22 Uses for Citrus Peels

Many of us toss the peels in the trash after eating an orange or squeezing juice from a lemon. This is a terrible habit because there are actually dozens of uses for these peels!

Seemingly useless citrus peels are actually quite handy, so don’t toss them out in the trash! Here are 22 ways to use citrus peels.

Not only have these uses reduced the amount of trash I throw out, but I’m discovering that they can help me save money and make my home more pleasant.

Ways to Use Citrus Peels

When cleaning

  • Make citrus-infused vinegar. Infuse citrus peels in vinegar to give it a fresh aroma and to add extra cleaning properties. Find instructions on how to make citrus-infused vinegar here.
  • Remove stains from coffee cups and pots. Place some citrus peel in a stained mug or pot and add warm water. Allow to sit for a few hours before washing.
  • Polish chrome and stainless steel. Sprinkle a small amount of salt onto a citrus peel and use it to scrub the metals.
  • Clean your microwave. Place citrus peels in a microwave safe bowl. Fill halfway with water and microwave for a few minutes. Carefully remove the bowl and wipe clean the inside of the microwave.
  • Freshen your trashcan. Toss some peels into the bottom of your trashcan in order to ward off bad odors.
  • Freshen your garbage disposal. Toss some peels into your garbage disposal on a regular basis in order to ward off odors.

When cooking

  • Make candied peels. Use sugar and water to candy the peels. Find instructions on making candied citrus peels here.
  • Make citrus extracts. Make extracts out of citrus peels for use in cookies, cakes, and other goodies. Find instructions for making citrus extracts here.
  • Make citrus-infused cooking oil. Add some extra flavor to your cooking by making citrus-infused cooking oils. Find instructions for making these here.
  • Prepare citrus-infused tea. Add a hint of citrus to your tea by placing some citrus peel with your tea as it steeps.
  • Make citrus zest. Use a zester or fine grater to grate citrus peels so you have a fine zest. Add this to dishes when freshly grated or freeze it for later use.
  • Make lemon pepper seasoning. Add a delightful flavor to dishes by making homemade lemon pepper seasoning. Find instructions for making this seasoning here.
  • Add flavor to meats. Place citrus peels inside a whole chicken or turkey before roasting or toss them into braising liquids.

When caring for yourself

  • Whiten your nails. Rub lemon peel into your nails to whiten them.
  • Make vitamin C powder. Grind up citrus peels to make your own vitamin C powder. Find instructions for making vitamin C powder here.
  • Brighten your face. Make a citrus peel scrub and use it on your face in order to brighten your skin. Find instructions for making a citrus peel scrub here.

Miscellaneous

  • Mix with fireplace kindling. Allow a few peels to dry for a day or two and then add them to fireplace kindling to make a fragrant fire.
  • Use in potpourri. Add dried citrus peels to mixtures of dried herbs, spices, and flowers to create fragrant potpourri.
  • Make simmering scents. Place citrus peels, herbs, spices, and water in a pot and simmer on the stove to fill your home with a wonderful scent.
  • Make candles. Fill hollowed-out citrus peels with beeswax to make candles. Find instructions for making these candles here.
  • Deter ants. Place lemon peels (a natural ant deterrent) near windows, door frames, and other entry points where ants gain entrance to your home.
  • Deter cats. Sprinkle dried, ground orange peels (a natural cat deterrent) around the plants in your garden to keep cats from using them as litter boxes.

Do you usually throw out citrus peels or do you use them in some of these ways? Can you think of additional uses for them? Please share your ideas below in the comments section.

Shared at the following:

Monday’s Musings, Tuesdays with a Twist, Coffee and Conversation, and The Art of Homemaking.

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Comments

  1. Good post – pinned and shared. I usually use the lemon rind to clean the faucets – we have really hard water here. It doesn’t take long for the calcium to build up and lemon helps remove it.

  2. Wow, this is so cool! Shannon, thanks for providing this list! I didn’t know that citrus peels could be used for removing coffee cup stains-I have several coffee cups that are stained, so I think I”ll do that. And my microwave is super dirty, so it’s good to know that I can use these for that, too!

  3. Love your creative and practical ways to use Citrus Peels!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Love all these helpful hints Shannon.

  5. Ejoyed all these tips and shared your post on Facebook.

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