DIY: All-Natural Citrus-Infused Cleaners (and An Ode to Messy People)
It’s pretty mind-blowing that we’ve been in the studio space for about three months now. While we ran into some snafus during our build-out, this place is already starting to feel like home. Maybe it’s the fact that I spend so much time here (sometimes in my sweats and slippers) or because the tornado of stuff has migrated from my home to the office. Joe is pleased to have his living space free from the sh*tstorm of stuff that comes with this job. More importantly, I’m starting to feel like I have a routine. It might be the first time in three years that I’ve had a predictable(ish) schedule. It’s helped a lot with my mood, mental health, and recovery post-baby.
At times I worry that I’m a little too comfortable here, much to the dismay of my studiomates. I prefer to walk around in my socks and I have a tendency to take over a large amount of space while working on a styling project. Not only do I have a mountain of stuff without a home, but I also brought a few little luxuries that make it feel like home, too. My N’espresso machine came with, thanks to Joe’s preference for coffee over espresso; my favorite pillows and throws, and my BFF Winnie (technically she’s not living here, but it is pretty great to be able to bring her to work everyday. I think Nanny Karen is also appreciative of watching only one of our “kids”).
I had the luxury of selecting the appliances and hardware for the brand new space, which is why we have open shelving, a farm sink, and a Delta® Trinsic Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with Touch2O® Technology. Knowing our studio space would be doubling as a test kitchen and set for shoots, we’d need to have a faucet that was easy to turn on and off with full and messy hands. Admittedly, this wasn’t a hard decision to make, we already were using the Delta Trinsic Kitchen Faucet at our home since early this summer. I knew how convenient it was to have hands-free technology, plus the TempSense LED light to indicate water temperature, and I wanted to have the same convenience here at the studio. Believe me, the Touch2O® Technology has come in handy on more than one occasion, especially during the initial design phase of the studio. And the Champagne Bronze finish of the faucet fits right in with the rest of the studio décor.
If you know me personally, you know I am not a clean person. While I do prefer things to have their place, it goes against every atom in my being to be “neat and tidy.” Sometimes I think making a mess actually makes me feel better. (Anyone have scientific proof of this?) My messy ways makes for a messy workspace, and I’m slightly embarrassed to admit how much effort goes into each and every post. Like “sticky hair, stained blouse and bloody hands” messy (okay, this only happened once). The “perfection” achieved comes at a price, which I don’t generally like to share.
Naturally, in addition to the practicalities of having an intuitive, touch-free faucet, messy folks need to have some heavy-duty cleaners on hand. The larger question was how to keep a space clean without being too harsh. I was a firm believer that a room (kitchen/bathroom) wasn’t clean until the bleach smell stung my nose. Not so much any more. With the little one, I’m taking some inspiration from my mother, who has told me more than once that the only cleaning supplies I needed were a little rubbing alcohol, vinegar, a little soap and some water.
Growing up, my mom was always fighting a battle with the clutter that comes with three kids. She grew up in a college town with a father who was a professor and a mother who was recycling way before it became mainstream. They were penny-pinchers by nature, and in many ways my mother brought that mentality with her when she built a family of her own. She also brought composting into our vernacular and made her own natural cleaning products for the house. I didn’t realize how nostalgic I would be for the smell of that cleaner until I left home.
Since it is the season of having strangers (and judgy family members) in your house, I’m taking inspiration from my mom and sharing a DIY natural cleaning solution infused with citrus and spices! While I do like the results of vinegar, I don’t necessarily want my house to smell like Easter eggs (PAAS anyone?), which is why I infuse these very simple recipes with citrus. It’s truly so simple and only requires a few ingredients and a little bit of patience. Check out the video we made below, thanks in part to Delta® Faucet, to create three simple and effective vinegar-based cleaners.
How To Make: All-Purpose Citrus-Infused Cleaner
Citrus Peels (I used a combination of orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime)
Distilled White Vinegar
Airtight Glass Container
Glass Spray Bottle
Knife or Vegetable Peeler
Step One: Carefully remove the peel from the fruit. Don’t worry about it looking pretty, we are only trying to get the oil from the peels. I also added some cinnamon and cloves to the peels. There is no strict measurement for how much; this part is all trial and error. A pinch will do. What to do with the remaining fruit? Fresh squeezed orange juice, anyone? Or these excellent lemon bars?
Step Two: Place peels in an airtight glass container until full. Carefully pour enough vinegar on the peels to fully immerse.
Step Three: Refrigerate the mixture for about 2 weeks to infuse the vinegar. The vinegar should be colored and smell of citrus. Again, this isn’t an exact science!
Step Four: Strain the liquid from the container. Discard the remaining peels. I typically toss these in the garbage disposal along with one of the homemade disposal cleansers (see below for full recipe).
I use the newly strained infused vinegar to create three different types of cleaner:
- All Purpose Cleaner: Combine infused vinegar and water (1:1 ratio) in a clean and empty glass spray bottle (Apple Cider Vinegar bottles work the best, in my opinion but an old sprayer from Amazon or a previous cleaner works, too.)
- Window Cleaner: Combine All Purpose Cleaner (see above) with rubbing alcohol (5:1 ratio) in a clean and empty glass spray bottle.
- Garbage Disposal Cleaner: Combine All Purpose Cleaner with fresh lemon peels (new, peels separate from the ones used at the beginning) in a large ice cube tray. Let freeze until solid. Remove from tray and store in an airtight container until usage. To use, drop frozen cube in the disposal and use as normal.
Truly one of the easiest recipes to follow, and the cleaner works just as well as some of the chemically ones I used to use.
You can download labels for all three cleaners featured in the video and photos here.
(ED note: If you are looking for a bit more power, something akin to a scrub, try sprinkling baking soda on a stubborn surface and spritzing it with the infused vinegar until a bubbly, paste forms; similar to elementary science class. Let the paste sit for ~15 minutes and use a sponge to scrub. Spray surface with the infused vinegar to remove any additional baking powder, too!)
Ed. note: This post was sponsored by Delta Faucet. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer, write/edit the blog post and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight.
While compensation was received in exchange for coverage, all thoughts and opinions are always my own. Sponsored posts like these allow for development of additional dynamic content to be produced, unsponsored. Thank you for supporting our partners!