Monday, February 10, 2014

Orange Oil Cleaner Revisited

A few years ago I wrote a post about how I make an all-natural household cleaner using orange peels and vinegar.

Since that post, I have gotten a lot of questions about it (usually the same ones over and over), so I thought I would go ahead and answer them here, that way they are all in one place if anyone is looking for them.

Does it have to be refrigerated?
       Well, to be honest, I am not 100% sure.  I always refrigerate my orange peels and vinegar while they are in the jar, but once I strain the oil and put it in the squirt bottle I just store it under the sink.  This has always worked for us, so I haven't tried it any other way.

How do I know when it is ready?
       It's hard to explain, but there is a visible change when the vinegar becomes orange oil.  It is noticeably thicker and there is also a change in the color of the peels.  In the picture below you can see that one jar is much brighter than the other.  That is a brand spankin' new jar, while the one next to it on the left is two weeks old .
Will Clementine peels work?
Yep. Lemon peels as well.

Do you dilute it?
I do, but I also pack my orange peels very tightly, so my oil is very concentrated.  I typically dilute it on at 1:1 ratio with water.

Where do you store your peels until you are ready to make a jar?
I have a container in the freezer, and each time we eat oranges I just stick the peels in there until I have enough to fill a jar.

Will this work on really grungy areas?
Yes, you will just need to put some elbow grease into it.  A cool little trick I learned recently was to sprinkle baking soda on the mess first, then spray the orange oil onto it and let it fizz and work for a little while.  Then go ahead and wipe it all up.  We have a glass-top stove and this works great on there!

Does it stink like vinegar?
I don't think so.  It has a noticeable orange smell, which I like, and any hint of vinegar disappears as the vinegar dries.    

Can it be used on fabric?
I can't say for sure whether it is safe for your fabrics, but I can tell you that I have used it on our sofa with no problems.  That said - our sofa is 7 years old and years ago the dog chewed the arm so I am not overly attached to it anyway.

So there you have it, a few answers to the questions I typically get when I mention this cleaner.  If you want a full step-by-step on how to make it, you can read how I do that right here.  If you have any questions I have missed, please feel free to let 'em rip, I'll get back to you in the comment section! If you have any tips for me, let those rip too! I love tips!

Linking up: Natural Family Friday

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