20 Incredible Ways to Reuse Orange Peels
With its sweet flavor and daily dose of vitamin C (that’s perfect for naturally fighting off a cold), there’s a lot to love about oranges. But if you’re planning on throwing away the peels after you finish eating one, think again! There are actually a variety of awesome ways to reuse orange peels.
Not only is reusing orange peels a great way to reduce food waste, but it’s also a small and simple way you can live a more zero waste life. From cleaning your house to pampering yourself, check out these genius ways to reuse orange peels!
1. Make Citrus-Infused Vinegar
If you want to enjoy the natural cleaning power of vinegar, but you can’t stand the smell, check out how to make this DIY citrus-infused vinegar. Not only do the orange peels give the vinegar a fresh scent, but they also release their own grime-fighting oils to make an outstanding natural cleaner!
2. Make Citrus-Infused Olive Oil
Vinegar isn’t the only thing you can infuse with fresh citrus. You can also use orange peels to make citrus-infused olive oil. Simply place the peels of 2 oranges in a food processor with one cup of oil and pulse until well blended.
Let the mixture sit at room temperature for about an hour, and then strain it through a fine mesh strainer. You can use your citrus-infused olive oil as a salad dressing, when cooking, and more.
3. Create Orange Zest
Looking to add a fresh, tangy kick to some of your favorite meals? Then make your own orange zest! To zest an orange, you simply need some peels and a microplane zester.
Hold the microplane zester in one hand, hold the colorful part of the orange peel against the zester using the other hand, and rub the peel up and down on the zester. Just make sure you avoid getting the white pith, which can taste bitter.
4. Make Candied Orange Peel
Candied orange peels are a yummy sweet treat you can make for yourself or to give as a gift. To make your own, remove the white pith from 2 oranges and cut the peels into small strips. Cook the peels in a large pot of boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain the peels, rinse them, and then drain them again.
Bring 3 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water to a boil using medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the orange peels, return to a boil, and reduce the heat. Simmer the peels about 45 minutes or until they’re very soft, and then drain.
Toss the peels in 1 cup of sugar. Lift them out of the sugar and place them on a sheet of foil. Let the peels stand 1 to 2 days to dry.
5. Use for Fire Starter
The next time you need to get a fire going, use some orange peels. Simply toss some dried orange peels into your fireplace and carefully light them.
The oils in citrus peels are naturally flammable. Not only will they catch fire faster than a newspaper, but they also burn longer than an ordinary stick!
Not sure how to dry orange peels? It couldn’t be easier! Just leave the peels sitting out on a paper towel for a few days and they’ll naturally lose their moisture and dry out.
6. Add to Compost
Although it seems obvious, don’t forget that you can toss your orange peels into your compost bin. Not only will orange peels eventually break down into beneficial compost for your garden, but the strong citrus smell can actually keep common compost pests away from your pile.
7. Stop Brown Sugar From Hardening
Are you having problems with your brown sugar becoming as hard as a rock? Just toss a few orange peels in there!
The oils in the peel help draw moisture away from the sugar and stop it from hardening — all without affecting the flavor. Just make sure you remember to replace to peels monthly to keep them effective.
8. Remove Water Spots
If you have unsightly water spots on your faucets or glassware, you can use an orange peel to get rid of them. For larger items like appliances and faucets, simply rub an orange peel directly over the spots to remove them and make your items shine.
For smaller items like glassware, fill a sink with warm water, add a few orange peels, let the glasses soak for five minutes, and then rinse them with warm water. The citric acid in the peels naturally cuts through water spots and soap scum.
9. Polish Wood
Just rub the white side of the peel on your wood furniture and wipe off with a clean cotton cloth. The oils in the peel help moisturize the wood, which brightens any dullness and results in a glossy shine.
10. Clean Your Garbage Disposal
Do you have some rather unpleasant smells emanating from your garbage disposal? Turn on the water, run your disposal, and then toss some cut up orange peels in there.
Not only can the peels clean out your disposal and make it smell fresh, but they can also help cut through any residual oil, grease, or fat that might be clogging your pipes.
11. Deodorize Trash Cans
In addition to freshening up your garbage disposal, you can also use orange peels to help naturally deodorize your trash cans. All you have to do is place a few orange peels in the bottom of your trash can. Then you can enjoy a light citrus scent instead of stinky smells!
Related: The Best Biodegradable Trash Bags
12. Banish Bugs
While we might love the smell of oranges, there are a lot of animals out there that can’t stand the scent. That’s why oranges make such a great natural repellent.
13. Use in the Garden
If slugs are an issue in your garden, you can spread orange peels on top of the soil to keep them away. This natural bug repellent is a much safer option than a toxic pesticide, especially if you have young children or pets.
14. Keep Cats Away
Even though you picked out some pet-safe houseplants to protect your furry family members, that doesn’t mean you want your cat digging around in your plants. To save your plants (and keep your cat from getting into mischief), sprinkle some orange peels on top of the soil once a week.
The citrus scent is too intense for a cat’s keen sense of smell, so your kitty will stay away. You can also place orange peels around your home or in your garden to keep stray cats away.
15. Use as Air Freshener
You don’t have to use toxic air fresheners to make your whole home smell amazing. Instead, just simmer some orange peels with other whole spices, such as allspice, cinnamon sticks, and cloves, to create a lovely aroma throughout your home.
16. Absorb Odors in Shoes
Are your shoes smelling a little funky after those hard workouts at the gym? You can have them smelling fresh by morning by simply placing some orange peels with the white side facing down inside the shoes and leaving them there overnight.
Not only will the peels absorb moisture and odors like a sponge, but they’ll also release a nice citrus aroma that will leave your shoes smelling fresh and clean.
17. Make a DIY Face Mask
If you feel like the skin on your face is looking a little dull, try making a DIY face mask to pep it up.
First, grate an orange peel and mix it with some of the fruit’s juice and 1/4 cup of canola oil. Then rub this mixture on your face and let it sit for one minute before rinsing it off.
The tiny bits of orange peel will gently scrub away dead skin, and the oil will add moisture to your skin to give it a rejuvenated and healthy glow.
18. Whiten Your Teeth
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on chemical teeth whiteners that can actually damage your teeth. Instead, rub the white part of an orange peel on your teeth for 15 seconds.
The peel contains vitamin C, pectin, limonene, gluconate, and a soluble fiber that help lift surface stains from your teeth without hurting the enamel. Best of all, you can repeat this as often as desired for a beautiful and healthy smile.
19. Add to Your Bath
If soaking in a steamy bath is your favorite way to relax and unwind at the end of a long day, you can make it even more calming by tearing up the peels from an orange and tossing them into the water.
Just like the scent of lavender helps us calm down and naturally fall asleep, the smell of citrus triggers the release of calming chemicals in the brain that can help lead to instant relaxation.
20. Make an Orange Peel Tea
The next time you make a cup of tea, dry some orange peels and add them to your brew. Not only do orange peels give your tea a subtle, citrusy taste, but people have also been using orange peels for centuries to treat coughs, bronchitis, heartburn, and more.
Plus, don’t forget there are a variety of awesome ways to reuse tea bags so absolutely nothing goes to waste!
Related: Do Your Tea Bags Contain Plastic?
The Best Ways to Reuse Orange Peels
The next time you enjoy a tasty orange, don’t immediately throw away the peel. Instead, consider one of these awesome ways to reuse orange peels so you can reduce waste and get even more use from this amazing fruit!
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Did you enjoy learning about different ways to reuse orange peels? Are you looking for even more helpful eco-friendly tips? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:
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