We like oranges in my house and that means lots of orange peel waste, but adding too much citrus to the compost pile can be tricky and I don’t feel right throwing them in the trash. I do use the garbage disposal sometimes, but I like to try and use the peels around the house as much as I can--they can be surprisingly versatile. There really are an astonishing number of uses for orange peels in the home, so, the next time you eat another piece of that citrusy goodness, consider trying out these great ways to use those peels.
- Planting Cups: Cut oranges in half, scoop out the flesh and use the resulting “cups” as biodegradable planters.
- Candle Molds: Use orange peel halfs as candle molds to make your own wax candles. Unmold the candle before use.
- Vinegar Cleaner: The best and easiest all-natural cleaner is a mixture of vinegar, water and the orange peels.
- Room Spray: Use vodka and orange peels to make your own orange-scented room spray.
- Potpourri: Dry orange peels and other citrus fruits to make your own potpourri.
- Kitty Deterrent: Some cats really do not like the smell of oranges and fresh orange peels can be used a safe-deterrent for keeping them off the sofa or out of your garden.
- Orange Soda: Use orange peels to flavor your own homemade soda.
- Water Additive: Add orange peels to still or sparkling water to give it a refreshing flavor without any added calories.
- Tea Flavoring: In the same vein, add peels to hot or cold tea for a subtle orange flavor.
- Candied Orange Peel: Make homemade candied orange peel for the candy dish.
- Dessert Bowl: Use the orange pulp to make homemade sherbet and serve it in the orange peels.
- Peel Flowers: Use the peels to create flowers for decorating the punch bowl for your next party.
- Natural Pest Control: Orange peels are a natural deterrent for pests like ants. Mix the peels with water as a pest spray.
- Grind It: Dry your orange peel and grind them up for on-hand orange zest to use in cooking and baking.
- Make Orange Sugar: Orange sugar is simply sugar infused with orange zest, but it’s really delicious and makes wonderful holiday and host gifts.
- Vases: Use the orange peels as vases the next time you pick backyard daisies.
- Firelighters: Finally, dried orange peels make great fire starters.
There really are a ton of ways to use orange peels, so don’t feel limited by this list. Be creative and I’m sure you will come up some more reuses on your own.