16 Frugal and Fabulous Uses for Citrus Peels


Oranges, lemons, limes: we juice them, we slice them for drinks and desserts. But what on earth can you do with all those peels? For heaven’s sake don’t just throw them away! From homemade cleaners to delicious desserts, try our 16 frugal and fabulous uses for citrus peels.

Citrus peels are antibacterial and antimicrobial, making them incredible for homemade cleaners. The high amount of citric acid kills bacteria and mold, and can remove soap scum and mineral deposits.

Cleaning with Citrus

1. Spot Remover: Add lemon rinds to your dishwasher to keep spots off of your glass and silverware.

2. Citrus Vinegar: Add citrus rinds to a large jar, fill with vinegar. After a week or so, strain the vinegar and load it into a spray bottle for use as an all-purpose cleaner.

3. Coffee Pot Cleanup: Add lemon rinds, a cup or two of ice and a few tablespoons of salt to a cool coffee pot. Swirl these around in the coffee pot to remove buildup.

4. Remove Hard Water Stains: Sprinkle a bit of salt inside a lemon rind and scrub your shower walls and doors to remove mineral deposits.

5. Sanitize Cutting Boards: Cover a cutting board with kosher salt and tap into lemon’s antibacterial qualities by rubbing a rind across the salted board. Rinse and let your board dry.

6. De-stink Garbage Disposal: Toss some citrus peels into your garbage disposal and grind them up to remove the stink from all that ground up food.

Using Citrus Peels in Recipes

7. Save the Zest: Many recipes call for just zest. Save your citrus peels and freeze them for use in future recipes. You can grate them and freeze them in ice cube trays to keep them in two tablespoon-sized servings.

8. Dry the Peels: Dry citrus peels in a dehydrator or your oven. You can store them whole in canning jars or grind the citrus peels up and use as vitamin C powder for smoothies or homemade vitamins.

9. Lemon Pepper Seasoning: Use lemon powder made from your dried lemon peels to make your own lemon pepper seasoning. Toss the powder with kosher salt and black pepper.

10. Baked Goods: Chocolate Orange Paleo Cookies and No Bake Chocolate Lemon Dream Balls are just two of the myriad recipes that use citrus zest.

Other Uses for Citrus Peels

11. Homemade Air Freshener: Simmer oranges and a few spices in water on your stove top to leave your home smelling fantastic.

12. Preserve Brown Sugar: Toss orange peels into your brown sugar to draw the moisture out of the sugar and prevent clumping.

13. Natural Sponge: Use a rind as a degreasing sponge on your oven or countertops (or that greasy, nasty vent hood).

14. Candle: Follow this orange peel candle tutorial to make a candle out of a peel and some lamp oil.

15. Body Scrub: Rub the peels on your skin to brighten and tone your skin. Or try this orange peel sugar scrub.

16. Bath Oil: Extract the orange oil using this tutorial. Add a few drops to your bathtub. The oil is anti-inflammatory and can improve skin tone.

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Photo Credit: multikulinaria