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Homemade Orange Peel White Vinegar Coop Cleaner


A couple of years ago, I started looking for recipes to make my own natural coop cleaning products. Bleach and ammonia (in chicken droppings) isn't the best combination as I'm sure you can imagine!) 

So I needed something that would be safe for my flock but also be effective. 


I started using plain white vinegar and water to clean my coop, feeders and waterers. But I'm sure you all have seen the orange peel vinegar cleaning spray all over Pinterest. In fact, if you google 'homemade orange peel cleaner' 4.4 million hits appear. Literally. 4.4 million. 

So this idea certainly isn't original. But it seemed like it would be perfect to clean the coop with. It's effective and won't harm the environment, our lungs or our pets.  



But I thought I would kick it up a notch and make it really optimal for cleaning my chicken coop.

I was already cleaning the coop with white vinegar and water but thought the orange peel would make a nice addition, since citrus oil is a natural insect deterrent and proven solvent.

White vinegar is a natural disinfectant. It has antibacterial properties, kills mold and is also an ant repellent. You can substitute vodka for the white vinegar. Vodka, in addition to being odorless, kills bugs, mold and has many of the same cleaning properties as white vinegar.

(Note: Apple cider vinegar, while great for adding to your chickens water and drinking yourself for all its health benefits, shouldn't be used here - only white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar will attract fruit flies and is also more expensive than white vinegar.)

I also decided to add some cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon oil kills mosquito larvae.  Vanilla beans went in next because vanilla repels flies, mosquitoes and other insects.



What you Need


Four oranges (or six limes, four lemons or two grapefruit or a combination)
Two cinnamon sticks
Two vanilla beans [I buy mine here inexpensively in bulk on amazon]
Bottle of white vinegar (or substitute inexpensive vodka, yes really!)
Two canning jars with ring lids
Spray bottle

What you Do



Peel the oranges and divide the peels between the two canning jars, so each jar is about half full.  Break the cinnamon sticks in half and add two halves to each jar. 

Slit the vanilla beans, cut them in half and add two halves to each jar. Pour in enough vinegar to completely cover the ingredients in each jar.   

Then set the jars in your pantry, in the cupboard or on the kitchen counter to 'age' for about a month. 

Shake the jars every few days to reinvigorate the contents.   The mixture should start to turn orangish-tan and smell fragrant.

When the vinegar smell has mostly dissipated and the solution is ready to use, strain the contents into a spray bottle to use full strength - or pour into a bucket and dilute with water.



I use the spray bottle to spray my roosts and then use the diluted mixture in a pail of water with a mop to scrub the coop walls and floors. It smells wonderful ! I'm sold.

Good for us and our pets, good for the environment AND it works!  

I hope you'll whip up a batch of this safe and natural cleaner for next time you clean your chicken coop.  

I  usually will reuse the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean for a second batch to save a little money, but use fresh citrus peels.



And try experimenting with other combinations of herbs. I particularly like lavender mint with lime and lemon thyme. You really can't beat citrus oils when it comes to natural cleaning!


If you liked this recipe, you'll love my new book 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks! 

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