DIY Orange Vinegar Cleaner + One Simple Change Giveaway

Happy Earth Day! It was gorgeous here in my neck of the woods today…I hope the same was true for you.

I have been interested in environmental issues for many, many years and the reason I called my site Healthy Green Kitchen is because I wanted there to be an focus on green living here. The same is true for my book my book One Simple Change: a good many of the chapters focus on green living because the book is about improving not just personal health, but planetary health, as well.

To celebrate the day, I want to share an easy recipe for an inexpensive DIY green cleaner; I also want to give a signed copy of One Simple Change to one of you!

It could not be simpler to make this citrus vinegar cleaner, and it’s a great natural alternative to store-bought household cleaning products. Use peels you save from eating oranges, or from using oranges in any recipe (such as this one for Orange Cardamom Curd). You can store the peels in a bag in the refrigerator until you have enough to fill whatever size glass jar you want to use. I used the peels from making fresh orange juice, which I do a few times a week: juicing oranges yield a lot of peels all at once (you can compost the extra ones). You could also make a vinegar cleaner with lemon, lime, or grapefruit peels instead (or use a combination).

orange peels_

Once you place your peels in your glass jar, cover them with white vinegar. Yes: cheap white vinegar. Vinegar is an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner that works well on many surfaces, including glass and wood, and the oils in the citrus peels boost the cleaning power further! (You can mix this cleaner with a bit of liquid soap for cleaning tiles, if you like.)

citrus cleaner_

Allow the citrus peels to sit in the vinegar for 2-3 weeks, then strain and transfer your orange-scented vinegar to an empty spritz bottle(s). You may dilute the vinegar with water as desired: 1 part citrus vinegar to 1 part water is a good ratio to start with; add more water if still seems too strong, then clean away! If you find the vinegar scent overpowering, you can add a few drops of a citrus essential oil, such as tangerine or lemongrass to the spritz bottle.

(This citrus cleaner was inspired by a post by Marisa over on Simple Bites.
More brilliant posts about diy citrus cleaners from fellow bloggers:
Natural Orange Vinegar Cleaner from Our Fun with Five
Natural Citrus Vinegar Cleaners from The Yummy Life)

And now for the giveaway…

Official Rules: I am giving away one signed copy of One Simple Change authored by me (Winnie Abramson) published by Chronicle Books, 2013. No purchase necessary. Open to residents all over the world over 18 years of age only. This giveaway will end on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST. One winner will be selected at random using random.org. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.

To enter, please leave a comment below letting me know if you are doing/did anything special to celebrate Earth Day. Thanks and good luck! (Also: be sure to check out my recent post on composting, and enter that giveaway too!)