DIY Citrus Infused Vinegar for Natural Cleaning

by Chrystal Johnson on July 22, 2013

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citrus-infused-vinegarAfter falling for the marketing tricks of more than one “natural” cleaning product line that was actually greenwashing, I decided to go back to cleaning with my fail-safes: white distilled vinegar and baking soda (just make sure your vinegar is not petroleum based).

Unfortunately, my hubby does not like the smell of plain vinegar wafting through the house. I had started added essential oils to my vinegar/water mixture, but the cost of essential oils really adds up after awhile, and I know they can be cost-prohibitive for someone who is just getting started with natural living.

A friend had mentioned infusing vinegar with citrus peels to lessen that potent smell, so I decided to give it a try. It’s a super simple process and it really works!

Now, I always have citrus scented vinegar in my cabinet, and I don’t have to worry about mixing up the right blend of essential oils when I want to clean. And I can feel confident that my kids are safe if they want to help me clean.

I typically use orange peels because they seem to be more abundant in my house, but you can use lemon, lime or grapefruit peels as well!

Citrus Infused Vinegar Recipe


  • Citrus Peels (orange, lemon, lime and/or grapefruit)
  • Distilled White Vinegar (non-petroleum based)
  • Glass Jar(s) with non-metal lids


  1. citrus-infused-vinegar-finishedPlace all of the peels in your jar(s). I like to cram as many in there as I can.
  2. Pour vinegar over the peels until the jar is full and cap with a non-metal lid (The sweating inside the jar can leach the metals).
  3. Sit in a dark place for about a week. When it’s ready, it’ll smell less like vinegar and more like citrus (there will still be a lingering vinegar smell, but not as strong).
  4. Remove the peels and pour the citrus-infused vinegar into a spray bottle until it’s half full. Fill the other half with water.
  5. Use as you would any all purpose cleaner!

Have you ever made citrus-infused vinegar? Which peels are your favorite to use?

About Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal, publisher of Happy Mothering, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former marketing manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life. She enjoys sharing those discoveries with anyone who's willing to listen.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 beth c July 22, 2013 at 2:16 pm

brilliant! thank you so much- i am going to do this today!! i know the benefits of cleaning with natural vinegar, but don’t particularly love the smell either :) this is going to be lovely! :)


2 Chrystal Johnson July 23, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I hope it works well for you!


3 Nanette @ Beautiful by Design April 22, 2014 at 5:45 am

What a fantastic idea for a natural and non-toxic cleaner, Beth. I can hardly wait to try it out! I often use vinegar to clean with and now it will smell good too!


4 Eldie @ Edlie's Domesticated Life April 22, 2014 at 6:29 am

I have been using this as my cleaner for months! I love the way it smells! Thanks for sharing!
Eldie @ Edlie’s Domesticated Life recently posted..DIY Chalk Paint [Only TWO Ingredients]!


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