Kid Safe Multi-Purpose Kitchen Spray and Ant Deterrent

We had our last snow a few weeks ago and since then the temperatures have been hovering in the mid-sixties. That means it's time to shut off the heat, open the house up, and start on my annual spring cleaning. I'm not much of a housekeeper, so it's a bit of a dreaded chore and with a busy little boy running around nothing every stays clean long anyway. 

This year, instead of trying to do everything at once I've made up a room-by-room plan. I'll start with the easiest room first so I can ease my way into it, then tackle the most difficult room last. The first item on my list, before I can even start cleaning, is to make a huge batch of multi-purpose spray from vinegar and oranges. I usually stock up on the necessary supplies around Easter when vinegar is on sale, then buy a case of Cuties for my son's Easter basket. Every time I peel an orange for a snack I drop the leftover peel in my repurposed 1-gallon glass jug and top it off with vinegar. After a couple of weeks I have enough cleaning solution to last the better part of a year. The best part is that it only costs pennies to make— I don't have to spend $10 or more on so-called natural cleaning products. 

Kid Safe Multi-Purpose Kitchen Spray and Ant Deterrent

Multi-Purpose Kitchen Spray and Ant Deterrent
makes 32 ounces


32 ounces white vinegar
1 large orange (see notes)
spray bottle


  • Remove a ½ cup of vinegar from the bottle and reserve for later. Pack bottle with orange peels, top with reserved vinegar, then reseal the bottle.
  • Set aside for several weeks in a cool dark place, then transfer the infused vinegar to spray bottles.
  • You can use the mixture straight or dilute it with 50% water to make it last longer. 


Did you know that oranges are a natural ant deterrent? Just spray your floor or countertop along the trail where you see ants coming in. It will mask the scent trail left behind for other ants to follow.

You can use any type of citrus peel for this recipe, you don't need to limit yourself to orange (although other citrus fruits may not work as well as an ant deterrent.) 

If you have hard water you may want to consider using distilled water to dilute the spray, otherwise it may leave white spots on the areas you've cleaned.