A girl's quest to live on the greener side.

Zero Waste Cleaning: Orange Peel Vinegar Cleaner

orange peel vinegar

By: Ariana Palmieri

Recently, I posted a photo on Instagram of my (at the time, unfinished) orange peel vinegar cleaner: It got a lot of likes and so many people expressed interest in making some. That's why I figured it'd be a good idea to share the recipe on my blog, along with my opinion of it as a cleaner. It's really not hard to make at all and makes for easy zero waste cleaning. Oh, and it smells amazing.

Too many cleaners out there contain unnecessary toxins. This orange peel vinegar cleaner is simple: The base of it is made using only 2 ingredients. Then, you pretty much just dilute it with water. I know there are lots of people who find vinegar off putting, but the orange peels do a great job of masking the scent. If you want to, you can even add some essential oils to it (I added lemon essential oil to mine). Also, just a heads up, I do have one affiliate link in this post. It's to the pretty glass spray bottle I used to house my orange peel vinegar. Now without further ado, here's how to make some all-purpose cleaner!


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Orange Peel Vinegar Cleaner
Zero Waste Cleaning

orange peel vinegar

Ingredients + supplies:
  • 4 orange peels (or however many will fit in your jar)
  • 1 glass bottle of white vinegar (I got mine at Trader Joe's - I used it all to cover the oranges)
  • Essential oils (Optional - I added some lemon essential oil to mine)
  • 1 large mason jar (whatever size you want - I'd say aim for a 16 oz. jar or up)
  • Cheesecloth  or strainer (to strain the orange peels from the vinegar)
  • Spray bottle (Use what you have - plastic or glass works well)

orange peel vinegar


How to Make Orange Peel Vinegar Cleaner:
  1. Eat the oranges (or store them in an air-tight container for later) and place the peels in a glass jar. I ate 4 oranges over the course of a week and gradually added the peels to the jar.
  2. Once all the peels have been added, pour in your white vinegar. I got a glass jar of white vinegar at Trader Joe's and used it all up to cover my orange peels. I chose a glass jar to try and avoid buying any new plastic, but if you have to buy a big plastic jug of white vinegar, go for it.
  3. Once the orange peels are completely covered by the white vinegar, cover it with the jar's lid. Now here's the easiest part: Leave it alone for about 3 weeks. The longer you let it ferment, the more potent it will be. Store it some place relatively warm and out of the sun's reach: I kept it under my kitchen sink.
  4. Once the three weeks are up, use the cheesecloth or strainer to separate the orange peel vinegar from the orange peels. Transfer it over to a bowl.
  5. Mix 50/50 orange peel vinegar with water in a spray bottle of your choice. I used a funnel to get it into my spray bottle. You can dilute it less or more, depending on what you prefer and how big your bottle is. Now's the time to add some essential oil if you'd like to as well - I added some lemon to mine to compliment the orange scent. I didn't exactly count how much I added - maybe 20 to 30 drops. It's all up to you - whatever you prefer. When you're done, make sure to compost the leftover orange peels. Tada, you just made orange peel vinegar cleaner!

Note on spray bottle:  If you have an empty glass bottle you can try screwing on a spray nozzle you have lying around. I bought a glass spray bottle via Amazon (pictured below) for this cleaner because all the spray nozzles I had didn't fit on my glass bottles (figures, right?). I made sure to buy it using the frustration-free packaging option Amazon has (I suggest you use it too whenever you shop on Amazon - The program sends your product without excess packaging materials - which equals less waste). You can always put this cleaner in an empty plastic spray bottle if you have no other options at the moment. Reusing what you have is sometimes better for the environment anyway.

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Cleaning with Orange Peel Vinegar

orange peel vinegar


As far as actually cleaning with this stuff goes, I love it. It smells great (just like oranges) and gets the job done. Here are a few cleaning methods I've tried and recommend using:


  • Counter tops - Simply spray it on your counter tops, wipe using a rag, and it'll be good as new! Just one or two sprays should do the trick.
  • Stove tops - This stuff does a great job of cleaning stove tops. Trust me when I say it made my stove top shine like new! I didn't even need to spray that much either.
  • Bathrooms - This will clean almost anything in the bathroom you can think of: Toilet bowls, sinks, faucets, shower walls and tubs. If you have serious grime to clean up, you might need a bit more than the usual one or two sprays.

orange peel vinegar


I've heard some people use it to clean floors too, which is super cool. I'm sure you could, I just haven't tried that yet. If you want to try it, just fill your "quick mop" with the cleaner and use on any hard floor. Let me know how it works!

What are your favorite zero waste cleaning products? Here are 3 other all-natural cleaning solutions to try.

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