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This post brought to you by Caitlin.

We like oranges. No, we really like oranges. Three times a day, as we’re up early enough to share breakfast with my husband before he heads off to work, we split an orange or two between the three of us after meals. At least one more is split between my daughter and I at some point during the day and my husband will generally take two to work with him.

Seriously, I can’t keep fruit in our house. Our garbage can is a banana peel graveyard and I’ve added more apple peels to veggie stock than I can count.

But what’s great about oranges is the extra use for their peels. They can be used to make your own chemical-free cleaner! This is only part of our lovely collection:

If you love oranges as much as my family does this might be a great cleaner for you to try out. It’s so simple and easy to make, and will only take you a few extra steps. Simply place your orange peels in a container, cover with vinegar, and then wait two weeks. Once the two weeks are up combine your orange-vinegar mixture with water in a spray bottle and you’re all done. My husband even purchased some dry erase markers so we can mark the date we started the jar.

I can’t rave about this cleaner enough. I use it in the kitchen, the bathroom, on the cats’ litter boxes, and for the odd spot on the floor when it’s not time to mop yet. If I have a particularly stubborn spot on my stove top I can sprinkle a bit of baking soda on it, spritz it with the orange-vinegar, and it takes care of it.

And if you’re wondering where you’re going to store your orange peels, don’t go buy new containers! I hate sending glass containers to the recyclables, so every time I rinse one out I pop it in the dishwasher and then down into the glass cabinet it goes. Not only can we use them instead of Tupperware container,s but they work great for storing our cleaner! My husband simply takes a glass jar to work with him and pops the peels in when he’s done.

We have quite a collection of orange-vinegar going on right now so I’m thinking of experimenting with making my own orange essential oil soon. We have so much cleaner ready to go that I’ve started thinking about giving some away as I’ll never be able to use it all in a reasonable amount of time, but perhaps the essential oil would be a better gift.

Hope you enjoy using it!

Instructions for Orange-Vinegar Cleaner

1. Place orange peels in a container and cover with vinegar. Be certain not to overstuff jars or you will not get much vinegar out of it. Tearing them into smaller pieces helps the peels fit easily into slim containers.
2. Wait two weeks.
3. Combine your orange-vinegar solution and water with a 1:1 ratio in a spray bottle. I just eyeball it, it doesn’t have to be perfect!
4. Optional: Add three to four drops of tea tree oil.
5. Clean to your heart’s content!


Caitlin is a wife, a mom, and a lover of words living on an Air Force base in the middle of nowhere. In between chasing after her 21-month-old, Penny, folding laundry, and spending half the day in the kitchen, she tries to jot down a few words in her notebook and blogs over at All About Growing up and Becoming a Famous Author ( She and her husband are expecting their second child in June.