Citrus Enzyme Cleaner Recipe

citrus-enzyme-spray-ecokaren
Have you heard of citrus enzyme? Me neither until I read about a month ago how it cleans a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. and everything.

And you know me – I want easy peasy but natural ways to clean. I even made my own soft scrub for scrubbing my  bathtub because I hate the smell of commercial brands of scrubbers.

So when I read that a citrus enzyme can basically clean anything, I had to try it. But then I heard that it required 3 months of fermentation! That’s like a whole trimester of pregnancy! For a baby, I’d understand but not for a cleaner. Besides, my house can’t wait that long.

Then, I wondered if I can cut that time down by forcing it to ferment faster.

Hmmm….

Well, after weeks of tweaking here and there, this is how I made my citrus enzyme.

You’ll Need:

  • 2 Liter Wide Mouth Bottle -I used an old orange juice bottle from a neighbor’s recycling bin. Yeah, I do that a lot – steal from neighbor’s recycling bin. I chose this brand because it had a wide mouth and it was easier to squeeze the peels in.
  • 2 C or Enough citrus fruit peels to fit half the bottle. Oranges, Lemons, Lime,
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar (Note: a reader said she used white sugar and it was fine too.)
  • 1 Tsp of active yeast
  • 1 Liter of water
  • Funnel – to add brown sugar
  • Strainer or cheese cloth
  • 1 C Apple Cider Vinegar AFTER the enzyme is done fermenting

Instruction:
Pick a bottle that has a wide mouth and make sure to follow the proportions in this recipe. Do NOT double the recipe in this bottle. Chop up any citrus fruit scraps into chunks that will fit into the opening of the bottle. Add water, sugar, yeast, and shake for about 30 seconds. Then, close the cap LOOSELY so the trapped air can escape and not build up in the bottle.

You’ll see the foam on the top in a day or two because of yeast fermentation. Shake the bottle daily for the first few days to mix the yeast and let out the air.

fermenting-citrus-enzyme-ecokaren

Do you see the bulging right side from gas build up?

citrus-enzyme-cleaner-ecokaren

After about 2 weeks, the enzyme will look opaque. Strain the pulp and the peel.

strain-citrus-enzyme-ecokaren

Add apple cider vinegar to the liquid and store the liquid in a glass jar. You can create an all-purpose cleaner spray bottle with 1:10 ratio to water and clean away to your heart’s content!

Or, you can use the concentration amounts that are appropriate for other cleaning uses.

citrus-enzyme-spray-ecokaren

Here is how to use this enzyme in laundry detergent laundry detergernt WITHOUT Borax  and dishwasher detergent dishwashing soap WITHOUT Borax.

Why bother with citrus enzyme? What’d the big deal?

My main purpose for making citrus enzyme is to add it to my dishwasher. And I’ll tell you why tomorrow. But believe me when I tell you – this citrus enzyme cleaner WORKS on so many other things, in addition to dishwashing!!

And, citrus enzyme cleaners is great because it’s:

1. Natural
2. Cheap since you are using up kitchen scraps
3. Effective
4. Easy to make

It is great:

  1.  for dishes and laundry (use 1/4 cup of enzyme)
  2. for washing bathrooms and toilets. grime comes off easily (1 part enzyme to 10 parts water)
  3. for removing stubborn stains and odors (colored fabrics and floors-used undiluted)
  4. to clean vegetables and fruits (1 part enzyme to 10 parts water)
  5. clear blockages in kitchen sinks and drains (use concentrated or blended pulp/sludge of enzyme)
  6. as a natural insect repellent (use undiluted) for ants, cockroaches
  7. for mopping floors (1 part enzyme to 20 parts water)
  8. as fertilizer for plants (use 1 part enzyme to 20 parts water, or use the leftover mop water)
  9. as a skincare product, e.g. facial cleanser or toner (1 part enzyme to 2 parts water)
  10. wash cars – cars will look as if they have just been polished! (1 part enzyme to 20 parts water)

Convinced yet? Thought so. More reasons to eat citrus fruits!

What do you use citrus enzyme for?

NOTE: The information in this post is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Dr. Karen disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information. Opinions and statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. The information is for general consumer understanding and education, and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice and it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. I am not your doctor and you should consult with a qualified health care professional on any matter relating to their health and well being on one-on-one basis with thorough physical examination. Dr. Karen encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Products Dr. Karen recommends and their properties have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using the products. For more info, visit the Disclaimer page.

67 comments
All Things Wood
All Things Wood

Great recipe!  In fact, I think it will work well to kill moss and mildew on roofs. However, that will take about 5 gallons at a time.  Do you know of any company that makes large amounts of citrus enzyme.  Thanks

http://www.carolinawooddecks.com/

chemicalfreeme
chemicalfreeme

Hi! I was wondering why you can't just use apple cider vinegar without the sugar and yeast. I heard you can clean with apple cider vinegar and that raw unfiltered cider vinegar has enzymes.

Dr. Karen
Dr. Karen moderator

@chemicalfreeme  I clean with vinegar too but fermented citrus oils is stronger than just vinegar....so I've been told. But I've taken short cuts before and just added citrus peels to vinegar to make the cleaner as well. 

Latest blog post: fashion green tbags

GreenInOC
GreenInOC

Hi Karen, just strained my first batch!


It does smell though - do you think adding some Lemon Essential oil will cause a problem (or even work!)?


