20 Creative Uses for Orange Peels

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I am always trying to get my kids to eat more fruit and one of their favorites is oranges.  I go through a bag of those little clementines in only a few days, leaving me with millions of leftover orange peels.  Usually, I just throw them in the compost bin but recently I have been wondering if there are other uses for orange peels that I might be missing.  Nature created this amazing little fruit wrapper….might as well figure out a few creative things to do with it right?  These uses for orange peels can probably be applied to most citrus fruits.  If you eat a lot of grapefruit, limes or lemons, you can probably substitute those as well.  If you have any other uses for orange peels that I have missed please leave me a comment!  I’m sure I will have a few more to use up when the kids get home! And if you have tons of limes, check out my post on what to do with limes that are just a bit too old.

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10 Creative Uses for Orange Peels

Creative Uses for Orange Peels

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1. Remove water stains on metal fixtures:

The oils in orange peels naturally remove water stains. Just rub the peel on the metal fixtures to polish them.

2. DIY Multisurface Cleaner:

Put your leftover orange peels in a mason jar with white vinegar. Let it sit for several weeks, shaking occasionally.  Transfer this to a spray bottle and use to clean counters and windows.

3. Repel insects:

Bugs dislike the smell of oranges.  Place finely chopped bits of orange peels in places you are seeing bugs.  This is a great way to get rid of ants. Check out my post on how to get rid of ants in the kitchen for more ideas.

10 Creative Uses for Orange Peels

4. Keep Garbage Cans and Garbage Disposals Smelling Fresh. 

Place dried orange peels in the bottom of your garbage can before putting in the bag.  You can also grind up fresh orange peels in the garbage disposal if your sink is starting to smell funky.

5. Soften Brown Sugar:

 If your brown sugar is getting hard, throw in a few fresh orange peels.  After 3 or 4 hours the oils in the peel will naturally soften the brown sugar.

6. Combat smelly shoes:

Dry some orange peels and put them into a sachet.  Tuck this into stinky shoes to help remove odor.  You could also sprinkle a little baking soda in there, too.  If you are dealing with some seriously stinky shoes, try these DIY sneaker sachets.

7. Make a Candle.

If you can manage to get an orange peel to remain relatively intact, you can make a candle out of it! All you’ll need is an orange, some cooking oil and a sharp knife. Click here to see this orange peel candle on Pinterest.

10 Creative Uses for Orange Peels

8. Make Bath Tub Teabags: 

Dried orange peels are great in the bath.  They smell good and the citrus oil is good for your skin.  Check out these bathtub teabags and relax in a citrus scented heaven!

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9. Make an herbal tea.

Steep orange peels in hot but not boiling water for 10 minutes.   Orange peels are used in teas to help with stomach cramps and as an appetite stimulant.
10. Orange zest ice cubes:  Cut off strips of orange peel (no pith, only the orange part…use an orange zester (affiliate link!) for best results!).  Put the strips of zest in an ice cube tray and fill with water.  Freeze overnight.  You now have pretty ice cubes for your next glass of water.  The orange peel will add flavor to the water as the ice melts.

11.  Homemade Fire Starters:

Orange oil is very flammable.  Tuck dried orange oil and dryer lint into a toilet paper tube.  Place this under your kindling and light on fire.  It will catch quickly and help your kindling burn better.

10 Creative Uses for Orange Peels

12. Homemade Potpourri: 

Add dried orange peels, cinnamon sticks, etc to a small glass bowl for a festive scent to your home.  You could add a few drops of essential oil for a stronger smell.  You could also add these same items to a pot of simmering water to give your house a wonderful aroma as well as a bit of moisture during the dry, winter months. Check out my orange and ginger simmering spices for details.

13. Make citrus sugar:

Add fresh orange peels to sugar in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Let this sit several weeks so that the oil has time to infuse flavor into the sugar.  Remove the oil peel and use the sugar as needed.

14. Keep cats away from your garden or houseplants.

Cats don’t like the smell of orange. Place dried rinds around your plants to scare away feline pests.

 15.  Make orange infused sea salt: 

Use orange zest and fresh spices to perk up your salt.  Check out my lemon and thyme infused sea salt recipe and just replace the lemon with orange.
10 Creative Uses for Orange Peels

16.  Turn it into a body scrub:

Citrus is very good to help remove excess oils from the skin.  Combined with sugar and a carrier oil, you can turn your orange peels into a homemade sugar scrub. Check out my orange and clove sugar scrub recipe for directions.

 17. Make candied orange slices:

Candied oranges slices are a deliciously sweet treat that I really enjoy.  It’s like junk food but healthier!
10 Creative Uses for Orange Peels

18.  Flavoring your vodka-

One of my favorite uses for orange peels is to flavor alcohol! Take some fresh orange peels and soak them in vodka for 2 weeks in a glass jar or bottle. Use around one orange peel for each 8 fl oz of vodka. Check out my tutorial on how to make flavored vodka for more information.

19. Prevent mosquito bites-

Orange peels contain limonene which most insects don’t like.  Rub orange peels on your skin in the evenings to prevent being bitten.

 20.  Make flavored oil:

Add orange peels to olive oil in a clean glass jar and let sit for several weeks.  The orange oil will infuse the olive oil with a wonderful citrus flavor that is great on veggies and seafood!

Do you have any other creative uses for orange peels?

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  1. This is a great list! I didn't know about the ants! The orange candle thing looks pretty cool, too. I've put orange peels in vinegar before to make the citrus scented vinegar for cleaning and I've infused oils with grapefruit peels before. I'm gonna pin it so that I can come back to the great ideas!

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