Tuesday, 18 August 2015
homemade orange spray
I'm a big fan of natural cleaning in my home. I think homes like gardens are safer, healthier and nicer places without chemicals.
So I always buy 'eco' cleaners which have more natural ingredients and are gentler on the environment. In some areas though I've experimented with making my own so I know exactly what is going into the product and to save money. I've been surprised at how simple the recipes for natural cleaners are.
Previously I've made bathroom soap and clothes detergent. The clothes detergent is a standout, we haven't gone back since we started making our own. If you haven't tried it do! A batch gives us nine or so bottles and saves us hundreds of dollars a year. Our clothes are just as clean (or even cleaner actually since our old washing machine blew up this year and we invested in a new front loader!). And its quick to do.
I've always hated manufactured smells too, which is one of the nice things about homemade cleaners, you can use natural scents or leave them unscented.
Similarly home made soap is a luxury, and one I must get round to making again. It also makes a lovely gift.
In the kitchen I often use bicarb of soda in place of commercial cleaners. It can be awkward and messy in some situations though, like on vertical surfaces, and I like to use a spray cleaner then. The 'eco' one I've used for years is Orange Power, which is made from orange oil. It smells nice, its natural, and works as well as chemical versions.
A while ago though I read about making your own Orange Spray and I filed it away in my mental filing cabinet (that one with all the jumbled folders and papers falling out of every drawer!) and its been on my mind for a while as a 'must try' project.
Fast forward to the other day when we were on orange duty for the boys' soccer game. I came home with a large container of orange peels. A light bulb went on, at last I was ready to make some spray. You might have seen my post on instagram. Here's the method I used in case you want to make it too.
Orange Spray Method
Take a large jar or container (I used this big jar left over from bulk buy kalamata olives. It holds about two litres worth of liquid.)
My oranges half filled the container which I then covered with white vinegar, about one litre's worth.
But first I washed my peels and removed the left over orange flesh.
From what I read you can either fill the jar in one go like I did or add orange, lemon or mandarin peels as you have them till the jar is full. Keep the jar on the kitchen bench or pantry and fill it as you go. They don't seem to rot or go off, I suppose the vinegar preserves them.
When the jar is full put it aside for two weeks at least to absorb the citrus oils. You know its working when the liquid changes colour to orange.
Then strain out your peels and pith, put your orange spray into a recycled spray bottle and away you go! Smells delicious and works well.
p.s. Yes that's a mandarin, no oranges in the house today!!