Cleaning anything with orange peels


I wrote last week about the pure tung oil we decided to use in refinishing a floor. You have to cut the oil with some kind of solvent before you apply it. So our choice, largely based on a lack of petroleum ingredients in the tung oil, wouldn’t have made a lot of sense had we gone with a conventional, petroleum-based thinner. Thus, we ordered this stuff instead:

Ignore the lime-colored label; it’s made from orange peels!

We were pleased with this stuff for several reasons. One, it made the house smell like oranges. (I mean, a LOT like oranges.) Two, it came packaged not in styrofoam peanuts but in shredded newspaper—A.K.A. worm bedding!

Three, the brochure from the Real Milk Paint Company lists a fascinating variety of ways this stuff can be used. I quote: "Citrus solvent can replace a wide variety of products, inclding mineral spirits, methyl ethyl ketone, acetone, toluene, xylene, Freon, and CFCs parts cleaner, engine degreaser…tar and asphalt remover, asbestos shingle remover, graffiti remover, grease trap maintainer…printing press cleaner…deodorant for petroleum industry…and possible candidate for a variety of medical applications."

Not that I have graffiti to remove or a grease trap to maintain, but isn’t that awesome? Go, oranges.

The only thing we didn’t like about this product was that we couldn’t find it locally. Do mom-and-pop stores start carrying eco products because they want to offer an alternative, or because enough customers demand it? Well, we did at least contribute to the demand by asking around before we ordered it. Here’s hoping things change.