Cleaning Day

Sunday is cleaning day at my house.  Working six days a week means that there is no resting on Sunday for me.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on making my own natural cleaning solutions.

First up is Citris Vinegar cleaner.  I got the recipe and instructions from this blog.  It’s pretty basic, but takes a few weeks to set up.  Simply place your orange, lemon or grapefruit peels in a clean mason jar and top with plain old white vinegar.  I used a veggie peeler to remove the zest from my oranges, this minimized the amount of pith in the jar.

Continue to add peels and vinegar until the jar is full.  Then let it soak for 2 – 3 weeks, giving it a good shake once a week.

I had mine sitting on the pantry shelf for about two weeks, then moved it to my sunny kitchen window sill for the final week, shaking it regularly.

Here’s what the finished product looked like:

You can see (sort of) that the orange peel is now discolored as the rich orange color has been absorbed by the vinegar.

The citrus does not eliminate all of the vinegar smell, but it does help.  I have no issues with the smell of vinegar anyway, but if you do…this may not be the cleaner for you.

I strained off the vinegar using a cheap nylon sieve that I picked up from the dollar store, but found that it didn’t result in a clear liquid.  I ran it through a couple of layers of cheesecloth and was much happier with the result 🙂

I didn’t take a picture of the cleaner in a spray bottle (duh!), but the contents of this batch topped up with water (50/50 split) filled a dollar store spray bottle.

My intention in making this was to have a natural degreaser that I can use in the kitchen.  Mainly for my stovetop and oven.

So, I went ahead and tried it out.

Here are a couple of before pics from my greasy stovetop (it isn’t always that dirty…honest…well maybe a little bit like that!)

I sprayed the top with my new orange cleaner and let is soak in for about 10 minutes.

After a little scrubbing here is how it looked:

 I am really impressed that I was able to get this result with little scrubbing.

I was even able to get the area under the top clean (clean enough for me anyway!)

The vinegar smell lasted about 10 – 15 minutes then magically disappeared!

I also tried it in the oven….my dirty oven:

I sprayed the walls and the bottom of the oven and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

The orange cleaner did a great job removing the obvious gunk, but I wasn’t impressed with how it worked on the deeper greasy marks.  This was easily remedied by dipping my sponge into baking soda and scrubbing the stains (using a heavy dose of elbow grease!)

I was very satisfied with the results:

There are still some grease marks on the right wall (as you can see), but my knees were screaming by this point, so I decided to tackle it next time.

Now, if I could just be one of those people that gives the oven a quick clean after each use…sigh (maybe one day, when I grow up!)

The other natural cleaner I tried was the miracle cleaner by jillie found on her blog onegoodthingbyjillie.

It’s a simple mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide (you know, the stuff in the brown bottle?).

Just place some baking soda in a glass bowl and add hydrogen peroxide until it forms a paste.

I used this on the middle of my stovetop burners and the glass inside the oven door – wiping it on and leaving it to sit for 1/2 hour

Here are my before and after pics:

Burners:

Oven Door:

Not bad eh?  Minimal scrubbing required…minimal!  This stuff really works!  On the oven door, it did a great job cleaning the gasket thingy around the edge too!

Do you have any natural cleaning methods that you would like to share?  I would love to hear about them!

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