9 creative uses for orange peels

Citrus season is in full swing! Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and the like are delicious and healthy, but they’re good for more than just a snack. Their peels have a variety of uses that go beyond the normal life of the fruit.

Read on to discover 9 creative uses for leftover citrus peels!

  1. Freshen brown sugar – Drop one or two clean (no fruit remnants) peels in brown sugar for anywhere from a couple hours up to a day. When you remove them, you’ll have soft, like-new brown sugar!
  2. Clean the garbage disposal – Dispose of citrus peels easily and make good use of them too! Toss them down the garbage disposal to clean the blades and freshen up the smell.
  1. All-natural home cleaner – Create a non-toxic, fresh-smelling home cleaner using orange peels, vinegar, and water. Soak orange peels in distilled white vinegar for two weeks. Then, remove the peels, and mix the vinegar with equal parts water. The all-purpose cleaner can then be used on countertops, bathrooms, and more.
  1. Trash can freshener – Toss a few peels in the bottom of your trash can before you replace the trash bag to combat unpleasant odors. 
  1. Candied citrus peelsCreate an all-new treat! Candied peels make fabulous garnish for sweets, hot tea, and cocktails. All you have to do is boil them in water with sugar for 15 minutes, let them cool, and enjoy!
  1. Repel pests – Citrus peels repel ants, slugs, aphids, and mosquitos. Spread peels around your garden and plants to keep slugs and ants at bay. Sprinkle zest around your picnic area to keep them off of you and your food. You can also put them in a spray bottle with hot water, shake, then allow to cool. Then, you can spray plants with the natural repellent to keep them from getting eaten.
  1. Keep cats away from plants – Not only does citrus repel bugs, but it keeps cats at bay tool. The same citrus spray that repels insects can keep your furry friend safe. Spray it on indoor plants to keep your cat from eating anything poisonous.
  1. Air freshener – Bring water to a boil water on the stove, then add citrus peels and seasonal spices (i.e. cinnamon, star anise). The mixture creates an all-natural aroma that you can smell throughout the house.
  2. Use as kindling – If you eat oranges while camping or have a fire pit, use peels as kindling. They light easily but burn slower than other types of kindling, allowing you to build a long-lasting and citrusy-smelling campfire.