Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday: Orange Cleaner and More Greenery

Orange Cleaner Ingredients

Since I picked some oranges from my garden, the other day, I've been eating one a day.  As my oranges are organically grown, I can use the peel to flavor baked goods, etc.  I have several zippered bags of grated orange rind in the freezer, so I don't need anymore.

One of the other things I do when I have an abundance of orange peels is make orange cleaner.  All one needs is some distilled white vinegar, orange peels, and an empty jar.

Peels from Yesterday's Orange

I put the peels from my orange into a clean, empty jar (old mayonnaise jar in this case) and covered them with vinegar:

Orange Peels in Vinegar

I store the jar in the cabinet under the sink and add more orange peels as they become available.  After about 2 weeks, the vinegar becomes infused with the oils from the peels and turns orange in color.  I then strain the liquid into a spray bottle and toss the peels.

Last Year's Orange Cleaner

I still have some of the orange cleaner I made last year.  It stores without any problems.  The smell of vinegar evaporates after use.  I don't claim that this cleaner is better at cutting grease, etc., than the commercially available products.  Maybe it does and maybe it doesn't.  However, one of the benefits of homemade cleaners is you know what is in it - in this case, vinegar and orange oil.  I believe it is environmentally friendly.  I won't claim it is all natural, either, because I didn't make the vinegar from scratch.  It's commercially made vinegar which I purchased, and while one hopes it's all natural (it's food grade vinegar, after all) I don't know for sure.  But that is the only item I had to buy and vinegar is relatively inexpensive.

I should make a new, prettier label for the bottle of orange cleaner.  Previously, I had a solution of water and vinegar in this bottle and when I made the orange cleaner, I just stuck a masking tape label over it! I will be on the lookout for a picture of some oranges in one of my magazines to make a new label.

Meanwhile, I did a little house cleaning, too, today.  I dusted the living room and dining room.  I tidied the family room, cleared the coffee table and small dining table, and dusted the furniture.  I now have two piles of papers to go through, but that's for another day.  I also cleaned the 2nd bathroom.   I cooked a fish curry for my lunch and several additional meals throughout the week (I did another post about that).  I am feeling a lot better about the state of the house!  I am finally back on track with my house cleaning cycle!  This week (Jan 24-30) is the Whole House Cleaning week.  It is actually a sort of "catch up" week, and works out well for me.

I also picked a few more stems of paperwhites from the garden to bring indoors, today, and fresh greenery for the mantel. I might have to put the arrangement in the spare bedroom for the night and close the door, as I am not sure how Dancer might interact with it when I am not awake to keep an eye on him!

This Week's Arrangement

Today, my pharmacist friend brought me the box of disposable masks I had asked her to buy for me.  Not only did she bring it to me to my doorstep, she wouldn't accept payment for it, either.  But I had already suspected she wouldn't and so, was prepared with the jar of jam in exchange.  She was so happy to receive the jam; she always tells me that they fight over my jam in her house!

Today, I am grateful for:

- A bright, sunny day
- Still more caring friends
- Getting my house cleaning done
- Fresh flowers from the garden
- Email from a long-time friend

Do you make your own household cleaners?  Have you made your own orange cleaner?  What else would you do with orange peels?


  1. In general I don't make my own cleaners. I have here and there, but usually get the stuff from Dollar Tree and it lasts me quite a while.

    1. The dollar stores are hard to beat when it comes to good deals, aren't they?

  2. Ah Bless, I wrote almost the exact same paragraph about making my own citrus cleaner just a month or two ago, lol! I used the peels from oranges but mostly clementines and mandarins since I've been buying a lot of those lately. Like you, I can't say that it cleans as well as commercial cleaners, but it does an OK job, it's free (save for the vinegar but I buy it in gallon jars at Save A Lot to add to my laundry anyway) and I get to reuse the citrus peels. I have 2 jars going on right now on my windowsill so for now I'm composting my peels.

    Another thing you can do with orange peels is make crystallized peels to use in florentine cookies (or other cookies) or to cover with chocolate. Yum! You can also cut them very thinly and add them to granola (before you bake it).

    It was very nice of your pharmacist to bring the masks to you at home! And not to charge you either!

    The flowers from your garden are very pretty. I need to concentrate on growing flowers this year since I've pretty much decided not to bother with growing vegetables this upcoming season.

    Have a great week!

    1. Nathalie, you know what they say about great minds thinking alike! :D

  3. I like the idea of the citrus cleaner and I think I must try it. I do sometimes make my own laundry detergent and I use it sometimes and also use the commercial detergent when I feel that my laundry needs a boost. I think with the citrus cleaner I would do the same and keep some heavy duty commercial cleaner just for those times when I have something greasy to deal with. Vinegar is something I like to have around. I've just cleaned the coffee machine with a mixture of water and vinegar, then ran through plain waster a couple of times afterwards.
    Your flowers are lovely and give us all a good feeling!
    How nice to be able to give the kind pharmacist some delicious jam instead of mere money!

    1. Bushlady, I hope you'll try the cleaner and it works well for you. Vinegar and water works well as a cleaner, too.

      The paperwhites have come up year after year, since I planted them. Unlike the daffodils and the tulips - our winters are not cold enough for them to naturalize.

      Yes, I was glad I had a jar of jam to give her. I really need to make another batch of jam, one of these days, to have on hand.

  4. Your flowers are beautiful.
    Your orange cleaner sounds like a great idea. I have never made any.. I have made the bathtub cleaner of dawn dish liquid and vinegar..It works very well.
    So sweet of the pharmacist to bring the mask to you, know she enjoyed the jam too.
    Have a great day..

    1. Judy, thank you. I haven't tried the bathtub cleaner - must look into it. I buy a different brand of dishwashing liquid, but I can buy a small bottle of Dawn to make the cleaner. Thank you for mentioning it.

    2. BLess, I don't use Dawn either, but I had a bottle from a deal at CVS. Anyway, I am not sure that it is any cheaper, but it did work well. They said to spray it on and leave for 20-30 minutes before washing off.. It was sprarkling when I washed it off.
      it is 50% Dawn/50% vinegar.. put in spray bottle.
      ps I have the orange cleaner going today.. smells good.Thank you.

    3. Thank you for the "recipe" for the Dawn/vinegar cleaner. Will try it one of these days (have to get daughter to buy me a bottle of Dawn). Wonder if any other detergent will work too?


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