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Don’t throw away the orange peels, put them in a jar and add a little vinegar: it’s worth gold in the house.

Orange Peels and Vinegar: A Natural Cleaning Solution

Not many people know that orange peels, when combined with vinegar, can be incredibly useful for various household chores. This simple, natural solution can transform your cleaning routine, offering a powerful alternative to commercial cleaning products.

The Benefits of Oranges and Their Peels

In winter, we tend to consume more seasonal fruits like citrus, especially oranges. These fruits are vital for our immune system due to their high vitamin C content, which helps us combat the common colds and illnesses that come with colder weather.

While we often eat oranges or make fresh juice, the peels are usually discarded. However, these peels can be repurposed in ways that are beneficial for your home.

How to Use Orange Peels with Vinegar


  • Orange peels (from a few oranges)
  • Vinegar (enough to cover the peels)
  • A large jar with a lid
  • A spray bottle


Step 1: Prepare the Peels

Peel your oranges, and instead of throwing the peels away, break them into smaller pieces.

Step 2: Combine with Vinegar

Place the orange peels into a large jar. Pour vinegar over the peels until they are completely submerged.

Step 3: Let it Macerate

Seal the jar tightly and let it sit for about 15 days. During this time, the orange peels will macerate in the vinegar, releasing their essential oils and combining with the vinegar to create a potent cleaning solution.

Step 4: Strain and Store

After 15 days, strain the mixture to remove the orange peels. Pour the remaining liquid into a spray bottle for easy use.

Using the Orange-Vinegar Solution

This homemade cleaner can be used on surfaces with stubborn dirt. Thanks to the combined cleaning power of vinegar and the natural oils from the orange peels, this solution is effective at cleaning and disinfecting various surfaces, including steel.

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Additional Uses

  • Decorations and Crafts: During the Christmas season, orange peels can also be used to decorate your tree or create festive crafts.
  • Alternative Citrus Peels: This method can be adapted for other citrus fruits like lemons or mandarins, which have similar cleaning properties.

Tips for Best Results

  • Ensure Proper Maceration: Allowing the peels to sit in vinegar for the full 15 days ensures that the essential oils are fully released.
  • Use Fresh Peels: Fresh orange peels are more effective as they contain more oils.
  • Store Correctly: Keep the spray bottle in a cool, dark place to maintain the potency of the solution.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use other types of vinegar?

Yes, you can use different types of vinegar, but white vinegar is most commonly used for cleaning purposes.

How long can I store the orange-vinegar solution?

The solution can be stored for several months, but it’s best used within three to six months for maximum effectiveness.

Is this solution safe for all surfaces?

While it’s generally safe for most surfaces, it’s always a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure there’s no adverse reaction.

Can I use this cleaner on glass?

Yes, this solution works well on glass, leaving it streak-free and shiny.

What else can I do with leftover orange peels?

Aside from cleaning, orange peels can be used in compost, to freshen up garbage disposals, or even to infuse drinks and recipes with a citrus flavor.

By using this natural cleaning solution, you can enjoy a fresh-smelling home, free from harsh chemicals, while also being economical and environmentally friendly. Next time you enjoy an orange, remember to save the peels and give this method a try!