Saturday, September 29, 2012

A RE-USE IT PROJECT: Citrus Vinegar

I know y'all love re-use it projects; in fact my Hockey Stick Muskoka Chair post is the most-viewed one on this blog almost every week! (And no, I don't normally talk like a Southerner, but hey, I've just finished a novel set in the South so it must have rubbed off on me ::grin::)

As fun as re-use projects can be, they can often take a fair amount of time to complete. No so with this one! It's practically effortless, which is my kind of project. Not only that, it's a way to squeeze a second use out of something you'd normally toss in the compost bin: your citrus peels (pun fully intended!)

Here's everything you need:
White vinegar
Leftover lemon, lime and/or orange peels
A quart/litre sized Mason jar with lid

I keep a perpetual jar of this stuff going in my pantry. Simply fill the jar about 3/4 full with vinegar, then add citrus peels as they happen to become leftovers in your kitchen (stop adding more once the jar is full!) Let this steep for a week or two after the final addition of peels. You'll end up with something that looks alarmingly like you might find it on Hannibal Lechter's mantle:

Once it's done "brewing", carefully pour the liquid into a clean Mason jar or spray bottle (a funnel makes this job a lot easier). And voila! Homemade citrus vinegar, a cheap and natural disinfectant/deodorizer.

How to use it:

This is a great disinfectant spray for many types of surfaces: kitchen counters, that nasty area around the toilet, etc. If you have cutting boards that you've used to cut up meat, rinse them, then spray some of this on them afterwards and let it sit a few minutes before you wash.

If you normally add vinegar to your dishwasher in the "rinse agent" dispenser, you could use this instead to give it a citrus-fresh boost.

I also use this to spray down my yoga mat after hot yoga classes (I hang it out on the clothesline and spray it down, then let it drip dry).

Do you have a favourite use for leftover citrus peels?

For more re-use it projects and ideas, click HERE to see all my posts on this topic.

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