Going Green – Citrus Infused Vinegar & Homemade Disinfecting Wipes

DIY disinfecting wipes

This past year I have become more aware of how many chemicals fill our foods, our skin care products, and our cleaning products. I haven’t purged our house and lives of everything, but slowly I am trying to trade out products that are ridden with the harshest chemicals for more natural, and often homemade options.

The wonderful thing about this is that not only is my family being exposed to less of the ingredients I can’t even pronounce on labels, I am also being a better steward of our beautiful earth and saving us money in the mean time. It’s a win, win, win. I have tested lots of recipes – all purpose cleaners, window cleaners, tub/tile cleaners, disinfectant wipes, homemade laundry detergent, and homemade baby wipes to name a few. Several of them weren’t great, but I have found some definite keepers that I believe work better than the store bought versions.

If you have spent any time making or using homemade cleaners you know that distilled white vinegar is used a lot. Distilled white vinegar is one of the most effective cleaning agents and is really cheap. Find out more about the many uses and benefits to vinegar here. In my opinion, the major downfall of distilled white vinegar is the nose puckering smell. I know it fades as the vinegar dries, but my family and I are not big fans of the stink. I recently came across a recipe to help with just that…citrus infused vinegar. The process is amazingly simple. To make this, place the rinds of oranges, grapefruit, lemons, or limes in a glass jar. Pour distilled white vinegar to cover the citrus peels, and let infuse for 10-14 days. Then strain out the darkened vinegar and pour into a jar to use in various cleaning recipes or pour directly into a spray bottle and dilute with water. Not only do you get all the benefits of cleaning with vinegar, you also get the added bonus of citrus oils which are also great cleaning agents.

My favorite use for this citrus infused vinegar is to make disinfecting wipes. I use these wipes on all the counter tops and tables in our home, and because I have a toddler with grimy, sticky fingers from food, play dough, glue, and who knows what else, these wipes are used a lot. To make these wipes, simply cut up an old T-shirt into squares. Place them in a sealed container (I use an old Clorox Wipes container that I cleaned out really well). Pour the mixture of ingredients (see below) over the wipes.

Citrus Infused Vinegar Homemade Disinfecting Wipes (makes 1-2 batches depending on size of container used):

1 cup water

¼ – ½ cup citrus infused vinegar

squirt of castile soap

I adapted the above recipe from another disinfecting wipe recipe that I have been using for awhile.


Regular Homemade Disinfecting Wipes:

1 cup of water

squirt of castille soap

1/4 c. of vinegar

3-4 drops tea tree oil

3-4 drops lavender (for smell)

Do you make any of your own cleaning products? If so, what are your favorites? Please share.


Happy Cleaning!


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Elisa is a native Arizonan by birth and a Seattleite by heart. She is a wise, spirited woman who loves feeling the sun on her face, but also enjoys cold rainy days, complete with a cup of coffee and a good book or conversation. After graduating with a Masters in Counseling Psychology and seeing clients for a time, she took a hiatus to love on, play with, and offer copious amounts of hugs to our little girls, Malia and Jayden. She is now back working at Socorro Counseling and Consulting in Downtown Phoenix. Unafraid to laugh at herself and able to see the beauty in others, she makes everyone feel at ease, making her a genuine friend, therapist, and wife. Give her a cute pattern and a sewing machine or some spray paint and a piece of furniture and they are surely to be transformed into some warm piece of art that brightens our living space. She also finds creativity in cooking, making household cleaners, and anything Pinterest. In short, Elisa is stylish, wise, thoughtful, creative woman who makes everyone around her a better person, including her husband (who wrote this bio).


  1. Thanks a ton for sharing these! Do you have to keep the infused vinegar in the fridge? We use a mixture of white vinegar, water, and a squirt of castile soap for window cleaner- works great! I also keep white vinegar in the laundry room- perfect for removing the smell of any potty training accidents, and it doesn’t leave any vinegar stink once it’s rinsed. On the subject of fewer nasty chemicals, we only extremely rarely use bleach. Instead, we leave janky looking whites out in the sun for a day or two. And sunshine is the best thing we’ve found to take out stains from baby clothes.

  2. Thanks for sharing Liz. I will have to try the sunshine to whiten whites. I don’t keep the infused vinegar in the fridge. I leave it out on our counter while it’s infusing, and after if I have extra before adding it to a cleaner. I change out the citrus rinds after two weeks though.

  3. Dalise, I use old rags and cut up pieces of clothe (old T-shirts). I have used paper towels before when making my own baby wipes though and they work, so I would think they could work for this too. I have found that Bounty Select-a-size work best. I actually cut the role in half, place half of a role in a tupperware, pour the liquid over the paper towels, pull out the cardboard center after all the liquid has soaked in (~10mins), and then you can just pull them out as needed. I hope that makes sense. I would be interested to hear how the disinfectant wipes work with paper towels if you decide to do it.

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