Homemade Lemon Vinegar All-Purpose Cleaner

If you're looking for a way to rid your home of chemicals, this is an easy starting point. I have replaced all of my cleaning sprays with one, homemade spray. Yup, I no longer have the need to buy sprays for my kitchen, bathroom, or for glass/windows. The only surfaces you shouldn't be using vinegar on are marble and granite (castile soap mixed with water is great on both).

The benefits of this cleaner are endless. Not only can you make it with things you probably already have lying around the house, but vinegar and lemon is a safe bleach alternative and biodegradable. Vinegar is very cheap, easy to find in bulk (Walmart actually sells a couple of gallons of vinegar for a few bucks), and versatile. By using lemons, you're able to repurpose something you'd otherwise throw away or compost. Plus, your house will smell nice and fresh!

What you'll need

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Lemon rinds (sub any citrus fruit)
  • Water
  • Glass jar with a lid 
  • Strainer
  • Empty glass spray bottle (I use an empty soy sauce bottle and an old spray nozzle)

How to make it

Step 1: Prepare rinds by removing as much pulp as you can with a knife. It's easier to do this if you cut the lemon in quarters, cut a little slice between the rind and pulp, and then peel the rind away from the pulp. You can freeze them for later use if you're not ready to make your concentrate/spray yet.

Step 2: Stuff a bunch of rinds in your glass jar and fill to the top with vinegar.

Step 3: Store jar in a cool, dark place (like under your sink) and wait 2-3 weeks for the vinegar and lemons to ferment. This makes a vinegar-lemon concentrate that will need to be diluted with water.

Step 4: Once your concentrate is ready, filter the liquid through a strainer into your spray bottle (or into a bowl first if that's easier). Fill the bottle halfway up. Save any left over concentrate for replenishing your spray bottle later.

Step 5: Fill the other half of the bottle with water. You can doctor it up with some herbs like rosemary, or with lavender sprigs, or with some essential oils*. I think it smells and works just great with lemon :)

That's all folks! Super easy!

*I am not a chemist and do not feel it is my place to publish recipes with essential oils. I use them sparingly in cleaning and recommend you do your due diligence before using them.


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