Monday, August 29, 2011

Homemade Citrus Enzyme Cleaner - part 1

We were so excited to try this when we found this here. A homemade enzyme cleaner that is made from fruit scrapes, water and brown sugar. This enzyme cleaner is all natural and safe for children and pets! According to the reviews - you can use this cleaner for just about everything!

  • floor wash

  • dishes

  • laundry stains

  • clearing blockages from drains

  • fertilizer for veg, flowering and non-flowering plants

  • cleaning fruits and veggies

  • pet stains

  • insect repellent (ants and cockroaches)

Some people even use it as a skin cleanser!

You can make this with fruit or veggie scrapes, but most people agree that the veggie scraps make it smell bad, and citrus fruits make it smell great!

This recipe is very simple. The tricky part is that it takes 3 months to ferment and make the enzymes! We decided to do this post as a two parter. We just made a batch and thought we would share our results in three months. If you have made this let us know your thoughts, tips and results!

The first article we read about this cleaner had the recipe in metric units we found this recipe that was all ready converted for us at

What you need:

  • a large 2 liter bottle with an airtight lid - a juice bottle works great

  • 2 1/2 cups of fruit peels and scraps - fruit bits are fine to add

  • 7 Tbl. brown sugar

  • 4 cups of water

We started with about 2 large lemons and 2 medium orange peels.

We chopped up the peels until they were small enough to fit in the top of the bottle.

Then we added the brown sugar and the water to the bottle. We closed the lid tight and shook well.

Make sure you label your bottle with the date you made the enzyme cleaner.

For the first month, you want to shake the bottle every day. Store in a cool, dark place where you will see it and remember to give it that shake! We like our pantry for this. After you shake,open the lid to allow gas pressure to escape. Store the bottle with the lid halfway open. As the liquid ferments gas can build up. Some reviewers who kept their lids on tight had explosions when they opened their bottles! If you see a white or black film on the top of the liquid just give the bottle a shake. It is just natural yeast growing. After 3 months strain the liquid with cheese cloth or a fine strainer. Use diluted.

The author of the first article recommended:

1/2 cup enzyme cleaner to 1 liter of water for bathrooms, 2Tbl. cleaner to 3 liters of water for tiled floors, 2Tbl. cleaner to 2 liters of water for windows. Use more or less for depending on the job. The cleaner will last indefinitely.

If you want to makes a smaller or larger batch, you want to use 1 part brown sugar, 3 parts fruit scraps, and 10 parts water. To read more about the homemade enzyme cleaners. read this newspaper article

So far our bottle is looking good. It smells wonderful. It is so hard to wait the three months! We will let you know our results in November! Please send us your results and tips if you have all ready tried this!

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  1. I found your blog while researching for homemade acrylic gels. You have a wonderful blog, and a real joy to read.

  2. This is the first time I'd heard of this. I went to your source and read everything over there too! She's been doing it for a long time and now has a lot of info (including that the enzyme made from pineapples smells better and cleans better than the citrus.) I started a citrus batch anyway as that's what I had.
    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  3. I'm totally gonna buy a pineapple today and use the scraps and fruit bits.. YAY! Ants like sugar though so I dont see how it would be a deterant?

  4. Do you keep the bottle top halfway open for the whole 3 months or just the 1st month? I just made my bottle last night and I'm in the middle of writing a post about it! :D

  5. I thought I would let you know that in reading your ehow link and comparing your recipe, that 7 tablespoons is not the same as 7/8 cup. In tablespoons an 1/8 cup is 2 tablespoons, so you cut the sugar amount in half.

    I noticed that the batch I started earlier this week with your recipe slowed down significantly, so I think I will add more sugar to get it really started off well.

  6. My enzyme cleaner is ready today. I have used it on my tile floors and to clean all the bathroom mirrors.It is fabulous!!! One question, Do I have to throw out old scraps to start a new batch? Thank you for this!!!!! Lisa

  7. Question for you, I am about two days away from the finished cleanser. I have a fine film of yeast on the top of it. Won't this grow on the surfaces I use it on?

