Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Citrus Peel Vinegar Infusion

Citrus Peel Vinegar Infusion

“Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen surfaces. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter.”   -Found on a random passerby’s LuLuLemon shopping bag

Inspiration does indeed strike where you least expect it, during moments when you think you’re not looking. This was the case of my cleaning revolution.

Look at the cleaning supplies aisle, and you’ll most likely see a plethora of chemicals that are toxic to bad bacteria…. but also toxic to our bodies and the environment. Commercially available “green” cleaners often times are just a marketing gimmick. A closer look at the ingredient list reveals the contents really aren’t that good for you. Truly safe and natural cleaners might be safe for our bodies, but they damage our wallets more than we’d like and are still just as wasteful with so many bottles and containers!

If there was a frugal way to clean your home using the waste by-product of food in your kitchen, would you do it?

There is! All you need are your leftover citrus peels, white vinegar, and a mason jar.

Save all of your citrus peels in a large mason jar. By leaving the lid off, the peels will air-dry to prevent rot and mold. When the jar is full, fill it with white vinegar. (Tip: Buy the vinegar in bulk.  Less container waste and it is usually cheaper too!) Let the vinegar and citrus peels soak in a warm sunny window for two weeks, or a little longer if a warm sunny window isn’t available.

By doing so, you are creating an infusion. An infusion is a quantity of liquid in which herbs (or in our case, citrus peels) have been steeped long enough for the properties to transfer to the liquid.

But why are we infusing citrus peels? Sure, it will make the vinegar smell better, but consider these reasons as well:

  • The peels are a natural solvent (meaning it can effectively clean grime and cut grease without the use of toxic chemicals)
  • Natural acids repel bugs (so long summer-time flies in the kitchen!)
  • They are antioxidant, antiseptic, and antibacterial
  • Naturally deodorizing oils in peels neutralize bad odors
  • The aroma aids in mental clarity, stress reduction, and improves concentration

Once your vinegar infusion has seeped, strain out the peels and dilute the vinegar with water with a a 50/50 ratio (more vinegar for really dirty messes) in a reusable spray bottle. Compost the leftover peels instead of throwing them away.

You have just created a cleanser that not only reduces waste and eliminates the need for chemicals, it is healthy AND beneficial for your body. Next time think twice before tossing those citrus peels!

EDIT: Use Organic citrus peels since pesticides and chemicals will infuse into your vinager. Wash citrus peels before use. 

1 comment:

  1. one concern: much of the citrus is sprayed with chemicals, so I would only use organic citrus