Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Citrus Enzyme Cleaner

Hello Cheap and Choosy Readers!

I'm Lorissa from Beautiful Somehow. I am a new contributor to The Cheap and Choosy and I am so excited to be able share tips on Simple, Frugal, and Intentional Living with you!

Not too long ago, I started my journey into the wonderful world of Natural Homemade Cleaners. If you have never made your own homemade cleaners I strongly encourage you to give it a try! They are very simple and frugal to make. Add in the benefit of not worrying about your children or pets around them and you have some pretty awesome reasons to start making your own.

Today I am going to share my newest and favorite natural homemade cleaner, the Citrus Enzyme Cleaner. This cleaner is absolutely fantastic! It can be made for pennies out of items you probably already have at home or are about to throw away.

What you will need...
*7 tablespoons of brown sugar.
*1 1/2-2 cups of fruit peels. I went with Lemon and Orange. You can also do lime, grapefruit, apple, or pineapple. I have read that pineapple actually has the most cleaning power to it.
*1 tsp. Yeast (optional)
*2 liter bottle with cap
*1 liter (approx 4.25 cups) of water
*Permanent Marker

Cut up your fruit peels and put them into the bottle. Using your funnel, add the brown sugar, yeast and water. Screw cap onto bottle and shake vigorously. Now here is why the yeast is optional. (I did not know about this when I first made this cleaner and did not add the yeast.) Without the yeast it will take three months for your cleaner to fully mature. With the yeast, it will only take you two weeks! Wish I would have known that at first....oh works just as great, and was definitely worth the wait. If using yeast, take your permanent marker and write the date that is two weeks from when you made it, so you will know when it is ready. If you are making it without the yeast, write the date that is three months from when you made it. This is especially helpful if you are making new batches that are a few weeks apart, so you do not get them confused. Store in a cool, dry place. I keep mine in my pantry.

When storing, you want to make sure that the cap is not screwed on all the way on. A lot of gas will build up and could actually cause the cleaner to explode. Yike! So make sure to let the bottle breathe. If using yeast, you will want to shake your bottle every day for the first week. If not using yeast you, will want to shake it every day for about the first month. Shake it once a week after that. When you are ready for your first use, strain the sludge/pulp from your cleaner and go to it!

Why is this cleaner so fantastic? Other than the fact that you don't have to buy more vinegar (I go through that stuff like crazy!), it is extremely eco-friendly and allows you to use food scraps to make it. I love that! This cleaner truly is an ALL purpose cleaner! Here are just a few of the things you can use this cleaner for...

-cleaning floors...1 part enzyme to 10 parts water.

-cleaning bathrooms....1 part enzyme to 10 parts water.

-washing dishes...add 1/4 cup of enzyme.

-getting out stains (it is amazing for this!)...use undiluted directly on stain.

-laundry...add 1/4 cup enzyme.

-fertilizer for plants (I am especially excited to try this!)...simply take your left over mop water and pour on your plants!

-cleans and clears drains...use unstrained "sludge" from enzyme cleaner.

-wash your car...1 part enzyme to 20 parts water. (My van desperately needs a bath!)

-cleaning fruits and veggies...1 part enzyme to 10 parts water.

-insect repellent...use undiluted. This is supposed to be amazing for ants, spiders, and roaches.

-skin care product! (This one amazes me. I am trying to get up the courage to try it.)...1 part enzyme to 2 parts water.

My experience with it...
My cleaner is still about two weeks away from the full three months...but I became too excited and too impatient to wait. I tried it out on both my bathroom and my kitchen floors. It is absolutely fantastic! My bathroom and floors looked and smelled wonderful. I am so happy with the result. Next time around I will be trying the yeast to speed things up, as well as trying a pineapple version.

While doing research on the Citrus Enzyme Cleaner here are some other women who have made it and had great success...
Homemade Mamas
Happy Homemaker
Off Beat Home...Thanks to Jillee for the awesome yeast tip to speed up the process! Makes a great thing even more awesome!


  1. Very neat. I wonder if I could ask for the pineapple cast-offs from the grocery store deli. They have a gadget that cuts pineapples to sell...

  2. Wow...this is so cool!!!!! I can't wait to try this. Thanks for sharing! It wouldnbe nice to use something that smells nicer than vinegar!

  3. @Anna...that's a good idea!

  4. Very cool. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Hoping to start brewing some of this soon! Collecting peels! I remembered today that ALDI has super cheap lemons and pineapples...or used to...I'm going to check it out! Those are on the "clean 15" list too I believe...

  6. Yeah! Mine became ready Dec 18 but I was on a 3 week trip so it brewed a little more. Tonight overnight I will test it on my white grout counters
    next I have it on my face for a few minutes.. i did dilute like the directions said I have to say it feels like its doing something like its alive but no stingy at least yet its been on a minute will leave it on a few more. Can't wait to use it on stains i am so bad with my young living oils and always using my gallon of coconut oil it has left marks on my new clothes so excited about that prospect if you do have some citrus oils like citrus bliss from duterra add a couple of drops to add some extra punch

  7. has anyone tried a double batch? i started a batch today but have lots of extra peels.
    what does it smell like when its "done"? fruity or fermenty?
    thanks for posting! can't wait til jan 12 so i can try it out! i am tired of buying cleaning products.

  8. Why brown sugar? Shouldn't any sugar work with the yeast?

  9. Sooooo EXCITED! Just made my first batch today. Question: How long will the enzyme last/keep once it's ready for use???

  10. Answering Maria from 1/4/13

    the brown sugar is for the microbes to eat while the enzymes are being cultured. I'm assuming its a healthier option, and you dont want unhealthy enzymes. lol.

    My wife is picking up the ingredients today and I will start my very first batch tonight. I would also like to know how long it will last after its done. every thing I've google'd or bing'd says it has a shorter shelf life than chemical cleaners... that doesnt help at all.
    I guess I'll just clean with it until I see a drop in its effectiveness.

    i'm really excited about the prospects of this working, I recently stopped using paper/styrofoam plates, and am moving away from paper towels.

    If the enzyme cleaner works I will feel that much better about the money being saved. helping to save the planet is just an added bonus to brag about at family functions.

  11. Sorry for the delay on responding to these comments! I (Amy) accidentally left mine too long and it did smell very "fermenty" It worked really well though!! I have not made another batch yet as things have been so busy...just using my straight vinegar/water, baking soda, etc. I should think you can definitely do a double batch. I'm sure Lorissa can answer any and all questions about it. Her blog is

  12. How do you think this would work on cat urine?


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