Monday, January 21, 2013

Lemony Fresh

Last month I posted about natural cleaning products that are void of nasty chemicals that are bad for CF infected lungs (or anyone's lungs). One of the cleaning products I use a lot is plain old vinegar. The other day I was using this plain old vinegar to clean my kitchen when I realized how much I hate the smell of vinegar. It smells really gross and even though once it dries the smell disappears, I don't like having to smell it at all! I thought about adding essential oils, but the only essential oil I have is the one I use for my cloth diaper pail and I didn't want my clean house to remind me of my daughter's diapers. So I turned to the internet and I am so excited to share this little tip I found (because I am a total crunchy nerd and am sure none of you really care, but I am telling you anyway). You can infuse vinegar with herbs or citrus. I want to try a bunch of different variations, but considering it is citrus season and I have a big basket full of mandarins, lemons, limes, and oranges from friend's yards I figured I would try infusing with citrus first.

1. Peel two mandarins (or any other citrus fruit)
2. Eat said fruit (my favorite step)
3. Put fruit peels in a glass jar. (You can use plastic, but I hate plastic in general so I went with glass)
4. Cover peel with vinegar.
5. Let sit for 2 weeks
6. drain the vinegar into spray bottle and top off with new vinegar.
7. Clean away!

So I am in the infusing phase and have yet to see if the smell of citrus makes the vinegar less offensive to the olfactory system, but I am so excited to have a use to my citrus rinds (besides composting) that I almost don't even care if it works that well or not.

I tried both lemon and mandarin so we will see which one smells better.

I thought the mandarin vinegar looked pretty sitting in the sun.


  1. I do this with oranges! (Cause I live in Utah and don't have access to lots of citrus, LOL!) it does still smell like vinegar, but also like orange. I love it! I actually have started just sticking the peels right in the gallon container I buy my vinegar in, LOL, and leaving them there until I use all the vinegar up! It works great.

    1. Glad it works! Have you tried dried herbs? I am planning to try those next, but I thought citrus would smell better in my opinion.

    2. I had never even thought of doing it with herbs til your post. I'll have to try that! Lemon and rosemary sounds amazing... I'll have to make that this summer when my rosemary is alive again! And I haven't been able to do regular cleaners since I was a kid. Even the "natural" ones make me sick. So I LOVE making my own.

    3. We will have to compare notes in the summer!

  2. I've used herbs before. Lemon and rosemary is my favorite.I also like lime and thyme. I didn't use dry though, I used fresh. I was afraid the dry wouldn't have had enough umph; I feel that the fragrance is lost when dried. Like Cindy said, there's usually some residual vinegary smell, but it most certainly beats using vinegar straight out of the jug. I never thought to strain mine though, and sometimes my sprayer would get clogged! When I read that I had a "duh!" moment. =)

    I'm loving these natural cleaner posts. I feel that having CF we're always emphasized to "sanitize everything" and I know I definitely don't want to turn into the germ freak my dad has become because of it. I LOVE finding natural ways of cleaning that don't cost an arm & leg and do the job well. It's reassuring to see that I'm not the only CF-er gone au-natural if you will. ;-)

    1. Your combinations sound good enough to eat..well minus the vinegar! Glad to hear fresh works well too. That will be great on the summer when my herbs aren't dead :)

      As far as sanitation I feel like my life is so unnatural- enzymes, meds, PICC lines, etc that I like to go back to natural living when I can. I also think the fumes from chemical cleaners are worse than a few germs for a lot of CFers. Living in a hippie town for a long time didn't help either ;)