By Cristian DeRusha, Arden Farm Director
Summer in South Florida is here, and whether you’re getting outside more often or you have kids home from school, you may be doing a bit more cleaning than usual. Prices on everything from gas to cleaning supplies are skyrocketing, but there’s a great way to save on some of those costs. If you keep citrus fruits in your home, you already have a natural cleaner that costs less than the typical chemical or all-natural cleaners at the store.
When mixed with household staples like vinegar and baking soda, citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits, and – the Florida favorite – oranges, can go from culinary ingredients to a cleaning hack in minutes, leaving your home sparkling clean and zesty fresh!
Here are a few out-of-the-box and outside-the-kitchen ways you can use citrus fruits around your home.
Did you know that lemons have strong bleaching properties? This makes this specific citrus a laundry room must-have. And, in addition to removing stains to brightening your whites, lemons will leave everything from bedsheets to t-shirts smelling super fresh. Just add a squeeze to your next load of laundry for sparkling whites, or to your next dishwasher cycle to cut through dirt on your dishes.
Lemons are also great to get rid of stains. Cut a lemon in half, sprinkle salt on the open face, and use it like a sponge on copper, countertops, or dark stains on clothing.
Every home needs an all-purpose cleaner, and oranges provide the perfect base for an all-natural version. Once you’ve consumed the edible part of your orange, you can use the peels in this simple, but effective cleaning solution.
In a jar or spray bottle, pour white vinegar over the orange peels and let the mixture sit. After about two weeks, remove your peels and dilute your new mixture with water. If you don’t want to wait that long for great-smelling cleaner, mix vinegar, water, and freshly squeezed citrus in a spray bottle. Use this solution on ceramic, stone, marble, or granite. Not to mention that you can switch up your scents easily by adding cinnamon sticks, cloves, or extracts to your mixture.
Not only grapefruit is one of the healthiest citrus fruits you can eat, but it is also the best natural cleaner for your bathroom. Cut your grapefruits in half, salt the open halves and use it as a make-shift sponge. Use the fruit in your bathtub to get rid of bathtub rings or in the shower to scrub off dried soap and water stains. Move to the counter and the grapefruit will return your toothpaste-stained sink to its glistening glory.
This summer, citrus is not just for eating or cooking with. The acidity in lemons, oranges, and grapefruits makes them perfect for breaking down dirt and grime around your house. So next time you’re restocking your cleaning supplies, skip the chemicals and try natural citrus instead!
Cristian DeRusha is an organic farming expert and the Farm Director at Arden, an award-winning residential agrihood in Palm Beach County, FL. Cris is bringing his global farming experience to South Florida to strengthen access to organic produce and a farm-to-table lifestyle in the community.