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We have all heard of the cleaning power of vinegar, but you must admit, the odor is less than pleasant. It fades as it dries, sure, but I find that a pleasant smell during the cleaning certainly improves my will to scrub!
My solution: citrus vinegar. Citrus vinegar is my favorite,  favorite all-purpose cleaner. I’ve mentioned it before once or twice, but I believe that it deserves it’s very own post. Right now, when spring cleaning season is merging with lemonade (we had our first sip this past weekend) season, it’s the perfect time.
Citrus vinegar is effective, frugal, and has an agreeable scent. I use it anywhere that I would use vinegar and more! The lemony scent boosts the power and makes this cleaner double as an insect deterrent (and with spring being Carpenter Ant season around here, that’s important).
More recently- pay attention, this is such valuable information- I have started to use citrus vinegar as a substitute to fabric softener while washing my towels!
I’ve known for years that vinegar was a frugal alternative to fabric softener, but when we moved back to this state we lived with relatives that used it as such and I could barely stand to help with laundry, let alone dry with those towels, they smelled so strongly of vinegar. Over the past several years, I’ve just opted for using no additives to soften our laundry. I thought the difference was insignificant, probably because the effects of the detergent wore off slowly as I continued to put the articles through the wash and I didn’t notice the gradual change
I’ve been in the process of overhauling our laundry system, and one of the things I’ve been attempting to do was to hang all of my laundry. All of it. Even towels. It didn’t take very long for drying after showering to become an exfoliating experience and on a whim I decided to experiment and see if the citrus vinegar left an adverse odor on our towels… and it didn’t!!  Granted, it didn’t soften them enough to allow me to hang them, but it has made them softer than ever when I wash and dry them as normal!!
Happily, citrus vinegar is very simple to make. It takes just a few extra minutes when you’re done making lemonade.
After juicing your lemonade, reserve the peels and remove the white pulp. Insert the peels into a quart-sized jar (or larger, such as the beautiful gallon-sized glass jug I use, if you’ll be using great quantities) and fill with vinegar. Shake occasionally for a couple weeks and when the vinegar has darkened a bit (more so if you use oranges) and the odor doesn’t burn your nose but is rather pleasant and lightly lemon scented, strain off the peels and compost them.
Couldn’t be more simple.
Use wherever you would vinegar. The applications are seemingly endless. I am perpetually discovering new ones.
What is your favorite use for vinegar?

Raising Homemakers

  • RC

    What is the easiest way to remove the pith from the peels? Thank you!

    • It’s easiest to do it when the lemon (or whatever citrus you choose) is whole. But if you’re juicing it, then that makes juicing more difficult. Unless you put the skin in the vinegar and forget about it forever, a bit of pith isn’t too much of a problem, so don’t worry about it too much. 🙂

  • Heather Z.

    Lemon juice is slightly more acidic than vinegar (2.0 / 2.2 respectively), so if you want a lemony scented hair rinse without the extra acid, then you can use the lemon’s zest since it contains the lemony scented essential oils. You could use an “old-fashioned” five hole zester, or a newfangled rasp. I don’t think I would use the channel peeler that is on some 5 hole zesters though, it can gouge out a bit more pith than you want. You would also want to strain out the zest before using it on your hair, getting lemon zest out of your hair doesn’t seem to be like a fun task = )

    • Great idea Heather! I need to make a hair rinse, maybe I’ll give tho a try. Thanks for sharing!!

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