Homemade All-Purpose Cleaning Solution

I live in an area where citrus trees are plentiful. Neighbors and friends are constantly offering oranges, grapefruit, and/or lemons because they have way more than they could ever use themselves. Although I am not particularly fond of grapefruit so I would usually decline them. That is until a friend suggested using grapefruits to make an all-purpose cleaner. Now that sounded like a great idea! Here’s the method I used:

1. Removed peels from 5 citrus fruits; any combination of lemons, orange, and citrus will work. I even threw a lime in mine because I had one that was starting to rot.

2. Place peels in a jar. Pour vinegar over peels and cover with a lid.

3. Allow peel-vinegar solution to sit for 1-2 weeks.

4. Remove peels and strain solution to remove any clumps

5. Pour solution into a spray bottle, diluting with 1 part water to 1 part solution.

That’s it! Hard to believe it’s that easy, huh?!? I was impatient curious and only waited one week for the peel-vinegar solution to sit. In that time it went from clear liquid to orange in color. I think if I would have waited two weeks, the smell of the citrus would be stronger as well as have a higher concentration of the grapefruit’s natural antibacterial properties.

Okay so it was easy to make, but the the real question is “did it actually work as a cleaner?” YES! In fact, I love it! I am thrilled to have found such a simple, inexpensive method for making an all-purpose cleaner. I estimate my total expense was maybe .50 cents worth of vinegar. I got the citrus for free and I re-used empty spray bottles so there was no cost there. The diluted solution was enough to fill two 22oz spray bottles which means the approximate cost is only .25 cents a piece. That’s crazy cheap! Even if you had to purchase citrus fruit, you would end up saving money over buying pre-made cleaning solution from the store.

Not only is making your own cleaner cheaper, it’s also an eco-friendly choice. You can re-use the same spray bottle over and over again creating far less waste than buying disposable bottles from the store. Additionally you will be using less toxins and pollutants by using 3 simple, all natural ingredients: citrus peels, vinegar, and water! I know with little ones and pets in the home, I would much prefer to use cleaning agents made with gentle, all natural ingredients.

Do you make your own household cleaners? If so what’s your favorite recipe or tip for homemade cleaning solutions? Would love to hear some more money-saving, eco-friendly ideas!


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4 Responses to “Homemade All-Purpose Cleaning Solution”

  1. Becky Dockrey says:

    Love this idea ! I am trying to lessen chemical use in my home so I am making my own detergent, face creams, etc. Going to try this soon! Thanks for sharing !!

  2. Michelle K says:


  3. Melissa says:

    This recipe looks great! And I bet it smells wonderful too. 🙂 I love making my own cleaner – I’ve been using this recipe for 2 1/2 years:


    It’s awesome and works on everything from glass to table/counter tops to floors to bathroom surfaces. 🙂

    I think I’ll give this one a try too – I bet the citrus would be good at cutting grease!

    • Melissa says:

      Oh – and I use distilled water when I make my own cleaner – just to be sure there’s nothing in my tap water that would interfere w/ the other ingredient’s antibacterial properties and to make sure that the mixture stays “fresh” – I’ve never had a bottle of my cleaner go bad. 🙂