diy orange vinegar

When I became a homeowner I decided I wanted to use “green” cleaning products.  I tried several different versions but none of them were quite to my liking, but eventually I found a cleaner that seemed relatively eco-friendly, did a decent job cleaning, and wasn’t too expensive.  Even though this brand claimed to be safe for the environment there were still some ingredients I didn’t recognize.  Recently, I saw some pins about orange vinegar floating around Pinterest so I looked into it, and it is very easy to make.  You then use the orange vinegar as a household cleaner, and people claimed it worked wonders.  I hate the smell of vinegar so I avoid cleaning with it, but I thought the orange scent might be strong enough to even it out.

orange vinegar

Orange vinegar is super simple to make, and fairly cost effective too!


  • orange peels (I used clementines)
  • white vinegar
  • glass bottle with a lid


  1. Fill glass jar with orange peels so that it is almost full.
  2. Slowly pour in vinegar, enough to completely cover the peels.
  3. Put on the lid and shake the jar.  Leave it on the counter or somewhere out of the way for one to two weeks (shake jar every day).
  4. After one to two weeks, strain the vinegar into a spray bottle and use for cleaning all surfaces in your home (except glass).

I told you it was easy!  The orange peels don’t totally cover the smell of vinegar, but it does help a lot.  I use the orange vinegar for cleaning the sinks, counter, toilet, shower, and tub in the bathroom and I know there are no harsh chemicals leaving residue or disturbing the good bacteria in my septic system.

The orange vinegar also works well in the kitchen!  Since vinegar is a natural disinfectant, I use it to wash my sink, appliances, and counter tops.  To properly disinfect your counters the cleaner needs to sit for at least 10 minutes and the surface must remain wet!  Almost every commercial disinfectant label you read will tell you that, and it was confirmed to me by an officer from our county health unit.

The only area of my home I don’t use the vinegar for is mirrors.  I’m unsure if the cleaner would affect the surface, and I’m unwilling to risk it!  However, I do clean windows with it and have no problems.

Perhaps my favourite way to use the orange vinegar is as a hair rinse!  Yes, it’s true!  I already have a very minimal hair care routine  but I found my hair sometimes feels not quite as clean as I’d like.   On wash day I spray on some vinegar after washing and rinsing and let it sit for a few minutes.  This helps remove and built up soap that I didn’t fully rinse and it makes my hair shiny and soft.  Since my hair is getting longer, it tangles more easily when I wash it and the vinegar helped detangle too.  This is literally the cheapest conditioner ever!!


Can I let the vinegar sit longer with the peels for a stronger smell? I don’t see why not. The vinegar has a strong smell on it’s own so I don’t think the orange peels will totally overpower it though.

Does the orange oil leave a greasy residue on anything? No, it doesn’t.  If you don’t rinse it off completely though, you might see little orange coloured spots left behind. It doesn’t stain, though.  I just go over those spots with a damp cloth when I notice them.

Can I use this on literally any surface? I’ve used it on plastic, metal, laminate, wood, ceramic, and glass with no problems.  However, I’ve not used it on stone like marble or granite so I can’t say how it will affect those.  As with any new products, you should test it in small area first.

Doesn’t the orange vinegar smell linger on the counters if you just leave it wet?  Nope!  It air dries and evaporates naturally, taking the smells with it.

Does your hair smell like vinegar all the time? No, it doesn’t.  I rinse it all out well so there is no smell!

Orange vinegar is great, and I hope you will make and use it in your home!  It’s perfect if you have kids because you don’t have to worry about them accidentally ingesting it and getting sick.  It’s also safe for use around pets, since it is literally all natural.

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

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