In the search for recipes for home cleaners, I find that most have a lot of vinegar, and I REALLY don’t like the smell of vinegar. And I want something more grease-busting for a cleaner, and love using orange oil.
For the science-inclined, orange peels contain Limonene, which is a solvent which breaks down oils, and is an effective cleaning agent. However, because it breaks down oils, it can also be a mild skin irritant, so make sure you wash it off. So, how do you make this yourself?
Step 1: Get orange peels
Scoop out the flesh of a bunch of oranges (or you could, you know, eat it), and cut the peels into pieces. I used about 3-4 oranges for this. Put the peels into the handy dandy food processor, and blend them down to a fine pulp.
Step 2: Put them in a jar
Scoop the orange peel pulp into a mason jar, and cover the pulp with grain alcohol, or rubbing alcohol (some recipes call for vodka, but do you really want to waste 2 CUPS of vodka on this? Yeah, me neither). Put on the lid and shake the crap out of it. Then put it away somewhere safe, and give it a really good shaking every day. After 1-2 weeks the liquid will be really really orange.
Step 3: Remove the pulp
Strain off the pulp, and keep the liquid. Leave the liquid in the jar with no lid, and let the alcohol evaporate off. Once about 1/3-1/2 of the liquid has evaporated, the oil will be pretty concentrated, and ready to use.
Because it’s mostly alcohol and solvent, it should keep for a pretty long time, and you can use it in all sorts of cleaning products, and you will have a great orange smell to your house!
Loving the city, but longing for the farm, Melissa has made a hobby and a habit out of living sustainably, and DIYing, all while enjoying the perks of living in the big city. From Vancouver BC, she posts about making your own homestead from the smallest condo, and bringing farm living to rapid transit.
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