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This winter, I hoarded orange peels compulsively. I found so many uses for them: chai teacandied citrus peels, frozen zest, fire starters too apparently although I didn’t have much luck with those — or perhaps I did seeing as I didn’t burn down my kitchen. I also used some peels to make a household cleaner.

A few bloggers I follow highly recommend a household cleaner made of orange peels steeped in distilled white vinegar. Citrus peels contain d-Limonene, a natural compound that breaks down oil. Many commercial cleaners contain it.

To make your own “Now with d-Limonene!” cleaner, simply submerge orange peels in vinegar inside a sealed jar for at least two weeks. Strain and use your cleaner around your home, either full-strength or diluted with water.

I loved the idea when I heard it. Then I thought, why not make it out of orange peels and homemade scrap vinegar! What could be more frugal? I basically made cleaner out of waste.

“Scrap What?” You May Ask

To make scrap vinegar, place fruit peels in a jar, add a bit of sugar, pour water over top, stir daily several times and allow the mixture to ferment for about 10 days or so. You can read my post about scrap vinegar here. I wanted to make citrus scrap vinegar this winter but didn’t get around to it. Fortunately Annie at the wonderful blog Kitchen Counter Culture did — a homemade citrus scrap vinegar beauty potion.

Citrus Peel Scrap Vinegar Cleaner


  • Orange peels, dried or fresh (I tested it both ways and both work)
  • Scrap vinegar


1. Fill a jar with citrus peels.

2. Pour in enough vinegar to cover the peels. Insert a weight to keep the peels submerged in the jar. A small jar within a jar works well.

Clean Your House With Trash



3. Close jar with the lid. The lid will force down the jar or weight and keep the peels submerged.

4. Store jar with your other science experiments and wait a couple of weeks.

Clean Your House With Trash


5. Strain. I use a cloth-lined sieve over a bowl.

Clean Your House With Trash


6. Gather up the corners of the cloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the peels.

Clean Your House With Trash


7. Store in a jar and use full-strength or diluted with water to clean sinks, tiles, toilets and so on.



Have you tried this recipe, Green Monsters? Let us know in the comments!

All image source: Zero Waste Chef