Maybe you’ve heard that we waste 35% of all edible food in this country. The worst part? Much of the stuff we throw away has secret uses the average person may not know about. Citrus peels are one of those wasted items that have so many uses, but often end up in the trash bin.
Here are 10 ways to use every square inch of your oranges, limes, and lemons after you’ve enjoyed their juice.
- 1. Skip the expensive skin creams, and use citrus peels to lighten and brighten tired skin. An orange peel is a great sponge to soak up oils and toxins. Simply place the orange peel in some gauze and apply directly to your skin or use a fine-gauge zester to get orange zest to add to a homemade facial mask with Bentonite clay and essential oils.
- 2. Eliminate mosquitoes and moths. Place an orange peel near a window that you suspect insects are entering your home. Orange peel has elements that mosquitoes and moths can’t stand against.
- 3. Use orange peels and baking soda to eliminate shoe odors. Do your gym shoes smell like ten peoples’ armpits? Take the stench out by placing an orange peel sprinkled with a little baking soda inside your shoes. It will absorb the odors, and leave them smelling like citrus instead.
- 4. Superior citrus house cleaner – Some of the worst toxins we are exposed to come from toxic household cleaners. Instead of cleaning with phthalates, perchloroethylene, triclosan found in antibacterial soaps, quaternary ammonium, 2-butoxyethanal, and other toxic chemicals, try mixing a few cups of organic white vinegar and some orange peels in a jar. Leave it in the freezer for a week, then take it out, and use to it to clean your house spic and span without leaving toxic residues. (Check out this article for more tips on cleaning your house without toxic chemicals.)
- 5. Use orange peel pith for water stains. The white part of the inside of an orange peel is great for getting rid of water stains from furniture. Just rub a little on the stain, and watch it come clean.
- 6. Homemade air freshener – Boil some orange peels, a little lemon juice, water, and cinnamon, and everyone will wonder why your home smells so amazing.
- 7. Orange peel candles – If you love the smell of citrus, why not make some candles with your leftover peels and a little olive oil? Just leave the center pith of the orange to make a wick or wrap some candle wicking around a chopstick, and cut to size.
- 8. Polish wood – Orange peels are great for bringing the shine out in wood plats, bowls, furniture, utensils, and more. Simply rub the white pith of an orange peel on your wood vigorously, and watch the shine come through.
- 9. Keep your organic brown sugar fresh – Throwing a few dried orange peels into the bag with your brown sugar will help absorb the moisture that makes it clump together over time, making it impossible to use in your favorite recipes.
- 10. Fertilizer – Throw your orange and other citrus peels in a compost pile with your other kitchen scraps and enjoy some of the best chemical-free soil for your garden around.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.