Reduce and Reuse: Day 1 ~ Orange Peels and Orange Cleaner

This month I’m starting a new series – after cleaning up the kitchen last week, I couldn’t help but find myself frustrated with my 6 year old………. empty bottles, orange peels all over……… cereal boxes left wide open, then come and find Dave had left a 6 pk of Dos Equis Cardboard Holder in the kitchen as well.

I felt bad throwing them out.. so I stuck all these empty containers, and kept the orange peels hoping to find a second use. It sure wasn’t something he was proud of when his mom came over, but because my mother in law loves to reuse things, I’m fairly certain she saw the positive in my intent ;)

Each day through January, I’m goin to find a way to Reuse and Repurpose something you find yourself using on a daily basis – whether orang peels, or, milk jugs, and the list goes on. Hopefully you find it just as helpful – and I sure hope it inspires you to think twice about tossing something in the trash can outside on a Tuesday morning.

Today we’re making Orange Cleaner – see the jar above? It’s just a Ragu jar……… I keep my empty jars, they tend to work for odd things around the house.

Orange Cleaner is amazing – even better when you can make it yourself – no better feeling. And since we have great deals on Oranges and Clementines almost weekly, it should be easy for you to do.

Save up all those Orange Peels you have – we save them up quite fast. Fill a jar with the peels, and pour in enough Vinegar to cover them all. Screw that lid on well, and let it sit on the window sill. I need to throw today’s in mine, I have a whole huge bowl of peels from this morning’s breakfast.

Shake it up each day, and keep letting it sit.. at least 14-16 days. .. the longer, the better. Each day, the vinegar will get more syrupy – that’s what you want :)

After 14-16 days, strain out the liquid, and toss the peels outside in your garden; mix two parts of water to one part of your Vinegar mixture – put it in a spray bottle and give it a whirl  – you’ll find yourself tossing out all of your other old cleaners.

If you are wondering if lemons and limes work as well – they sure do…….great way for you to put those lemons to work on your lemon tree.


  • Barbie Berry

    Been doing this for several months! Love how cheap and easy it is:-) Especially since finding out that lemons are naturally antibacterial.

  • Tanya

    I love this cleaner. I use a gallon size pickle jar for mine. With 4 kids we do a lot of cleaning! Can’t wait to see the rest of your reuse tricks.

  • MJ Taylor

    Cutie peels also work! :)

  • Kristen Key

    One of my goals for this new year is to try to make some homemade cleaners and other things (tortillas, pizza crust, bread) and help teach our daughters about it all as well. I’m all for trying homemade, natural cleaners over having to buy chemicals to wash/clean with!

    • sherylcuevas

      Me too…….. Easton is in every cupboard, until Dave puts cabinet locks on.. so having the other stuff is not an option. I’d freak out if he got into anything bad.

    • Rosa Escobedo

      Kristen Key I have a great recipe for flour tortilla dough. They are so easy to make,,hope you enjoy it: 6 C all purpose flour, 1 C shortening, 1TSP baking powder and salt (now for the secret to soft tortillas) 2 1/4 C very hot water. First mix it with a fork until it cools down enough to kneed it with your hands. Now if anyone has a recipe for pizza crust I would love to have it. thanks

  • Denise

    I’m a day late, but glad I went back to read this. Usually I cut up the orange peels for the garbage disposal, but now I’m saving them for cleaning, thanks!

  • Barbie Nielsen

    Can’t wait to try this! We have a ton of animals and I always worry when I use chemical cleaners because they are into everything. :) Plus this is waaay cheaper than even the stuff you can get at the dollar store to make. It could even make a fun present for a friend if they share our love of frugality. :)

  • Omadison

    I miss my lemon tree. :(

  • Jenna Meacham

    Love this tip thanks! I would rinse the peels well before putting them in the garden, though. Vinegar is an excellent weed killer and will kill burmuda grass too so it’s probably not too good for flowers or vegetable plants.

  • Alicia

    I have 6 more days to go!! I’m so excited. Lol.