With a variety of citrus fruit trees growing in our backyard now, we have lots of fruit and peels. We have been enjoying the fruit, but what can be done with all those peels? Instead of throwing them away, we have been reusing them with these 20+ creative uses for citrus peel. Just remember to wash and try your citrus peels before using to remove an wax or other unwanted residues.
Cleaning with Citrus Peels
With the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of citrus peels, homemade cleaners is an obvious choice for using these peels.
- Citrus Cleaner – Add citrus rinds to a large, glass jar and fill with vinegar. Let sit for a couple of weeks, before straining the vinegar. Pour the strained vinegar into a spray bottle and use as an all-purpose cleaner.
- Spot Remover – Add lemon rind to the dishwasher to help keep spots of glassware and silverware as well as clean and freshen up the dishwasher.
- Clean the kettle – Add to a kettle, fill with water and boil and then let sit for about an hour to decalcify the inside.
- Microwave Cleaner – Remove caked-on gunk from the inside of a microwave by zapping a bowl of rinds and water for a few minutes. The gunk should wipe away easily.
Using in the Kitchen
- Infuse your tea with lemon peel for a lovely lemony taste.
- Use orange peel to help keep your brown sugar soft.
- Make candied lemon or orange peel as decorations for cake or dessert creations.
- Use peel from orange or grapefruit to make jams, such as marmalade. Just beware that grapefruit can impact some medications, especially ones for the heart, so talk to your doctor first before consuming and using it.
- Use citrus peels to flavour water, just add to a jug of water and cool in the fridge before drinking.
- Save it! Many recipes call for zest, so grate and freeze them for use in future recipes. Freezing in an ice cube tray keeps them around to two TBSP sized servings.
- Stick squeezed out lemon halves in the fridge to help remove odours.
- Make Herb-Lemon Zested Butter.
- Dry out citrus peels and use them as fire starters.
- Use citrus peels to fresh up your garbage disposal. Just cut and put in the disposal.
- Cat repellent – Place around your garden to stop cats from using it as a litter box.
- Chew the peel. It makes a great breath freshener!
- Fragrance for your house – Simmer in a pot of water on the stove or create potpourri. You can ever combine with with herbs, spices and dried flowers!
- Use as a natural sponge – Use the rind of a lemon or orange to wipe over your countertops, cutting board and sink to help degrease.
- Use as a metal polish. On chrome faucets, a once-over with an empty lemon wedge should work. For brass, copper or stainless steel posts, you can dip the wedge in baking soda or salt before rubbing it over.
- Use in sugar scrubs or soaps like this Citrus Soap.
- Use as a skin lightener. Cover an age spot with a lemon peel and attach it with a bandage for an hour.
- Use as an indoor pest deterrent by rubbing a lemon peel along a windowsill where ants are coming in.
- Cut and orange in half, pull out the insides and use the orange rind as an egg pan.
Citrus peels are so useful in and around the house but, beware as some people can develop contact dermatitis from it. This can happen when peeling lots of citrus or having peel next to the mouth. Symptoms include a dermatitis rash and blisters or irritation near the mouth, so you may want to wear gloves when peeling. Others can even have respiratory reactions. in this case, don’t attempt to use the peels at all and seek advice from your doctor.