Skip to Content

How to make homemade citrus cleaner

Lemons all about lemons

We’ve finally processed all or our lemons. By our best guesses the one tree gave us over 200 pounds of lemons! But even though we have quite the abundance of lemons I don’t want to waste any of them. So we created a little system for processing the lemons to get the most out of them.

If the rind was blemish free, we zested and dehydrated it until we had enough for the year.

juicing and freezing lemons

Then we would cut the lemon in half and juice it. We also did this with the lemons that had blemishes on them.

makie citrus cleaner the easy way

Lastly, we take the discarded rind, pith and pulp and added to a 5 gallon bucket that has vinegar in it. That should be enough to last us all year. We also throw in other citrus peels like grapefruit and oranges. To use, we put it in a labeled spray bottle an just use it straight. We use it to clean the kitchen and bathrooms. We also use it to freshen up the chicken coop.

Yield: varies

Homemade Lemon Household Cleaner

homemade citrus cleaner in spray bottle

Make your own citrus household cleaner with just two ingredients....lemons and vinegar. You can actually use any citrus to make this cleaning spray so feel free to experiment.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 21 days 1 second
Total Time 21 days 15 minutes 1 second


  • Lemon rinds, or other citrus scraps – organic if possible
  • White vinegar
  • Optional: fresh aromatic, antiseptic herbs such as lavender, mint, rosemary, sage, or thyme


  • A large glass jar or other container for steeping
  • A fine-mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth
  • A spray bottle


Collect citrus peels in a large jar or bucket. It might take you several days to gather enough to fill the jar. If it takes longer than 3-4 days, keep the saved peels in the freezer until you have enough.

Pour enough vinegar over the peels until it covers them.

Let the peels steep in the vinegar for at least a week and up to 3 weeks.

Once the peels are finished steeping, strain the peels out using a fine mesh strainer. I like to strain the citrus cleaner twice just to make sure I've gotten all the small particles out.

Pour the citrus vinegar into a spray bottle using a funnel if needed and label.

To Use Citrus Cleaner:

Spray the citrus cleaner onto countertops, doors and door knobs, floor, and walls just as you would a commercial cleaner. Let sit for a couple of minutes before wiping off with a damp cloth.

Do not use vinegar citrus cleaner on granite, marble, or other sensitive stone surfaces. Don't use it on wood furniture or natural wood floors. However, it can be used on cutting boards.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

What homemade cleaners do you use? Feel free to share links in the comments so we can all see them.

Thanks for sharing with your friends!

Shelia Cooper

Friday 18th of September 2015

I like using lemons in my "green" recipes for cleaning! But I often combine them with other ingredients in order to make my all-purpose cleaner! I mix vinegar + baking soda + water and lemon juice or essential oil of lemon - depends on what I have in the shelf! I also use lemon peels for making an infusion for cleaning the windows! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe! Greets!

Shelle @ PreparednessMama

Thursday 6th of February 2014

I love the 5 gallon bucket idea! I always strain mine out after a few weeks- but no more. Do you just keep adding vinegar and rinds indefinitely?

Angi Schneider

Thursday 6th of February 2014

yeah, pretty much. I only use the lemons we grow, so when I no longer have any fresh ones, I stop naturally stop adding them. At some point during the year, I strain the rinds out so that it's all ready for the next year's harvest.

Lisa @ Fresh Eggs Daily

Tuesday 28th of January 2014

I do the same with orange peels and toss in some cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean for natural pest repelling cleaner AND it smells so good! I love using natural cleaners. Thanks for sharing this post! Lisa Fresh Eggs Daily

Angi Schneider

Tuesday 28th of January 2014

Thanks for the suggestions, Lisa. I'll have to add some cinnamon and vanilla to some and try it. I bet that does smell good.

Erica Mueller

Monday 27th of January 2014

I used the peels from the lemons you sent me and made some cleaner too! I soaked mine in vinegar for just over a week, strained and diluted with water. I now have a big spray bottle of cleaner that smells amazing!!

Angi Schneider

Friday 31st of January 2014

Yay! This is the only way I can clean with vinegar since hubby hates the smell.

Krystyna @ Spring Mountain Living

Monday 27th of January 2014

Great post! Lemons are so much more useful than I'd have ever thought. Instead of tossing the lemon halves after squeezing them, I hold onto them. You can just rub them directly on a counter to help clean or get a stain out :) Pinning for later!

Angi Schneider

Tuesday 28th of January 2014

oh, I forgot you can do that, Krystyna. Thanks for the reminder.

Skip to Instructions