Citrus fruits like oranges make for tasty, healthy snacks. Unfortunately, many people chuck the peels right into the garbage bin after they’re done.
But what may look like garbage could have a few practical uses in the house. So the next time you enjoy a juicy, tangy orange, save the peels and reuse them instead of throwing them out.
Here are 14 brilliant ways you can reuse orange peels: (h/t to FoodStorageMoms.com)
- Orange zest – Some dessert recipes call for orange zest, which can be easily made from scratch. Simply grate the orange peels and collect the shavings. Dehydrate them using an oven or a dehydrator. After drying, leave the shavings on the counter for five to seven days before putting them in a jar.
- Dehydrated snack – Orange peels are edible, but they’re not as sweet or as juicy as the pulp. That said, you can still turn them into a tasty snack. Just dehydrate the peels and sprinkle a bit of sugar on top. Enjoy them as a delicious afternoon snack.
- Fruity marinade – Elevate the flavor of your marinades by adding orange peels to the mixture. Simply wash the peels then toss them into your marinade.
- Sugar substitute – Fresh orange peels add a sharp, citrus flavor to tea and coffee. You can also use them as an alternative to sugar if you’re looking to cut down on the stuff in your hot beverages.
- Household cleaner – Ditch chemical household cleaners for homemade ones using orange peels. Just combine vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, then add chopped pieces of orange peels. Shake to combine. This cleaning solution will disinfect surfaces and get rid of dirt and stains. Plus, it will leave a refreshing, orange scent in the air. (Related: Make your own natural cleaning products that actually work.)
- Garbage disposal freshener – Orange peels help banish foul odors from your garbage disposal. Throw a couple of orange peels and some ice cubes down the disposal. Run it for a few minutes.
- Cookware cleaner – If you have grimy pots and pans, scrub them with orange peels. Unlike very abrasive tools like steel wool sponges and scourers, orange peels won’t damage your cookware. The peels won’t be tough on your hands as well.
- Exfoliator – Slough away dead skin cells on your face by gently scrubbing with orange peels. They have antibacterial properties as well, which makes them great for eliminating acne-causing bacteria. Wash your face first with a mild cleanser before going in with the orange peels.
- Chicken feed – If you’re raising chickens in your backyard, throw some orange peels into the run to keep them occupied. Orange peels are perfectly safe for chickens, and playful chickens will especially love playing with them.
- Teeth whitener – Orange peels contain the same nutrients found in the pulp, such as vitamin C and polyphenols. These compounds are good for your teeth. If you want your teeth to look whiter, rub orange peels on your teeth in the morning and again at night. The fibers on the peels gently remove surface stains, while vitamin C cuts through plaque.
- Pesticide – Scatter some orange peels around plants in the garden to ward off pests. Ants, in particular, don’t like orange peels and will stay away. It’s the perfect way to repel pests without using chemical pesticides that could harm beneficial insects and pose a risk to your health.
- Compost – After using the orange peels on your face or teeth, add them to the compost bin. Citrus peels are rich in nitrogen, a nutrient essential for plant growth. Plus, the peels help speed up the activity of microorganisms when added to your compost.
- Nail buffer – Rejuvenate dull and stained nails with orange peels. Just scrub them with orange peels to make them look bright, shiny and healthy.
- Air freshener – Get rid of stale air indoors using orange peels. Boil the peels for a few minutes and pour the water into a spray bottle. Use it as an air freshener to naturally eliminate odors indoors.
Homesteading.news has more articles with tips on how to reuse leftover fruit peels.