Unique Ways to Use Orange Peels

Many people eat an orange everyday, and the peels are usually thrown away. To some the peels are considered nothing more than trash, but they really are very useful and worth saving. Orange peels can be used for a number of unique and practical purposes in and around the home, and the following ways will show you how. You’ll never throw away orange peels again!

Make Natural Oil

Did you know you can make orange oil instead of buying it? This is a fantastic way to use the peels, especially if you prefer to use natural cleaning products instead of expensive store-bought varieties. Homemade citrus oil is a strong solvent, and all you need is a �¼ cup for every gallon of warm water. It is highly flammable in its purest form, and gloves should be worn because it is highly acidic.

To make orange oil all you need are ground dried peels, vodka, a clean glass jar with a lid, a coffee filter, and a large shallow bowl. You will also need a clean jar with a lid to store the oil.

Begin by filling the jar halfway with dried ground peels, and cover them with vodka. Place a lid on the jar, and shake it to combine the mixture. Allow the peels to marinate in the alcohol for at least three or four days, shaking the mixture each day. The oil in the ground orange peels will be extracted into the vodka.

After the peels have soaked in the vodka for at least three days, strain out the ground peels through a coffee filter. Pour the filtered liquid into a large shallow bowl, and leave it uncovered. Over a period of several days, the alcohol will evaporate and leave behind natural orange oil.

Soften Hard Brown Sugar

Bread isn’t the only food that will soften hard brown sugar. When you discover hard brown sugar, toss in a large orange peel, and seal the container overnight. The next morning the brown sugar will be as soft as the day it was purchased, and it will have a light citrus scent.

Natural Sink Scrubbers

For a nonabrasive natural sink scrubber, try a large section of orange peel. Use the interior side of the peel to remove grease and kitchen grime. The natural oils in the peels will clean and shine the sink, and the kitchen will have a pleasant citrus scent.

Freshen Your Disposal

Store-bought garbage disposal cleaners aren’t necessary to keep a disposal smelling fresh and clean. After cleaning the sink and surrounding area with a large section of orange peel, grind it in the disposal. Grinding an orange peel once a week will keep the disposal smelling fresh and clean.

Fire Starters

Orange oil is highly flammable, and dried orange peels make fantastic fire starters. Instead of buying expensive fire starters for indoor or outdoor use, dry orange peels on paper towels or in a dehydrator. Place the dried skins beneath pieces of kindling before lighting. You won’t have any problems starting a fire and keeping it going when using dried orange peels.

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