Just over two months ago we took part in The Rubbish Diet Challenge and we nearly hit our target. Just because the challenge is over with The Rubbish Diet team doesn’t not mean the challenge is over in our house. One of the things that I have been looking at is not only what we can stop putting in our rubbish bin but also our compost. I mean surely there are some things we put into our compost without thinking about that we can use for other things.
One of the first things I thought about was orange peel, we eat a lot of oranges in our house. They are my children’s favourite fruit in their packed lunch boxes and I must admit they are my favourite fruit to eat while I am sat at my desk doing paper work. We all know oranges are good for us and we know their peel is biodegradable which means it can be added to our composts. If I don’t have any lemon peel I will add orange peel to my white vinegar to give it a nice citrus smell. I then use this vinegar to clean my bathroom and toilet. There must be other uses for our orange peel, before I send it to our compost.
Before researching other uses of orange peel I had no idea how versatile this simple fruit skin can be. In fact I am rather ashamed that we have just been chucking our peel when there are some wonderful ways we can use orange peel.
- Body Scrub – You need a glass jar, ½ cup of granulated sugar, 4 tbs of almond oil, 1 tbs olive oil and the zest of 1 orange. First zest your orange and then add the sugar and zest into your glass jar. Mix the orange zest and sugar together really well. Secondly add the oils to the mixture bit at a time, stirring while you add the almond and olive oil. Fourthly seal your jar and make a pretty label so you know what is in the jar, enjoy or give as a fantastic gift.
- Bath Powder – Leave your orange peels to dry on a plate on your kitchen window sill. Once dry grind your peelings into a powder, The best way to do this is by using your kitchen blender. Use as you would any store-bought bath powder!
- Bath Oil – Lives Strong has a fantastic method on making your own orange oil. This orange oil is great for improving skin tone and texture. Just add a few drops to your bath water and lay back and enjoy.
- Wood Polish – The oils inside orange peel are great for bringing back the shine of your wooden furniture. Which is great as the furniture polish you buy in the shops is full of chemicals and toxins which are not good for your skin and the air in your home. Simply take your fresh orange peel and rub over your woodwork to give them a polish shine.
- Homemade Scrubbing Sponge – The flesh inside of a fresh peeled orange is fantastic for scrubbing down your kitchen units, floors and great for shifting stuck on food to saucepans.
- Deodorizer – Citrus scent is a great deodorizer especially for your rubbish bin. Just place a hand full of orange peels into the bottom of your rubbish bin and no more horrible odours coming from your bin. (Just change your orange peel every few days to keep the odour away)
- Refrigerator Deodorizer- Cut orange in half and remove the soft fruit and fill the orange-half with salt. Put in a small bowl and keep it in the fridge.
- Citrus Cleaner – I use this to clean my bathroom, I usually use lemon peel but oranges peel works just as well. Fill an old glass jar with strips of orange peel and then pour white vinegar over the top. Place in the fridge for 2 weeks then strain the vinegar out of the jam jar into a spray bottle, I use an old vinegar bottle and a recycled spray top. Then top your jam jar back up with the same orange peel and fill with fresh vinegar and place into the fridge. Use your cleaner as you would your shop bought all purpose cleaner.
- Orange Peel Candle – Make a candle using an orange peel with this orange peel candle tutorial.
- Orange Tea – Dry your orange peels on a plate on your kitchen window and then add a few pieces to your cup of tea the next time you make a brew. The orange infuses your tea with a lovely citrus refreshing flavour.
- Preserve Brown Sugar – