Orange Peel Vinegar Cleaner. Make Your Own Green Cleaner

Orange Peel Vinegar

Orange Peel Vinegar

My kids adore oranges.  But, what do you do with all those peels?  At first, I start freezing them to make my own orange peel zest.  But after the 10th orange, I couldn’t figure out what else to do with them.  Leona McEachern of My Healthy Green Family gave me a great idea on how to make my own orange scented vinegar cleaning spray.

Vinegar is my #1 cleaner.  It disinfects, reduces smells, mold, and removes calcium build-up.  I can’t stop gushing about how much I love vinegar.  (For 1001 uses for vinegar, see here.) But I honestly don’t love the smell.  Adding the orange peels to the vinegar is going to give it that wonderful citrus smell I love.

Talk about delish smelling.  So, simple too.


  1. Start to store your orange peels.  You can put in the freezer if  you like.  When you have enough, put them in a glass jar.  (Note, you add lemon peels too.)
  2. Fill the jar up with White vinegar and let it sit for 2 weeks. (Updated to reflect that I am using *white* vinegar.)
  3. Put it on your countertop so you can admire it.  So, beautiful. (You can feel like Martha.) Oh, and you might want to take the old jar peel off, unlike my jar…
  4. After two weeks strain the liquid.
  5. Put peels in the composter.  (Unless you have any other ideas, I am all ears.)
  6. Mix water with the vinegar in a ratio of 2:1.
  7. Use and enjoy.

I am thinking of starting to save the peels to make my own birthday and holiday gifts. Wouldn’t that be a great teacher’s gift?

Other ideas:

Join the Conversation:

  • What are some of your ideas on how to use orange peels?
  • Have you used this idea before?
  • Do you make your own orange peel zest?

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  1. 3

    PrudenceLee says

    Do you know that vinegar can also heal wounds? Now I’m so amazed with other usage of vinegar! I didn’t know that it can be used as disinfectant too!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’ll definitely follow this.
    PrudenceLee´s last blog post ..Surgical Gloves

  2. 6

    Born25 says

    Helpful post! We can’t deny vinegar is way around. And now, it’s a one way help to our house chores. Can’t wait to share this to my mom and help her make this. :)
    Born25´s last blog post ..Online Conference Call

  3. 7


    If you dry orange peels completely, (you can speed the drying process by baking in an oven) and store in a glass jar they can be used as a healing tea for sickness. This tip came from a friend who grew up in Trinidad. This remedy is used for colds and flu. Now as part of my home remedy kit I always have a large amount of dried orange peels. Because of pesticides we only use organic oranges for this purpose.

    Note: this does not work with grapefruit peels.

  4. 11

    Deborah Naugler says

    This turned out wonderful. The venegar smell is completly gone. Now for using it. As a natural nut I can’t wait to bottle and spray. This is one of the best natural products I have found to make as a cleaner!!!!

  5. 13

    Sara says

    ALL EARS??
    put a small hand full in your garbage disposal with 1/2 c of ice and a couple tsps of salt. BEST DARNED garbage disposal cleaner ever. I do this all the time with the peels and cuts of lemon from squeezing for a marinade. So why wouldn’t the peels with the vinegar be better.
    Sprinkle them in your garden and discourage pests, gophers, cats, and other creatures with very strong sense of smell. (not tested yet, just seems to make sense)
    take one or two pieces of the vinegar soaked lemon or orange peel, and wipe down the base boards, door frames and anywhere else ANTS are coming in at. (Just did this morning. I will report back)
    I read a blog a minute ago that says to re-use them and start another jar, you can use them twice before they are done giving up the good stuff.
    Thank you.

    • 15

      Katie says

      I LOVE apple cider vinegar (especially mixed with water for a facial toner), but for this application I use white vinegar.

        • 17

          Katie says

          Anna, I tend to just eyeball my toner recipe. I would guess it’s about a 3:1 ratio of water to vinegar. Really 2:1, 1:1, or even straight vinegar is fine, but it’s pretty acidic so most people don’t like it straight. It should work for any skin type (apparently). I have friends with all skin types who like it. My skin tends to be a bit mixed with an oily T-zone. My mom has dry skin and likes it. And even my hubby got on board and uses it. He has oily skin–well, had oily skin. Ever since starting this he hasn’t had to worry about any more adult acne. Yay for him! I referenced this website
          the first time I made it. It has some helpful information on there too so I do recommend checking it out if you have any other questions. I don’t think I’ll ever stop making it and it’s dirt cheap…so even better!

  6. 18


    Have created several jars since first starting to make this wonderful cleaner after reading your post several months ago. I packed well a jar of peels, not unlike your own; and poured vinegar over them until completely covered. Even added more vinegar after a couple or three days when I discovered space in the bottle after the peels absorbed much of the vinegar.

    After four weeks, after removing the peels, I poured the result into a spray bottle and filled the rest with water. Almost half and half. The cleaner worked fabulously; in fact, I used a spray bottle to spritz my floors and a regular old string mop to wipe them clean. Worked wonders, and the aroma was not the offensive odor of vinegar; but instead, was most pleasant on the nose. Not too shabby for an aging bachelor, yes? Visitors love the smell of my home. Thanks for your experiment. Hopefully, the world will awaken and use this eco-friendly product, too. Blessings & (((hugs)))

  7. 20


    Hi, can you clarify the 2:1 ratio? 2 vinegar: 1 water, or 1 water : 2 vinegar? Also, any thoughts on whether this would work using lavendar? Thanks for the recipe!

    • 21


      Becca, sorry I missed your question. It is 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar solution. I don’t know if the vinegar would steep the lavendar. I think adding a few drops of essential lavender oil would be better. Let me know if you try it. Anna

  8. 22

    Elisa says

    I tried this with tangerine peels. It came out with a mucous-y texture and was musty-smelling after using it on my countertop. Did I do something wrong?

    • 23


      Elisa, that is weird. Did you strain the liquid? Perhaps use a cheese cloth or coffee filter. I wonder if some of the skin stayed in the liquid. Those skins are alot thinner than lemon and grapefruits. Let me know. Anna

  9. 25

    Shannon says

    Would this encourage fruit flies in the summer?
    (I always have tonnes of them and don’t want to make it worse!)

  10. 27

    Becky Sunderman says

    Can this be used on hardwood floors? Pergo floors? I really need to find a good cleaner for my floors that is both natural and inexpensive. Thanks

    • 29

      caroline says

      Love this idea ,I have my first batch brewing ,
      As a cancer patient /survivor I am especially concered with the amount of chemicals in our daily lives.
      one of the tools I like best for cleaning is my Shark steam cleaner for hardwood ect ,I got the one with the lift off hand held portion as well. Combined with natural cleaners I can do the whole house with no chemicals.
      Happy ,healtyhy cleaning to you !!! PS the Shark was not cheap but well worth it . A great money saver is making you own laundry detergent .

  11. 30


    I wish that when you all post ingredients that you would be more clear for those who don’t know whether to use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. I know the difference but it was years before I could track down information that made sense. It’s like recipes that call for butter….but they don’t mention salted or unsalted. Some recipes do and I really appreciate that. Those who don’t get tossed. There are a lot of young people that read here and you can’t “ASS”ume that they know the difference.

    • 35


      Sheena, I honestly don’t know since apple cider has more of a smell. I don’t know if the orange peels will cancel out the smell. When you dilute it might make it smell better. Let me know how it works out. Anna

  12. 36

    Katt says

    grind the used peels in to a paste and use them as a hair mask table spoon in before you shampoo when uve been sweating all day does wonders :)

    • 37


      Katt, tell me more. Do you wait until the peels are good and hard then whirl them in a food processor? How much do you use for the mask? Do you leave it on your hair for a few minutes? Anna

  13. 42

    Jennifer O says

    I did this twice and both times the vinegar turned a brown color. Did I do something wrong or is that how it’s supposed to look?

    • 43


      I looked at my solution in the kitchen which has been sitting in a glass jar sans the orange peels. Sure enough, it is a light brown. Kind of like a really light color broth. Is this what yours looks like? You can send me a pic. Anna


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