My orange vinegar is done! I have been impatiently waiting for the 2 weeks to be up so I could strain it and use it and here it is.
First things first, I filled 2 quart jars 1/2 full of orange peels and 1/2 full of vinegar. After I strained it and used some, I still have a full quart to use later. That means we extracted some serious orange oil goodness from those discarded peels. The vinegar is now very thick and oily looking, not thin and vinegar like anymore.
So, here's what I did:
I got out a bowl, strainer, spray bottle and my quarts of infusion.
Strain the liquid into a big bowl and discard the peels. I tried to dehydrate the peels just to see if it was possible to use them in one more project, but they really have no more scent left. Chuck them on the compost pile and feel good that you used them an extra time this way.
It's orange gold! Now you just put this into a jar or whatever you want to store it in and it can wait for you to need it.
Why would you want to go to all this trouble? What is vinegar even good for? What benefits do orange oil have? Oh, I'm so glad you asked. Let me tell you!
- Vinegar is a safer, cleaner, greener alternative to bleach. While the studies on how many and what kind of germs vinegar can kill have been few and far between, what is known is that for general, all purpose cleaning vinegar is great. Add some hydrogen peroxide or table salt to it and vinegar becomes a power house cleaner. It won't burn your nose, eyes and mouth like bleach will either.
- Orange oil is great for cleaning woods and other surfaces. It leaves a nice sheen without adding any chemical or product buildup and washes away with soap and water. It smells great, has no side effects and has the added benefit of being a nearly free resource if you are eating the fruits in your home.
How to use:
Fill your bottle about 1/4 -1/3 full of orange vinegar.
Fill the rest of the way with water.
And that's it.
Now spray and wipe everything: counters, appliances, tile and grout, furniture, light switches, door handles, moulding and trim, and pretty much anything else you can think of that needs a general clean and disinfect.
It will smell great and work great too.
I also wanted to mention that I conducted a little experiment. I tried freezing the orange peels as we ate them and then using them when I had enough saved up. It worked great! I can't see (or smell) any difference between the fresh orange peels and the ones that were frozen before use. So, even if you don't eat oranges all that often, you can save the peels to use in your cleaner when you want to make some. I also think saving your lemon, lime and grapefruit peels could make some different smell combinations or just different smell to the vinegar that might be nice. Use what you have!