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Thanks to Netflix, I have gotten hooked on documentaries that focus on health. I think being green is important, but it's hard, especially when you are on a budget. Thankfully, I have discovered that I can ease into a "greener" lifestyle and save a ton of money by making my own cleaning products. Not only am I not cleaning with harsh chemicals and burning a hole in my wallet, but my homemade cleaners are amazingly effective. This citrus enzyme cleaner is new to my homemade cleaning arsenal, and I'm in love. It has really good cleaning power, and it smells wonderful.
Warning: Use Extreme caution when making this cleaner and keep away from children - pressure build up in the plastic may cause injuries.
I first saw this idea on One Good Thing by Jillee. I thought homemade citrus enzyme cleaner sounded interesting, plus I have yet to be disappointed in a homemade cleaner. So, I made up a batch several weeks ago and have been using the cleaner all over my house. I wanted to do a little more research on this homemade cleaner before writing this post. It turns out "citrus enzyme cleaner" is a little misleading. This recipe does not actually produce enzymes, it's more like a citrus alcohol cleaner.
As soon as I took the top off of the bottle of solution to strain it, I was immediately reminded of the beer, Blue Moon (one of my favorites.) Thinking back to my beer class from college, it clicked that sugar and yeast create alcohol. So, no actual enzymes, but the citrus alcohol makes for a fantastic cleaner.
This citrus enzyme (well, really alcohol) cleaner is made up of citrus, brown sugar, yeast, water, and time. (Make sure not to use rapid rise yeast- I believe this is the main reason my second batch exploded when I went to release the pressure.)
After extracting some delicious juice from my oranges, I cut up the peels small enough to fit in the mouth of the bottle I was using to make the cleaner.
After adding my orange peels to the bottle, I used a funnel to add the yeast and brown sugar.
I then added warm water to the bottle, leaving enough room at the top for the gas that will form (about 2 inches from the top.) I *gently* shook the bottle and very loosely placed the top on the bottle before putting it away somewhere I would remember it.
For the next 2 weeks, it is really important to release the built up gas every day. A lot of pressure is going to build up, so be very careful opening the bottle. Make sure to tilt the bottle away from your (or anyone else's) face when opening. This gas build up is also the reason why it is so important to use a plastic bottle, a glass bottle might shatter from the pressure.
Once the 2 weeks is up (it can be longer if you wish) strain the liquid into another container. This will be your citrus enzyme concentrate.
To make the citrus enzyme scrub, place the left over orange peels into a blender or food processor and pulse until well blended. Next add some baking soda for extra scrub power. For my scrub, I used a whole box of baking soda, and then divided the mixture between two pint sized jars.
This scrub is excellent for cleaning sinks and bathtubs. I also tried the scrub on my face, and my skin felt amazing. For once, my skin didn't turn red after using a scrub, and my face was smooth and soft.
For the citrus enzyme spray, I used 1 part concentrate to 10 parts water in a spray bottle. The spray is great for cutting grease. I used some on my stove, and the grease came off right away. I also tried the spray on our laminate floors, and was really impressed.
Citrus Enzyme Cleaner
2 cups citrus peels (oranges, lemons, or grapefruit)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1 liter warm water.
1. Combine all ingredients in a plastic bottle. Place the top of the bottle on very loosely- this will lower the risk of the bottle exploding.
2. Everyday for 2 weeks, unscrew the cap on the plastic bottle to release the pressure built up from the gas that will form.
3. Once matured, strain the liquid into a separate container and get to cleaning.
Now that I have discovered how much a LOVE this citrus enzyme cleaner, I want to make sure to make a fresh batch at least once month. I'd hate to run out since it takes so long to mature.
I realize not everyone is going to have the time and patience to make this Citrus Enzyme Cleaner, but there is still hope if you want a more natural and chemical free way to clean your home. CleanWell has a variety of natural cleaning products that kill over 99.99% of germs while using the natural disinfecting properties of botanicals.
For more homemade cleaning solutions, and other cleaning tips, make sure to check out my Cleaning board on Pinterest.
* Again- use extreme caution when making this cleaner, as the pressure build up can be dangerous.