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DIY Enzyme Cleaner for Tough Stains and Odors

Jennifer L. Betts
Hand holding detergent spray bottle

Looking for a DIY enzyme cleaner for tough stains? Get simple step-by-step instructions for making your own homemade enzyme cleaner using fruit scraps.

How to Make a DIY Enzyme Cleaner

When it comes to enzyme cleaners, you need one thing: enzymes. Since you don't have a centrifuge or lab at home, creating your own enzyme cleaner takes a bit more creativity. And creativity actually means time. The recipe for creating an enzyme cleaner is pretty simple, but it will take about a month. Sometimes, it can be ready in 3 weeks if you are impatient. Since you've been warned about the time required for a DIY enzyme cleaner, dive right into the ingredients.

DIY Enzyme Cleaner Ingredients

Before you start digging into your pantry to make your enzyme cleaner, you'll need to decide if you want to make an enzyme cleaner using citrus fruit scraps like limes, lemons, and oranges, or other fruits like pineapple and kiwi. Why? Well, citrus fruits contain terpenes, which are a highly effective cleaning solvent. Pineapples, on the other hand, have protease in their skins and stems, which is used in laundry detergents. Both will work, so it's up to you to choose.

  • About 2 or so cups of fruit peels and scraps
  • 4 cups of distilled water
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast
  • Old 2-liter bottle
  • Funnel
  • Sharpie
  • Strainer
Ingredients for DIY enzyme

Instructions for Homemade Enzyme Cleaner

With your ingredients in hand, the real fun begins. Not only will you need to combine the ingredients, but you'll need to care for the DIY enzyme cleaner daily. To get started, follow these instructions.

  1. Grab your scraps and chop them up into small enough pieces to fit into the mouth of the bottle. (It's important to use fresh fruit scraps and watch for any that are rotting.)
  2. Pop the peels and scraps into the bottle.
  3. Prop the funnel into the mouth of the bottle and add the water, sugar, and yeast.
  4. Screw on the top.
  5. Vigorously shake the concoction for a minute or two.
  6. Use the sharpie to write the date on the mixture.
  7. At least twice a day, unscrew the top and give the DIY enzyme cleaner a gentle shake. (This works to let the carbon dioxide out and agitate the cleaner.)
  8. After three weeks to a month, strain off the chunks using the strainer.
  9. Voila! You have your enzymatic cleaner ready to use.
  10. Store it in a clean bottle or any other airtight container.

Since this recipe takes so long to ferment, it can be helpful to make the mixture in batches as you have some fresh fruit skins available.

How to Use DIY Enzyme Cleaner

Your DIY enzyme cleaner can be used just like you would a commercial enzyme cleaner. However, you might choose to dilute or add the power of vinegar to your cleaner depending on the jobs.

  • Create a 20 to 1 mixture of water to enzyme cleaner for light stains.
  • Create a 10 to 1 mixture of water to DIY enzyme cleaner for all-purpose cleaning.
  • Use straight for pet urine, bloodstains, and caked-on grime.
  • Mix 2 cups of enzyme cleaner to ½ cup of vinegar for tough stains or extra cleaning power.

Are Vinegar, Borax, or Hydrogen Peroxide Enzyme Cleaners?

The key to an enzyme cleaner is the enzymes. While vinegar, borax powder, and hydrogen peroxide are impressive cleaning agents, they are unfortunately not an enzyme cleaner. They do break down stains, but it's not by using enzymes like protease and terpenes. Instead, it is the acidic nature of white vinegar that works to break down stains. On the other hand, borax and hydrogen peroxide work to break the bonds in stains.

Homemade Enzyme Cleaner

Finding do it yourself DIY house cleaning remedies take time. And when it comes to DIY enzyme cleaners, this is definitely true. However, remember all that waiting is worth it when you have chemical-free cleaners for all your cleaning needs.

DIY Enzyme Cleaner for Tough Stains and Odors