Lemonade Season - Lemon Thyme Cleaning Spray


This is the thyme (ha!) of year when all of that hot tea I’ve been drinking turns into ice tea and I start craving my favorite afternoon thirst quencher - lemonade! But, in the interest of not throwing all of those rinds away and saving a little money - I make my own kitchen spray. I actually do this throughout the year because I do use a lot of lemons and I always have extra herbs. All in all, the process is quite similar to making limoncello - but this, of course, is not drinkable!

Why this works? The oil in lemon skin is a natural antimicrobial and the scent is lovely. The thyme adds a little herby smell to the mix. The alcohol is, of course, a disinfectant but has low acidity. The lemons add some acidity which also makes it a great cleaner for things like wood and natural stone and really all surfaces. My favorite thing about this cleaner is the scent doesn’t linger. I like it much more than white vinegar for just that reason. In a commercial kitchen we’re required to use a chemical sanitizer or bleach on all surfaces. It does the job, but isn’t something that I want in contact with food, so we’re careful to make sure it’s evaporated before we use the surface. At home, I much prefer this and it evaporates so quickly that I don’t have any concerns about food contact. Here’s a link for the bottles and making this cost me about $1.50 per bottle.

The process: Juice your lemons (for your lemonade). Set juice aside. Cut the rinds off of what’s left of the lemon. Put them in a pint jar. I used 3 lemons to fill this pint jar. Push in your thyme sprig and fill the jar with rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol. Seal the jar and label and date it for 2 weeks out. That’s the date it will be ready to use. (It can be stored for up to 2 months in before you use it). The mixture will turn a bright yellow. That’s how you’ll know it’s done. Strain the solution into a 16 ounce spray bottle and top off with a little more alcohol. Shake and you’re ready to go.