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Orange Vinegar Cleaning Spray

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For years now, I've been making this orange vinegar spray. I use it to clean the kitchen counters, our bathrooms, and small spills on the floors. It's so simple to make, and is so much cheaper than buying a chemical-filled cleaning spray in a store.

I'd like to begin by saying that I do not claim this idea as my own. It is, and has been for many years, all over the internet. I do add a little something to mine that wasn't in the original recipe I found, but I don't claim it as solely my own. My goal is to share this wonderful idea with others who may not have heard about it yet.

Formalities covered, let's get right to the good stuff.


What makes this so easy?

It takes just two ingredients to make this spray. One of them most people keep in their pantries or laundry rooms, and the other is technically the scraps from your afternoon snack. There is no cooking, grating, or mixing. It takes less than five minutes of hands-on time. It doesn't get much easier than that.

Does it really kill germs?

Absolutely! It is important to note that vinegar is not on the list of "EPA approved" disinfectants, however, it does a good job reducing germs on surfaces after activities such as food preparation. If you're looking for something that kills COVID, you'll want to choose something else.

Citrus also has antimicrobial benefits, so the orange in this cleaner boosts its germ-killing power. The Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry published an article that discusses the beneficial properties of orange peel as a germ killer. It was noted to kill Enteric pathogens and Klebsiella pneumonia, among other pathogens.

While this spray may not be medical grade, it will certainly help to kill germs in your household, and you'll feel better knowing it's natural and safer for your family.

A jug of vinegar, a mason jar, and two oranges.
The simple ingredients.

What will you need?

  • Distilled white vinegar

  • The peels from two navel oranges (or any oranges equivalent in size, or 4 to 5 mandarin/smaller oranges)

  • A pint-sized glass mason jar with a lid

How it's done:

Once you have cut the peels from your oranges, put all the peels into the mason jar. You'll want it to be packed tightly enough to maximize the benefits from the orange peel. Basically ensure that the pieces won't float freely in the vinegar, but don't worry too much about perfection. If you have more than seem to want to go, sometimes curling them around the inside edges of the jar helps maximize space. Cover the peels with the vinegar and place the lid on the jar. Gently turn the jar upside down a couple of times to evenly disperse the peels.

That's it. Simple, huh? Now you just need to set it aside in a room temperature spot for two weeks. During this time the vinegar will pull the beneficial oils from the orange peels, adding extra antibacterial properties and lending a nice scent.

At the end of the two weeks, simply strain the vinegar out of the peels and store it in a glass container. I like to use amber glass bottles to block light from entering the container. The jar in the pictures below is the last jar I made, and it was ready to be strained.

How should you use it?

This spray is potent enough that I dilute it by half with water. I put eight ounces of the vinegar into a 16-ounce glass spray bottle and add eight ounces of water. This is when I add that special something I mentioned earlier. I like to add ten drops of Aura Cacia Medieval Mix essential oil blend*. This blend adds extra germ-killing power and smells awesome.

The pictures below show the essential oil blend and my ready-to-use solution. You can see mine is in a plastic bottle right now; I definitely recommend glass bottles, but I am out of sprayers for mine right now. Amber glass bottles like these* offer more protection from light and hold up better, especially when you use essential oils.

We most often use this to clean our counters in the evenings after dinner. I also use it to clean our showers, bathtubs, and sinks in the bathroom. The vinegar cuts through water stains on faucets, leaving them bright and shiny. The bathroom smells clean and fresh, and best of all, I know I'm not leaving behind any nasty chemical residue for our kids to come into contact with later.

I have used this safely for years on our non-porous surfaces like countertops, tile, backsplashes, and tubs. I personally wouldn't use it on our wood surfaces (like our dining room table). As with any cleaner, I recommend performing a spot test for safety before spraying it on the entire surface.

Have you used this before, or do you plan to? Is there anything extra you add to give it that "something special?" Please tell me about it in the comments.

*Affiliate Link

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