Creative and Practical Uses for Orange Peels

Last Updated on June 7, 2024 by Ellen Christian

Wondering what to do with orange peels? Keep reading to find out more about the many uses for orange peels. You’ll never throw them away again.

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Wondering what to do with orange peels? Keep reading to find out more about the many uses for orange peels. You'll never throw them away again.

Creative and Practical Uses for Orange Peels

Recycling and reusing in creative ways is a hallmark of eco-conscious living. If you’ve been discarding your orange peels, you might be missing out on a treasure trove of uses that range from practical to delightful.

Whether you’re an eco-conscious consumer, a home gardener, or a food enthusiast, this guide will help you discover innovative ways to make the most out of your leftover orange peels.

Natural Air Freshener

One of the simplest yet most effective uses for orange peels is to turn them into a natural air freshener. The citrusy scent of oranges can instantly freshen up any room. To create your own DIY air freshener, simply place dried orange peels in a bowl and leave them in your desired location.

For an added aromatic boost, you can mix the peels with other fragrant herbs like cloves, cinnamon sticks, or lavender.

oranges on a shelf

Homemade Cleaning Products

Orange peels can be a powerful ingredient in your homemade cleaning arsenal. The natural oils in orange peels have anti-bacterial properties and a pleasant scent, making them perfect for household cleaning.

You can make an all-purpose cleaner by soaking orange peels in vinegar for a couple of weeks. The resulting mixture can be used to clean countertops, sinks, and more, leaving your home smelling fresh and citrusy.

Composting for Gardens

Orange peels are an excellent addition to your compost pile. They provide essential nutrients that can enrich your soil, benefiting your plants. Chop the peels into small pieces to speed up the composting process and mix them well into your compost pile.

However, be mindful not to add too many peels at once, as their acidity might affect the compost’s balance.

Pomegranate Fruit Salad Recipe for Summer Entertaining

What Can You Do with Leftover Orange Peels?

Before you toss those peels in the trash, consider these amazing uses:

Air Fresheners: Fill your home with a natural citrus scent.
Scent Enhancers: Use in various forms for a fresh aroma.
Cleaning Agents: Natural and effective cleaners.
Garden Helpers: Boost your garden’s health.
Gift Ideas: Unique and thoughtful presents.
Skin Care Solutions: Nourish your skin naturally.
Candied Delights: Sweet treats for your taste buds.
Composting: Nourish your soil.

How to Use Orange Peels as Air Fresheners

Transform your home into a fragrant haven with these easy methods:

Simmering Potpourri: Add orange peels to a pot of water with cloves, cinnamon sticks, and other spices to create simmering potpourri. Simmer on low heat to release a warm, inviting scent.
Dry Air Fresheners: Dry the peels and place them in sachets or bowls around your home. Combine with lavender or eucalyptus for an extra aromatic boost.
Essential Oil Diffuser: Dry the peels, grind them into a powder, and add to your essential oil diffuser for a refreshing citrus aroma.

Orange Peels for Scent

Harness the natural oils in orange peels to create delightful scents:

DIY Perfume: Infuse vodka with dried orange peels for a homemade citrusy perfume.
Car Freshener: Place dried peels in a breathable bag and hang it in your car for a fresh, natural scent.

Cleaning with Vinegar: DIY All Natural Citrus Cleaner #MyMixx

Orange Peels for Cleaning

Loaded with natural oils and acids, orange peels are excellent for cleaning:

All-Purpose Cleaner: Infuse white vinegar with orange peels for two weeks. Strain and use the solution as a powerful all-purpose cleaner.
Degreaser: Rub fresh orange peels directly onto greasy surfaces, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Garbage Disposal Freshener: Toss a few peels into your garbage disposal and run it to eliminate odors.

gardening gloves and pots

Orange Peels in the Garden

Your garden will love the benefits of orange peels:

Pest Repellent: Scatter peels around your plants to deter ants and aphids.
Fertilizer: Orange peels can be composted to add valuable nutrients to your soil.
pH Balance: Citrus peels can help maintain the pH balance in your compost pile.

Orange Peels as Gift Ideas

Unique and thoughtful gifts made from orange peels can delight friends and family:

Candied Orange Peels: Dip them in chocolate for a sweet, gourmet treat.
DIY Bath Salts: Mix dried orange peel powder with Epsom salts and essential oils for a luxurious bath experience.
Homemade Candles: Use orange peel halves as natural candle holders for a rustic, aromatic gift.

orange peel soap and a plant sprig

Orange Peels for Skin Care

Nourish your skin with the natural benefits of orange peels:

Exfoliating Scrub: Mix ground orange peels with sugar and coconut oil for a refreshing body scrub.
Face Mask: Blend powdered orange peel with yogurt for a revitalizing face mask that brightens your complexion.

Make this orange peel soap.

Candied Orange Peels

A delightful treat, candied orange peels are easy to make and delicious:

Preparation: Boil the peels in water, then drain and repeat to remove bitterness.
Candying: Simmer the peels in a sugar syrup until translucent.
Finishing Touch: Roll in sugar and allow to dry. Enjoy as is or dip in chocolate for an extra indulgence.

Make mandarin orange marmalade.

a compost bin

Can You Compost Citrus?

Absolutely! Orange peels are compostable and can add valuable nutrients to your compost pile:

Tips for Composting Orange Peels

Chop them up: Smaller pieces break down faster.

Balanced Mix: Ensure a good mix of green and brown materials in your compost to help break down the peels efficiently.
Monitor pH Levels: Keep an eye on the acidity levels of your compost and balance with base materials if necessary.

dried orange peels

Additional Creative Uses for Orange Peels

Orange peels are more versatile than many people realize, with a multitude of creative applications beyond those already mentioned. Here are some unique and innovative ways to utilize these citrusy remnants:

Orange Peel Tea

Create a refreshing and aromatic tea using orange peels:

Simple Brew: Boil fresh or dried orange peels in water for a few minutes. Strain and enjoy a warm cup of citrus-infused tea.
Enhanced Flavors: Add spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, or ginger to the brew for a flavorful twist.

Artistic Crafts

Transform orange peels into beautiful decorations and art:

Orange Peel Roses: Dry segments of orange peels and roll them into charming rose shapes. Use them to embellish crafts or as unique table centerpieces.
Ornamental Strings: Cut peels into decorative shapes, dry them, and string them together to create festive garlands or ornaments for special occasions.

Natural Fire Starters

Utilize the natural oils in orange peels as fire starters:

Outdoor Camping: Dry the peels thoroughly and take them along on your camping trips as eco-friendly fire starters that burn well and smell amazing.
Home Fireplace: Toss dried peels into your fireplace to help kindle a fire while releasing a pleasant, citrus aroma.

adding orange zest to a bowl

Cooking Enhancements

Incorporate orange peels into your culinary adventures:

Zest for Baking: Use fresh orange zest in baked goods like muffins, cakes, and cookies to impart a bright citrus flavor.
Flavor Infused Oil: Steep dried orange peels in olive oil to create a fragrant, flavorful cooking oil perfect for drizzling over salads or bread.

Health and Wellness

There are so many uses for orange peels. You can take advantage of the health benefits of orange peels:

Immune-Boosting Tonic: Combine powdered orange peel with honey and warm water for a natural immune-boosting drink.
Digestive Aid: Chew on a small piece of orange peel or brew it into a tea to help alleviate digestive issues and freshen breath.

These additional creative uses underscore the remarkable potential locked within every orange peel, turning what is often discarded as waste into valuable, multifunctional resources.

Wondering what to do with orange peels? Keep reading to find out more about the many uses for orange peels. You'll never throw them away again.

Tips for Storing Orange Peels

To maximize the benefits and uses of orange peels, proper storage is essential. Here are some tips to help keep your orange peels fresh and ready for a variety of applications:

Drying: Spread orange peels on a baking sheet and place them in a warm, dry area or use a dehydrator. Ensure the peels are completely dry before storing to prevent mold growth.

Airtight Containers: Store dried orange peels in airtight glass jars or resealable plastic bags to maintain their freshness and aroma.

Freezing: For long-term storage, freeze fresh orange peels in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. Frozen peels retain their essential oils and can be used directly from the freezer.

Refrigeration: Store fresh orange peels in the refrigerator in a breathable bag or a loosely sealed container to keep them from drying out while retaining moisture for a short-term period.

Avoid Direct Sunlight: Keep stored peels away from direct sunlight, which can degrade their quality and potency over time.

Labeling: Clearly label the storage containers with the date and type of peels (fresh or dried) to keep track of their storage duration and usage.

By following these storage tips, you can ensure that your orange peels remain in optimal condition, ready to enhance everything from cleaning solutions to culinary dishes.


Orange peels are incredibly versatile and can be used in numerous ways to enhance your home, garden, and personal care routine. By trying these uses for orange peels, you’ll not only reduce waste but also discover new and exciting uses for something you might have otherwise thrown away. Interested in exploring more eco-friendly tips and tricks?

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