How To Make Homemade Lemon Vinegar Cleaning Spray

How To Make Homemade Lemon Vinegar Cleaning Spray

Do you have lemons and hate chemicals and artificial fragrances? If that describes you then it’s time to start making your own non-toxic household cleaning spray. The beauty of the cleaning spray recipe in this article is that it only contains two ingredients: lemons and distilled white vinegar. If you don’t have lemons but have an abundance of limes or oranges, feel free to use them instead. Any citrus fruit will do!

Citrus season runs from late fall to late winter, so you may have a lot of oranges, lemons, tangerines, limes, or grapefruits on hand. This is especially true if you have citrus trees in your yard or neighborhood. Do you have friendly neighbors who leave boxes of wonderful citrus fruits outside their house for the neighborhood to take? Those are the best people! The point we are trying to make is that you will most likely have a lot of citrus scraps if you have a lot of citrus. Instead of throwing them in the trash or compost (more ideal than the trash), save them and make your own cleaning spray

Vinegar For Cleaning

It is important to note that vinegar is not a powerful disinfectant. It has some disinfectant properties, but it is nowhere near as effective as bleach or other commercial disinfectant products. This is why it is important to decide if you want to clean or disinfect. If you want to disinfect surfaces (kill most bacteria), you may want to use a classic disinfectant spray or cleanser that specifically kills germs. 

Distilled white vinegar can be an effective household cleaner on certain surfaces. It is an inexpensive, easy-to-obtain product that is about 5% acetic acid, which works to break down the structure of certain stains, oils, films, or bacteria. That same acidic quality can harm certain surfaces, such as hard wood floors, aluminum, cast iron, waxed wood, or natural stone. Vinegar can be a highly effective cleaner for glass, refrigerator shelves/drawers, or removing water stains from showers. Just make sure to do the research on whether the surface you want to clean will or won’t be harmed by vinegar. 

Gather Your Lemon Rinds

In order to make the cleaning spray in this article, you have to gather lemon rinds (or other citrus rinds) in a large glass container. Ideally, you should use a half-gallon mason jar, but a small pitcher or a few smaller jars will also work. A great time to make this cleaning spray is after you make freshly-squeezed lemonade, pesto, or similar recipe involving lots of citrus. If it is going to take you more than a week to collect all your rinds, add a little white vinegar to the jar by day six or seven. Pour enough to submerge the citrus rinds in order to prevent molding. 

Once you have a good amount of citrus rinds in the jar (doesn’t have to be completely full), pour the white vinegar into the container to submerge the rinds completely. You can add some fresh herbs for increased aromatherapy, if you so desire. Let the rinds soak for at least one week, and up to three weeks. You can let the container sit out at room temperature, but make sure to give it a shake every few days to mix things up. 

Lemon Vinegar Cleaning Spray


  • Large glass jar (or other container for steeping)
  • Spray bottle
  • Fine mesh strainer/cheesecloth


  • Lemon rinds or citrus rinds (enough to fill the jar)
  • Distilled white vinegar 
  • Optional: fresh aromatic herbs (such as lavender, rosemary, or thyme)


  • Collect your lemon or citrus rinds and stow them inside a large glass container. If you cannot collect all the rinds at one time, store the jar in the fridge as you continue to collect them. Should you need longer than a week, freeze the jar. 
  • Once your jar is nearly full of citrus rinds, pour distilled white vinegar into the jar to completely submerge the rinds. Feel free to add a handful of fresh herbs at this time before you screw on the lid. 
  • Allow the citrus rinds to soak in the jar of vinegar at room temperature for at least one week, and up to three weeks. Give the jar a shake every few days.
  • Strain the citrus rinds after the soaking period, removing as many rind chunks as possible to avoid clogging the spray bottle. 
  • Pour the strained liquid into a spray bottle and use when ready. It’s great for laminate kitchen counters, stainless steel appliances, showers, sinks, inside the fridge, or other durable surfaces.



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