  8. I love your ideas, thank so much for sharing them!

  9. Is it possible to use apple peels/scraps in it along with the citrus?

  10. hmm it can help kill ant and roaches ? i wonderin wash any table or mop etc it clean so roaches will die or what

    1. From my understanding it cannot kill them but will help keep them away. Sort of like how a fart may keep you away but won't kill you.

  11. Would adding rosemary to the scraps alter the effectiveness in anyway? Rosemary smells great with lemons.

    1. Not sure if you have ever bought enzyme cleaner before but it has a smell of its own. Later on, homemade enzyme cleaner will acquire some of this smell as well (it isn't a strong smell.) I'm not a rosemary fan so I couldn't suggest it but I'd say wait it out and see if you think the end result would do fine with it.

    2. One of the great things about this recipe is that you can use any fruit or veggie scraps. Many people call it "garbage enzyme cleaner" because you can throw just about anything in it! (just not meat or dairy - makes a bad smell)

  12. Some of these comments are really dumb.

    The sugar will be gone because it's food for the yeast. Ants can't stand the smell of citrus, so yes it should work to kill them and probably annoy some roaches too.

    If you like the smell of rosemary, use it; there's no logical chemical reason it wouldn't affect a darn thing. Duh.

    Am I the last woman on the planet that has a brain?

    1. I'm not a fan of the smell of lavender, it isn't going to kill me... I just avoid it. Perhaps the ants AVOID the citrus... Could I be right ezrotic? *eyeroll*

    2. There should be a comma between logical and chemical. No such thing as a logical chemical anything. You also put a double negative signifying that adding rosemary would affect a darn thing.

      Oh and I don't like the smell of roses but they have yet to kill me.

      Are you the last woman on Earth with a brain? By the sounds of it, no, you never had one to begin with.

    3. ezrotic you are pretty full of yourself. Your answers are incomplete. The sugar will be gone at the end of the 3 months because the yeast and microbes will eat it all away. It works to both detour and kill insects because an enzyme digests stuff. So it will digest stuff on the surfaces you are cleaning helping to keep then away because they don't sense the food THEY want to digest. Any insects that do show up just spray a little enzyme on then and it will start to digest their shell and then their inners. If you add peppermint oil to the cleaner you can help to keep the pests at bay because they hate the smell. Incomplete answers are not the problem here, it's the way you put others down and ACT like you're better. In your head you must be awesome cause you put others down so you can pretend to be the sh*t. Anyone that is here on this site is smart because they are looking for environmentally friendly solutions that are also cheaper.

    4. Wow, not untl my batch was done did I come back here for the enzyme/water ratios and see the nastiness going on.

      Ezrotic, my question about using rosemary was centered on the fact that rosemary is astringent and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities. My concern was that it would kill off beneficial bacteria that are key to making this natural enzyme cleaner. I decided to make one batch with rosemary and one without and didn't see a difference. If you were as smart as you think you are you would have understood the question in the first place. You didn't tell anyone off here, you just yourself look horribly immature.

      Homemade Mamas, thanks again for posting this recipe. It's fantastic.

    5. Blacksheep is awesome and intelligent

  13. I started a batch using yeast so it will be ready in two weeks...can't wait to try it you have some interesting commentors...

  14. Please help you say use 7Tbl of brown sugar do you mean 7 tablespoons of brown sugar as mine does not look as dark.

  15. will this concoction attract fruit flies during the "cooking" process?

  16. I began my enzyme concentration before the Holidays...due to so many out of town guests I just poured my enzyme through the is now Feb. 28th! It is alright to use a a vegetable cleaner? It doesn't smell or look ruined. And, no I did not have any fruit flies and I had mine stored all over my house (near windows, laundry room and complete darkness).