Use Leftover Citrus To Clean Grease Off Of Kitchen Cabinets

While it's a great all-natural solution to removing baked-on grease from your oven door, you might find that the trusty mix of vinegar and baking soda doesn't quite get through the grease on your kitchen cabinets. Coated with the cumulative oil splatters of your cooking endeavors, the cabinet doors are a pesky surface to tackle when cleaning without chemical products. Thankfully, there's an easy, natural, and even budget-friendly way of keeping them clean: Make a grease cleaner out of your leftover citrus peels.

Beyond working as a great deodorizer, the oil of citrus peels contains a compound that's very effective at dissolving grease called d-limonene. This natural solvent is often added to hand soaps for the citrusy fragrance and cleaning properties, but you can extract it into a cleaner at home as well. It tackles greasy surfaces like a champ and leaves a pleasant aroma, all without any of the harsh residue you might want to keep away from children and pets.

How to make a citrus cleaner

To extract the d-limonene from citrus peels at home, add leftover peels in a jar (about two-thirds of the container), pour in enough white vinegar to keep them soaked, and let the mixture percolate for about two weeks. You can also shake it daily to make sure everything is steeping nicely. After that, you can strain it into a spray bottle and start using it on your kitchen cabinets. However, there is a chance that it could discolor wood, so make sure to dilute and spot-test it on your cabinets before doing a full clean.

While it won't improve the efficiency of your citrus peel mix, you can add some extra fragrance and really mask the vinegar stink with other ingredients. Any citrus-to-spice or citrus-to-herb combination you like in your food and drink will combine just as nicely in the cleaner, such as orange peels and cinnamon or lemon with rosemary. If you can't wait two weeks and need the cleaner now, you can try adding lemon juice to water and vinegar for an instant mix. 

D-limonene can also get smells out of your appliances and add an extra kick to your regular dish detergent: Try soaking your pans in water, soap, and lemon juice to have an easier time scrubbing off the grime.