I can’t seem to keep fresh oranges in my house long enough. The kids love ’em and mow ’em down as fast as I’ll let them. Needless to say, we have lots of orange peels to dispose of. However, since I love the smell of orange peels, tossing them into the trash just seems like a shame.
Over the years, I’ve found some great uses for orange peels, and here are some of my favorites.
1. Air Freshener
Since I absolutely love the smell of oranges, this is one of the most common ways I use orange peels in my house. You can simmer them on the stove in an old pan filled with a little water, or you just place the orange peels in a bowl for a subtler scent.
2. Refrigerator Deodorizer
Forget the baking soda! Use orange peels to deodorize your refrigerator instead.
3. Make Potpourri
Since they smell so tasty, you can also use orange peels to make potpourri. Dried orange peels don’t have as strong of a smell as fresh ones, but they do last a little longer. Consider mixing dried orange peels with cinnamon stick or two for a super simple potpourri.
4. Clean Your Sink
The natural oils in orange peels are great for removing grease and grime, so you can us it to scrub your sink. Just rub the surfaces of the sink with the outside of an orange peel. Not only will they make it sparkle, but they’ll also help remove any odors in it as well.
5. Deodorize Your Garbage Disposal
Just as you can use orange peels to clean your sink, you can also use it to clean your garbage disposal. This is even easier. Just toss some orange peels down your garbage disposal and give it a whir.
6. Flavor Foods
Use orange peels to flavor dishes by grating the peels with a small cheese grater or citrus zester. Orange zest can be used to flavor anything from frosting to pork chops.
7. Keep Brown Sugar Soft
Does your brown sugar get hard and clumpy before you can use it? Use orange peels to keep it soft. Just throw a couple pieces of orange peel in the bag or container. (You can also use a piece of bread for this.)
8. Make a Body Scrub
Orange sugar body scrubs are so delicious smelling, and they leave your skin feeling so smooth! Add finely grated orange peel to some sugar and wet the mixture with a little oil. Almond oil and grape seed oil work best, but you can use just about any oil you have on hand.
9. Pest Repellent
If you have an ant or slug problem around your home or in your garden, you can also use orange peels as a pest repellent. Just spread ground up orange peels where you’ve seen the pests.