Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Orange Vinegar Cleaner

I have been doing some reading about this citrus/vinegar cleaner, and how wonderful it is.  I have been using about 1 cup vinegar to 2 cups water (or something like that - probably more like half and half because I can't be bothered measuring) to clean my kitchen benches with, and everywhere else except the bathroom.  I figured I needed something a bit stronger for my bathroom.  Because I was using vinegar already, this seemed like a logical idea.

So on this Blog: http://justlikemynanmade.blogspot.com/2011/05/citrus-cleaners-so-easy-and-good.html there is a wonderful easy recipe to make your own citrus cleaner at home. 

Navel Oranges are in season right now.  We had a huge box of them we have been munching through, so I gave the orders that the peel was to be removed and put into glass jars containing vinegar.  How easy!

This was our second box of oranges - about 1/4 full in this picture.  They were $12 a box and are super sweet, just as fresh oranges should be!  Unfortunately we don't have an orange tree, so this is the next best thing for us - straight from the Grower's Market.

You could use an orange peeler before you use the orange but I found it much easier to use a filleting knife.  My arthritic/RSI-ridden hands prefer this method - it's more of a downward action so my thumbs are much happier!  You want the peel, not the pith.  The peel contains all the oil that you want to infuse with the vinegar, which helps with cleaning.

I started our third jar yesterday.  The first two will be ready this Saturday (I think - or I could leave it for another week if I wanted to).  The third jar began two days ago, so will need a couple of weeks to steep.  They smell lovely and orangy, and after a day seem to lose the vinegar smell.  Or perhaps my nose is refusing to smell the vinegar *winks*.

So the quick run down on how to make it:-

- Grab a very clean glass jar.  With a lid.
- Peel an orange or lemon (or mandarin if you wish) trying to leave as much of the pith off.
- Put the peel into the glass jar and top with vinegar.  Keep adding peel to the jar as you go through oranges until the jar is full to the top.  You want to try to cover the peel so it doesn't end up mouldy. Depending on the size of your jar, one helpful suggestion was to fill a small snap-lock bag with water and place that on top.  It will keep the peel submerged.
- Leave for 2-3 weeks. The vinegar will extract the oil from the citrus peel, and create a lovely concentrate for you.
- Pour half water and half the citrus cleaner into a spray bottle and use away!

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