What’s the most common household activity during COVID-19? If you guessed “cleaning,” then you are 100% accurate. The COVID-19 pandemic caused everyone, from apartment dwellers to homeowners to business employees, to enhance their sanitation methods. Unfortunately for your respiratory health, many of the cleaning products that are effective against coronavirus contain harmful chemicals.
It’s beneficial to deep clean your high-touch surfaces to reduce the chances of bacterial build-up. You don’t always have to use chemical cleaners, though, especially if you want to limit your exposure to harsh chemicals. This is why many people enjoy cleaning with distilled white vinegar. Not only is it versatile, but it is also inexpensive and remarkable at cleaning a variety of surfaces.
An Important Note About White Vinegar
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), white vinegar does not kill a virus like COVID-19. White vinegar can kill or inhibit the growth of foodborne, pathogenic bacteria. When combined with heat or salt, vinegar’s bactericidal activity increases. When combined with citrus peels or juices, vinegar can reduce the amount of pathogens to the point where they are undetectable.
Vinegar As A Cleaning Agent
Vinegar is an inexpensive item to have in your cleaning arsenal. It helps to keep your washer clean, it can get rid of stains, and it is even effective at cleaning windows. One thing to keep in mind about vinegar is that it is acidic, meaning it can damage certain materials in the home. Not everybody wants to clean his or her home with vinegar because the smell can be off-putting. The cleaning spray in this article, however, uses citrus peels to offset that pungent, vinegary scent.
Why Use Citrus Peels?
People discard citrus peels without thinking twice. Some people take advantage of the zest to enhance the flavors of their culinary creations, but most people just toss them in the trash. Citrus peels are compostable and you can use them in DIY cleaning recipes. The cleaning spray in this article uses orange peels, offering a wonderfully fragrant and citrusy aroma. Using citrus peels in this way helps to reduce food waste, and don’t forget to compost them when you discard them. Simply dig a hole in the ground, dump the citrus peels in the hole, give them a quick chop with the shovel, and cover them with dirt. This will help create nutrient-rich soil.
DIY Citrus Cleaning Spray
- The peels of four oranges, torn into pieces (or however many fit in the jar you choose)
- 1 wide-mouthed glass jar (a 16-32-ounce jar is best)
- 16-20 ounces distilled white vinegar
- 20-30 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
- cheesecloth or sieve (to strain orange peels from vinegar)
- spray bottle
- First off, eat the oranges. Don’t just peel them and let the fruit go to waste!
- When you are ready to make the cleaning spray, add the torn peels to the jar you use. Don’t worry if you can’t fit the peels from all four oranges inside the jar.
- Pour enough vinegar into the jar so that the orange peels are completely covered. Cover the jar and leave it in a cool, dry place for three weeks. This fermentation helps to intensify the cleaning spray.
- Once the fermentation process is complete, strain the vinegar into a bowl through a cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve.
- Make a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. You can add 20-30 drops of lemon essential oil if you want to do that.
- Now it’s time to clean!