Sunday, January 18, 2015

Double-Duty Orange-Infused Vinegar: Hair Rinse & Household Cleaner!

This post was originally inspired by a Facebook post (click here to see it).

I've mentioned before that I love double-duty DIY products! Reusing tea bags and leftover coffee for conditioning hair rinses, and old coffee grounds as a facial scrub are just some examples. Well, I was peeling a mandarin orange for my son one day and I thought, "These smell too delicious to just throw down the garbage disposal!" (Although, that is one way to repurpose orange peels and freshen up your disposal. Can you say "double-duty?") I then remembered that my mom had shared a post to my Facebook page about soaking orange peels in vinegar for 2 weeks to create your own orange-infused vinegar! I had everything I needed, so I went ahead and tried it.

Basic Concept:

The instructions for this project were quite simple: fill a jar with orange peels, cover the orange peels with vinegar, and let them soak for 2 weeks.

I actually made two different batches. I decided to add rosemary and a cinnamon stick to one jar, because of their benefits to hair. A week later, and one sniff, let me know that the cinnamon/rosemary one will only be for cleaning! The cinnamon smell was so strong I wouldn't even dream of trying it on my scalp. Some folks actually experience a burning sensation with cinnamon, so I didn't want to risk it - especially considering how strongly it smelled. Thankfully, I had made one normal batch that could still be used for my hair.

Straining the Vinegar:

Strain the vinegar before using it (trust me, the rosemary and orange peels will clog your spray bottle). Simply place a strainer over a bowl or measuring glass, and pour the orange-infused vinegar into the strainer. You may need a fork to get all of the orange pieces out. I suggest letting them sit for awhile so that the excess vinegar can drip down.

I only took pictures while straining the vinegar with the orange peels.

The final product is orange-colored.
Save the orange peels and use them again!

For Cleaning:

If you're using your orange-infused vinegar for cleaning, like the rosemary/cinnamon one I created, then you only need to dilute it to  50% with water. Mine smelled incredibly strong because I used a whole stick of cinnamon (too much, by the way), so my ratio was more like 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar. I seriously recommend using a very small amount of cinnamon or just leaving it out all together.  Nobody in my household was a big fan. However, it was pretty great at removing hard water stains.

Add it to a spray bottle or squirt bottle to make cleaning easier.

For Hair:

If you've read any of my Going No Poo post, you might know that I'm a big fan of using apple cider vinegar as a conditioner. This orange-infused vinegar (you can use white vinegar or ACV) can also be used on hair! Dilute it to your preferred vinegar rinse solution. If you're a first-timer, you should start with 1 or 2 tablespoons of the orange-infused vinegar per 1 cup of water. The orange peels are great at removing excess oil, so you definitely don't want to overdo and remove too much of your natural sebum.

After You're Done:

Don't toss those orange peels yet! You can use the same orange peels and repeat the process all over again! I've only reused them once so far, but I'll definitely try it again after the second batch is done.

My Experience:

I absolutely loved the orange-infused vinegar! The orange, rosemary, and cinnamon one... not so much. It came in handy when the newest fur baby in our house had an accident on the carpet though - it definitely covered up the urine smell. Adding the cinnamon was a fail, in my opinion, but there was no way I was going to let it go to waste.

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