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An Insanely Easy Eco Oven Cleaner

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I have this amazing eco cleaner, I use it on every surface in my kitchen. I don't use anything in my kitchen that would be poisonous to eat, so this cleaner is a great fit for my family's lifestyle. When looking for easy green cleaning vinegar is always the way to go. I'm going to show you how well this homemade cleaner works by using it on the worse mess to clean ever - that yucky burnt mess in my oven!
Time: 5 Days Cost: $7 Difficulty: Easy
It's so easy to make and it's so effective! Step 1: Gather Your Materials
For this project you need orange peels, white vinegar, a jar, and a spray bottle (not pictured). Step 2: Peel Your Oranges
I started by peeling two oranges completely. You don't need to worry about your peels turning out in any specific shape or size - as long as you have a nice little pile of peels, this will work great! Step 3: Put the Peels in a Jar
Got an old sauce jar lying around? Any jar (as long as it fits your peels) will do. But of course, the bigger the jar, the more cleaning solution you'll end up with. I used a plain ole' mason jar. Step 4: Add Vinegar
I poured in the vinegar until it covered the orange peels. If any orange peels are not under the vinegar, they will rot, instead of releasing their oils into the vinegar, so make sure the vinegar covers everything. Step 5: Let It Sit for 5 Days
I left the jar to sit in the fridge for 5 days so the vinegar could soak up the orange peel oil. You can let it sit for as long as two weeks if you want it really strong. Step 6: Pour into a Spray Bottle
You could use it right from the jar, but, for easier cleaning, I decided to pour it into a spray bottle. Only the vinegar goes into the bottle - the peels should stay behind in the jar. I keep the spray bottle on my counter and use it for everything. Now, you can clean your oven! (Optional) Step 1: Sprinkle on Baking Soda
I use this on really tough stains, like burnt cake goop on the bottom of my oven. Because the cleaner is mostly made of vinegar, it reacts with baking soda, so I sprinkle some over the burnt area first. Step 2: Spray on Your Mix and Let Sit
I let the cleaner and baking soda do all the scrubbing for me. I came back to wipe it off after about 20 minutes and it all slipped away! If the spot doesn't come off with just a wipe, I add some more baking soda and spray and let it sit again. (I really don't believe in scrubbing things, ha!)
I've also discovered over the years that ants won't walk on places I've cleaned with this spray, so if you have a minor ant problem this cleaner will be your new best friend!

Materials I used for this project:

  • Orange peels   (Grocery Store)
  • White vinegar   (Grocery Store)
  • Jar   (Dollar Store)
See all materials
  • Latywa
    Latywa Atlanta, GA
    on Jun 23, 2016

    I'll definitely be trying this. I love natural cleaning methods.

  • Mary Blagus
    Mary Blagus
    on Jun 26, 2016

    thank you i will make this now

  • Mandy Eldred-Tyler
    Mandy Eldred-Tyler
    on Jul 4, 2016

    Unfortunately I cannot abide the smell of oranges - it makes me sick - would this work with lemons?

    • Carole
      Carole France
      on Jul 5, 2016

      Hi Mandy, pls see below my contribution. I forgot to write: if you can't stand the smell of oranges, and given that for this job you need oranges, try to add lavender essential oil (that is, if you like it) or tea-tree oil. They will not enhance the grease-cleaning faculties of orange peel, but their smell is strong and will mask the orange smell. The bonus is they have significant desinfecting effect. Tea-tree also removes fungi-based micro-organisms, I use it (with vinegar) for cleaning my fridge and exit for ever chlorine-based products.

  • Carole
    Carole France
    on Jul 5, 2016

    @Mandy: I do my vinegar with lemon (because I eat a lot of lemons and I want to use organically grown citrus fruits for this not to spread pesticides all over my kitchen) and it does not do a wonder job, because....Orange peel definitely is needed for this particular use. Orange peel is different from lemon: orange peel contains a chemical compound (essential oil, terpens) that has exceptional good ability to dissolve grease. You can use pure orange essential oil (careful, dangerous for the skin) to dissolve labels and label glues on items you bought.

  • Carole
    Carole France
    on Jul 5, 2016

    And Hello to all: here's just a remark to help better infuse the essential oil of the peel into the vinegar. Actually heat and sunlight strengthen the process, this is why Lemoncello (the Italian lemon-liquor) is done by infusing lemon peel in alcohol in a glass jar (transparent) and putting it out in summer sunlight for about 3 days. This is transferable to the vinegar-infused orange peel: put it out for some days in sunlight - whenever possible during the hot months if living in a temperate climate, else for really hot climate, I get good results with sunlight and (hot) room temperature. (I mean, where I live in Southern France we get temperatures around 50°C in the sun, that's African temperatures, sorry I do not know to convert to F). You can prepare a big batch and store for winter months. There are relatively cheap plastic jerricans or glass containers holding up to 12 L (or more). As Shawna recommended, peels should be removed, once the peels have infused in the vinegar, because the peel-infused vinegar-once peels are removed- is then stable, nothing will rot. Why: vinegar's pH is very acidic and much too low to enable moulds/bacteria to develop, this is why we safely use vinegar for pickles, chutneys etc..)

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!