We used to sell used books on Amazon and to our delight discovered orange oil was the best cleaner hands down for dingy old books- for both the cover and dust jacket. It worked where water could not tread. It made the old books smell delicious, was non-toxic, dried completely when it would appear ‘wet’, and would even remove price stickers and the sticky stuff left behind. Why some people use 1 inch pieces of masking tape to put a 25 cent price on an old book (many times a rare collectible) and then set it in the sun is a pet peeve of mine, however, orange oil would almost always come to the rescue*. We bought it by the gallon and even use it as a furniture polish on certain items.
This recipe does not yield orange oil you can use on books, but you can twist the peel of the orange (or any citrus peel, actually) and if you look carefully you’ll see the pure oil ooze out. This is a recipe you can use anywhere you would use vinegar as a cleaner.
Recipe For Natural Homemade Orange Cleaner
All you have to do is put your orange peels into a jar and pour vinegar over them to the top of the jar. Leave at least one inch or more at the top to have some shaking room. Wait 2 weeks, shaking the jar occasionally. Leaving the jar in the sun or a warm place will speed the process.
When finished, drain the solution through a colander to remove the large pieces, then again through that same colander lined with cheesecloth. Use the vinegar solution as you would other vinegar based cleaners or experiment and let us know what you discovered.
Oh, and don’t toss out the cheesecloth! Once the vinegar evaporates and dries, the orange oil left behind will make a nice rag to clean with-especially the vinyl in your car.
Any other homemade natural cleaners you’ve found to be amazing?
I found orange oil in large quantity on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Orange-Oil-Concentrate-1-Quart/dp/B0076ZX01I/ref=pd_sim_lg_7
*Warning-orange oil will remove some inks and color from some surfaces (rarely, tho), and never use it on plastics like CD covers. Always test your surface first.