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Amazing Uses for Citrus Peels

Bowl of mandarin oranges next to a mostly peeled mandarin with trailing peel

Citrus peels have a lovely aroma, and if you’ve ever peeled one you know that they contain a lot of essential oils. You can even watch them spray as you peel sometimes. Put all of that goodness to use with the ideas below.


This may be the most obvious, but lemon zest is a great way to add flavor and depth to dishes. Pick up a zester and get to it!

Cleaning Power

Citrus peels can be the great makings of homemade cleaners. Soak peels in vinegar for a week or two and then mix 50/50 with water like you typically would with a DIY cleaner. Boom! Fragrant cleaning with a kick.

Scent, Scent Baby

A watched pot never boils… oh wait, wrong idea. Place your peels in a pot on a low heat setting and allow them to simmer. The natural oils in the peel will be released into the water and into the air creating a natural air freshener. Always keep an eye on a pot with a burner on, and compost the remains when done.
Add cinnamon sticks or cloves for a delicious autumn scent!

Freshen Your Refrigerator

Place a small bowl of peels in the refrigerator to help freshen it.

Deodorize Your Garbage Disposal

Place pieces of peel into an ice cube tray, add water, & freeze. When your disposal needs cleaning pop one into the sink and let it rip! Voilà! Citrus clean.

Candy Them

You may not think it, but you can create an impressively delicious treat with your citrus peels. Check out this recipe to find out how.

Clean Wooden Cutting Boards

Rub your cutting board down with the outside of the peel, rinse, & sun dry for the best disinfecting power.

Powder It

Powder made from citrus peels can be added to a variety of recipes (food and non!). It’s as simple as drying and pulverizing them. Check out this article for more information and ideas.

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