How to Make Natural Citrus Vinegar Cleaning Spray

A month ago, I was juicing a whole bag of lemons and was left with so many peels. I couldn’t stand the thought of throwing them all away, so I knew I had to come up with a solution. I decided my scrap lemon peels would be the perfect thing to use to make a homemade cleaning spray, that was both clean and super cheap. While I love the satisfaction of getting my counters, mirrors, etc. super clean, I don’t like the ingredients that are commonly used in cleaning sprays and purchasing new plastic bottles every time I run out. This natural citrus spray ticks all the boxes for me. It’s natural, cheap, and low waste. The simple ingredients make it safe to use everywhere. Have little ones around? It’s safe to use it to clean toys, highchairs, and more! 

Why Use Vinegar?

Vinegar is an amazing natural choice as a cleaner. Because of its acetic acid content, it works effectively for removing grease, dirt, food messes, etc. I also love it because it is incredibly cheap and versatile. I use it for everything from pickling to cleaning. If I can eat it, I feel good about cleaning with it. 

Is Vinegar a Disinfectant?

The one misconception with vinegar is that it’s a good disinfectant. While it does kill some germs, it isn’t a great option to use in all cases. Vinegar can kill a few things like e-coli and salmonella, which makes it great to use in the kitchen to clean fruits and veggies and meat messes. It’s not recommended to use if you’re trying to disinfect surfaces because of illness. You can however add some isopropyl alcohol to your vinegar spray to use specifically as a disinfectant, because alcohol can kill 99.9% of germs within 5-10 minutes.  

lemon peels in a jar with vinegar

What’s in Our Cleaning Spray

Our cleaning spray recipe is specifically made to be cost effective and to use up food waste. With ingredients like lemon, vinegar, and some natural soap, you can trust that you wont be spraying toxic chemicals in your home. 

  • White Vinegar 

With around 5% acetic acid, vinegar makes for a great cleaner that works well on household grime. Acetic acid is a common ingredient in cleaning sprays, so just using vinegar is a great option. 

  • Lemon 

Full of citric acid, lemons are great to use in household cleaners. They degrease and leave your space smelling clean and fresh. 

  • Sal Suds or Castile Soap

Adding just a smidge of soap to your cleaning spray just makes it that much more effective. Both Dr. Bronners Sal Suds and castile soap are great natural options to use. Because soaps are surfactants, they help loosen up dirt and get rid of germs and bacteria. 

a spray bottle full of natural vinegar spray

How to Make Lemon Vinegar 

The base of this cleaner is made with lemon vinegar. By using lemon peels to your vinegar, you’re adding extra cleaning properties and using up food waste. To make lemon vinegar, start by cleaning the pulp out of your lemon peels. Cut your peels into slices and add them to a jar. Cover with vinegar and let sit in a cool dark place for at least two weeks, but preferably a month. Once a month has passed, strain your vinegar through a coffee filter to remove lemon debris. Now it is ready to use in your spray. 

Natural Citrus Vinegar Cleaning Spray

Natural Citrus Vinegar Cleaning Spray

Yield: 1 Bottle
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This natural cleaning spray is perfect for everyday use around your home!


  • 1 part Lemon Vinegar
  • 1 Part Filtered Water
  • Optional - Dash of Sal Suds or Isopropyl Alcohol


  1. Make the lemon vinegar by infusing vinegar with lemon peels for 1 month. Strain.
  2. Mix one part lemon vinegar and one part filtered water in a spray bottle. Shake to combine.


Add a few teaspoons of alcohol for a no streak glass cleaner.

Add Sal Suds or castile soap for extra strength spray.

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