Don’t Toss Those Citrus Peels!

citrus infused vinegar for cleaning {}
 A while ago I investigated ways to use citrus peels – beyond composting them.    In doing so I came across infused vinegar.  I was intrigued.   I have since made infused vinegar several times with oranges, lemons and grapefruit.  I am addicted!   
Why would I want infused vinegar?  Do I cook with it?  Maybe you could, but I use mine for my homemade cleaners.  The vinegar extracts the essential oils from the citrus peels,  mellowing the smell of the vinegar and  adding a boost of cleaning power to the vinegar.
I love that I can get extra use out of something before it gets composted.  If you are just getting started making your own cleaners, this is a great, cheap way to start without investing in essential oils.
I substitute one of these infused vinegars for the vinegar in any of the homemade cleaner recipes, then skip the essential oils. 
What You Need
ingredients to infuse vinegar
Citrus peels – orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, or a combination
Glass jar with lid – reuse an old spaghetti sauce jar
White distilled vinegar
The Method
Save your citrus peels – I save mine in the freezer until I have enough to fill the glass jar.
inexpensive green cleaners
Fill the jar with your peels, really stuff them in there, the more the better. (Can you tell my orange peels are frozen?)
vinegar cleaners {}
  Fill the jar with distilled vinegar.  Make sure all the peels are covered by the vinegar, otherwise mold could start growing.  Get the kids to help!
citrus infused vinegar cleaner
 Let the jar sit for 1 – 2 weeks, gently shaking every once in a while.  Give it a wiff every once in a while. When you can smell more fruit than vinegar, it’s done.
 Strain the vinegar and keep in another jar to use.
Have you ever infused vinegar?

This post is part of Vintage MauveFrugally SustainableSeasonal Celebration SundayYour Green ResourceSimple Lives ThursdayWorks For Me Wednesday,  Frugal Fridays, Simply Natural SaturdaysHome is Where the Heart IsTiny Tip Tuesday, Green Sisterhood Weekend Reading List, Green LivingThursdayFabulously Frugal Thursday, From The Farm, Wildcrafting Wednesday

This post was featured at Tiny Tip Tuesday!!!

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39 Responses to Don’t Toss Those Citrus Peels!

  1. Janelle May 22, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Great idea! I’ll have to try it sometime soon – when I get enough orange peels ; )

  2. mish May 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    What a great idea. I too hate wasting things. I am going to combine my peels. It also looks good on the counter with other things in it, such as red peppers,and various vegetables.

  3. Becca May 27, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    Very cool! I use vinegar to clean, but my family hates the smell. This will definately help. Thanks for posting this idea!

  4. Trista Laborn May 27, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    Hi! Stopping by from Green Mom Network and I am your newest follower! You can follow back at:

  5. Natural Mothers Network June 1, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Aren’t orange peels the business! I love your images and no, I couldn’t tell they were frozen:-)Take a look here for more ideas on what to do with orange peels..
    Thanks for linking this up at Seasonal Celebration Sunday! Rebecca@Natural Mothers Network x

    • Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) June 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      I love orange peels! And lemon, grapefruit and lime! Thanks for the additional tips for orange peels. I have tons in my freezer at the moment and plenty of scented vinegar for a while so I need something else to do with them.

  6. Chelsea @ June 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    My husband eats a grapefruit every day. I’m so going to do this!

  7. Julie Bagamary June 14, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    GREAT tip – thanks. I already clean with vinegar. Wish I had seen this post during the winter when we had more oranges.

  8. Lacey June 15, 2012 at 12:15 am #

    Very cool idea – thanks for sharing it!

    • Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) June 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by Lacey. I love being able to use the peels. It’s especially nice when you are just starting out making your own cleaners and might not want to invest in essential oils yet.

  9. Argentum Vulgaris July 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Great post and a great idea, I have added your link to the Apothecary on Eco-Crap:


  10. Erika Marsh August 1, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    I just wanted to stop by and say Thank you for linking up to “Home is Where the Heart is” Our link party is a great one because of you! We’d love to have you link up this week too! The party is open now!
    You’ve been featured! 🙂

  11. A Proverbs 31 Wife August 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    I love this idea! Not as good as essential oils perhaps but cheaper, and perfect for what I need it for!

    • Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) August 8, 2012 at 1:23 am #

      Yes, possibly not as strong as using essential oils, but I love using the peels. Even though the vinegar smell doesn’t bother me, I like using this better.

  12. Sarah @ Natures Nurture August 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Love doing this! Like you, I’m addicted 🙂 Thanks for sharing at Tiny Tip Tuesday!

  13. Sarah @ Natures Nurture August 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Hey Kristina,

    This post is being featured this week at Tiny Tip Tuesday!

    Have an awesome rest of the week 🙂

  14. flashbulbspurpleirises September 28, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    I’m doing this right now … the jar itself almost looks decorative. And now that I think about it, I think it’s been sitting for closer to 4 weeks. Hmmm … maybe I should take the peels out already.

    • Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) September 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      That should be nice and scented by now! Actually, I have a couple of jars going at the moment too…. I think it’s been 2 weeks…. Thanks for the reminder!

  15. BERNADETTE TAYLOR December 24, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    Naturally Amazing….I use the white vinegar already to absorb household odors daily and it really works. I’m going to try adding the peels which should leave a wonderful citrus smell in the air, who needs expensive store bought air fresheners? And….pour it into my drains to freshen them as well…ohhhhh the possibilities! LOL
    Thanks for sharing…happy greening 😉

  16. Anna (Green Talk) March 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    I did the same thing and blogged about here. I used both orange and grapefruit peels. It smells so good.

  17. Green Bag Lady Teresa April 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    This is great! citrus smell instead of vinegar smell. I know my hubby would appreciate that!

    • Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) April 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

      IT really does help with the smell. My husband doesn’t care for the straight vinegar either- even though it dissipates pretty quickly.

      Love your site and what you are doing!!!!

  18. Mari December 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Thanks for sharing , this is such a wonderful tip . Great way to use something so full of rich aroma
    always seems such a pity to send it to compost with so much left in it . Thanks again.


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