Thanks!

dbsrbb
dbsrbb

While I made my own baby wipes when my now teens were little, and have been using vinegar for cleaning the floors for a long time, I have only been experimenting with green cleaning recipes for a short time.   Now I am totally sold but have a new problem.  I have to admit, I work full time and have someone clean my house every two weeks.  I was able to get her to switch to "whole foods" green cleaning products, but they usually have some Spanish translation.  Really making a full switch would take a lot of translation into Spanish.  Are there websites that have these recipes translated?  I really feel for her and those in her industry as they are exposed to these horrible chemicals every day.  It would be great if there were an educational campaign about cleaning with natural products for the professional Spanish speaking cleaners who are really at risk.  They are exposed 10x as much as the average person.  Any suggestions on resources?


AshleySutton
AshleySutton

I have used a homemade dishwasher detergent and it is leaving all of my plastic containers with a film. Will the enzyme help get rid of this film?

LalaB
LalaB

Hi Karen,

Am excited to try this. Is it ok to use white vinegar instead of ACV?

-Lala

Susan
Susan

Karen, Wondering if you have to store it in glass or is plastic ok

Silvia
Silvia

Hi Karen, I followed your recipe 2 weeks ago and my cleaner is now ready for use. A few days ago I noticed, though, that between bottle shakes, the yeast started sitting at the bottom. The liquid is bubbly and has a bit of a fizz, so I'm assuming it hasn't really died. Do you think it's good to use? Also, I used white sugar - didn't have any brown at hand - and the fermentation started straight away!

Heather
Heather

Is there any reason I can't just use white sugar rather than brown?

Rochelle
Rochelle

Karen, do you really use a stronger concentration on your face than on your toilet? Or....did I read that wrong? heeheee

Shannon
Shannon

But I would like to say, my 3 year old wanted to help clean (score!!) and it was so nice that not only was it "natural" but all the ingredients are basically edible too (not that I'd recommend it...)

Shannon
Shannon

Alicia I thought the same thing. Obviously it doesn't smell like pledge, but.... I used it on my floors last night and it still smells a bit like a frat house at times. It did clean well, but I think I'll dilute it more next time. Do you store in the fridge?

Alicia
Alicia

I finished the recipe today (let it ferment for 2 weeks, strained it and added apple cider vinegar). However, I'm not too pleased with the scent. If I use it for a cleaner, I feel like it will make my house smell like fermented fruit - not a pleasing smell, in my opinion. I followed the recipe to a "t" (except I used a washed out orange soda bottle instead of a wide mouth container). Is it supposed to smell like this?

Laurie
Laurie

I followed the recipe 2 days ago and set the bottle outside in the sun to help speed the fermentation. Now, 2 days later, I'm not really seeing the same amount of bubbles rising to the surface, and the liquid is already fairly "opaque." If it has stopped bubbling, then have I done something wrong? Did the sun kill the yeast? Any thoughts? Don't know if I should go ahead and pull the batch, assuming it fermented that much more quickly and is usable, let it sit for another week and a half, add more sugar, or start from scratch.

Caroline
Caroline

I looked at the 3-month recipe you used as a basis for this and it mentioned pineapple. We just got a fresh pineapple and tossed the skin (?) in the scrap pile but I wonder now if pineapple "rinds" or kiwi skins would be useful in this recipe as I seem to recall one cannot use fresh pineapple or kiwi in jell-o as the ENZYMES will prevent gelling.

Laura
Laura

This recipe looks very doable! I wonder what its shelf life is, i.e. does it go bad after awhile, or will it last quite a while?

Caroline
Caroline

Does this use only the PEELS? Do we need to scrape out all the pith and pulp??

Lillie
Lillie

I have been using my own enzyme cleaner for a couple of years now. I keep a separate bottle of baking soda to shake over what I am cleaning for an added scouring effect. Very glad to be using this firstly because it is natural and safe, and also I am doing my bit to reduce some chemicals into our precious earth.

Shelly Rosenkild
Shelly Rosenkild

Hi Karen, I'm going to try it with my tangerine peels from our tree. I only have a few peels at a time, so can I stick them in the bottle and when it reaches the desired amount, then add the rest? Or, would that affect the mix if they dry out...or mold? Thanks! Shelly

Deb
Deb

Can you use regular vinegar instead of Apple cider vinegar, or can I use my orange vinegar?

dee
dee

Can you put an airlock in the lid of the jar to release the builtup gas?

Jenn Flynn-Shon
Jenn Flynn-Shon

This sounds so easy to make. Only question - do I have to use oranges in the formula or can I just use lemon/lime? I'm one of those lucky gals who has a husband that likes to help clean the house but he's allergic to oranges so I certainly don't want to knock him off...while he's doing the cleaning anyway heehee. Thanks for sharing!

dwhite2762
dwhite2762

This is fabulous. I have been making my own laundry soap for awhile with borax but I wanted to make something easier for the dishwasher. The recipe that I had before called for citric acid and it was hard to find. I'll start making this right away. I hadn't heard of it but I'm on board already. Thanks. Dwhite2762

Mary
Mary

I love this idea! I'm sure it smells yummy and I can't wait to try it!

Lauren
Lauren

At what point do you add the cider vinegar?

Lizzie
Lizzie

I love this idea and am itching to try it! Do you know if the citrus attracts ants on the surfaces you clean? I'd think anything related to fruit would be tempting for the tiny ants I'm trying to stave off.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Citrus enzyme cleaner – I’m a big fan of enzyme cleaners, but I’ve never known how to make them at home. Now I’m stoked! I’ll bet this will work well on those pesky underarm stains. […]

  2. […] 64. citrus enzyme spray […]

  3. […] Powered by Yahoo! Answers Mouse here for Related LinksKoi Swim Bladder DiseaseFive Alarm BBQ SauceOne Simple Change: Pantry Revamp (and Coconut Oat Sesame bites)Citrus Enzyme Cleaner Recipe […]