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Last Updated on March 12, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster
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?
10 Creative Uses for Orange Peels
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.
Use orange peels to 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.
DIY Multi-surface Orange 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.
Do orange peels repel insects? YES!
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.
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.
Orange peels 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.
Citrus peels help 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.
Make orange candles
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.
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!
Make orange tea
Make Orange zest ice cubes
Learn how to make 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.
How to make homemade potpourri with leftover oranges
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.
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.
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.
Make orange infused sea salt:
Turn it into orange peel body scrub:
Make candied orange slices:
Make orange vodka
Prevent mosquito bites
Make flavored citrus oil:
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.