infusion work for about 2 weeks. I check it every couple of days to make sure that none of the orange peel is sticking out of the vinegar. It has the potential to turn moldy if it sits above the vinegar for too long. Just push it back down and stir it in every so often.
Another tip is to write the strain date on your calendar. I never remember when I started it, so if I don't write dates down somewhere, it ends up sitting for a month. Not a big deal with this infusion, but it turns out a nasty apple cider vinegar.
It's also a good idea to label your jar. I sometimes have a couple different infusions or fermentations going, so its nice to know exactly which is which.
After straining the vinegar, put it back into the glass jar.
To use: for everyday cleaning, dilute it about 50/50 with water. For more intense cleaning, you can dilute it less. It won't hurt anything to use it straight.
I promised to share the bonus superpower of Orange Vinegar.
It Repels Ants!!!!
I don't know if that is as exciting for you as it is for me. We have an ant colony living under our driveway, so they are bad. I haven't had a single ant on my counter since I started cleaning with this orange vinegar. I scrubbed the playroom with it, and no more ants. I will have to do that room again I'm sure, but that's only because I don't already use the cleaner in there on a daily basis like I do in the kitchen and dining room.
That's about it! Super easy. I'm going to try an infusion with Thyme and Lavender soon too. I heard that it smells amazing.
Chime in!! Do you use a homemade cleaner in your home? What else do you make yourself?