Written by Karen Peltier – The Spruce
This zesty all-purpose spray combines the power of three effective green cleaning ingredients—lemons, limes, and vinegar—and can be used nearly anywhere in your home, from the bathroom to the kitchen to the windows. The low pH and acid content of citrus and vinegar make a surface an inhospitable environment for many microorganisms to grow—it’s great at combatting germs and mold while you clean. One sniff of its fresh citrusy scent and you’ll be inspired to get some serious cleaning done in your home. Not only that, but thanks to its safe, eco-friendly, and cost-effective ingredients that clean and disinfect naturally, you won’t mind using it generously since it’s so easy to whip up another batch.
Keep in mind, products with vinegar and citrus juices are not recommended for use on marble since they can etch the surface. Vinegar can also irritate your eyes if contact occurs—flush liberally with water for 5 to 10 minutes if the product gets in your eyes. Additionally, don’t ever mix vinegar with bleach—doing so will create toxic chlorine gas. Before using any vinegar-based cleaning products, do a mental check to make sure you aren’t mixing them with any bleach-based cleaning products you may have forgotten about, such as drop-in toilet bowl cleaners or bleach cleansers.
Equipment / Tools
- Reusable spray bottle
- Coffee filter or cheesecloth
- 2-cup measuring cup
- Clean, soft cloth
- Citrus juicer (optional)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup water
Juice Lemon and Lime
Juice the lemon and lime. If you have a handheld juicer, using one for this step is great. Squeeze the lemon or lime ‘backward,” with the inside of it facing towards the drainage holes so that the essential oils, which are antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, and bactericidal, are released from the rind when it’s compressed. Strain the juice through a cheesecloth or unbleached coffee filter into a measuring cup to remove all the pulp. Doing so is an important step because otherwise the pulp could clog the sprayer.
Add Ingredients to Spray Bottle
Add the lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, and water to a spray bottle, shaking well to combine.
Spray the mixture on whatever needs cleaning and let it to sit for a few minutes to allow mineral deposits to loosen, grease to dissolve, grime to lift, and surfaces to be disinfected. For mineral build-up around fixtures or excessive mildew in the shower, give the spray at least 10 minutes to work, then clean the area with an old soft-bristled toothbrush, or scrub brush.
Rinse well with water, unless you’re cleaning mirrors or windows, in which case you can buff the surface dry with a clean, soft cloth for a streak-free shine.