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Clean Naturally: How to Make Homemade Citrus Spray

Homemade Citrus Spray

Citrus fruits aren't just tasty. They're also incredibly useful! Here's how to make an effective homemade citrus spray that will clean your home naturally.

There may be a dangerous secret lurking in your cabinets. In addition to the products you know are dangerous, such as drain cleaner and bleach, simple all-purpose cleaners might contain chemicals that can cause cancer. But a homemade all-purpose citrus spray is just as effective on a variety of surfaces — and much safer.

Unlike homemade enzyme cleaners, citrus-based cleaners made with vinegar take only a few weeks. But they can be used anywhere a store-bought all-purpose spray containing harsh chemicals can be used, from metal to countertops to glass. And whether you go with an orange peel cleaner or a lemon citrus spray, they smell a lot better too. And yes, they work.

Vinegar and citrus are both acidic. They can remove stains caused by acids or create chemical reactions when combined with alkalines, such as soap, to dissolve the buildup left behind by things like stickers, soap, hard water and more. 

Making Homemade Citrus Spray the Easy Way

Making your own DIY orange cleaner, lime cleaner or lemon cleaner isn't a labor-intensive task. In fact, rather than try to peel every citrus fruit on your tree all at once, you can just toss the peels into a Mason jar as you use them, then make the citrus spray when the jar is about half-full. (Though if you need some recipes to speed up that process, we have a few pineapple-orange recipes you can try.)

After that, it's just a matter of adding the vinegar and letting the Mason jar and science handle the rest. 

Homemade Citrus Spray Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Citrus peels 
  • White vinegar 
  • Citrus essential oil (optional)

Supplies:

  • 1 large (or 2 medium) Mason jar with lid
  • Fine-mesh sieve
  • Large bowl
  • Funnel 
  • Spray bottle

Directions:

  1. Fill the Mason jar at least halfway up with citrus peels.
  2. Cover the peels with vinegar, filling the jar to the top. Secure the lid and set the jar aside in a cool, dark place. 
  3. Allow the vinegar-and-citrus mixture to sit for 2 to 3 weeks. The longer it sits, the more citrusy your citrus-based cleaner will smell, but you can add a few drops of citrus essential oil later if you need to. 
  4. At the end of the 2- to 3-week period, remove the lid and fit a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. Strain the citrus peels out and discard them.
  5. Fit a funnel into the mouth of the spray bottle and carefully pour in the citrus spray. If you'd like a citrusy-er scent, add a few drops of citrus essential oil, screw on the sprayer cap and shake.
  6. Use the spray as you would any other all-purpose cleaner. 

Now Go Pick Your Citrus

Don't feel like you have to limit yourself to the usual citrusy suspects. Almost any type of citrus that smells good to you can be used. You can even combine them for a unique fragrance combination.

For example, Meyer lemons make a sweeter-smelling choice, while Persian limes are bright and tart-smelling. To get started making your own citrus spray, head over to our citrus trees page to pick a 1-gallon, 3-gallon or tube tree of your own!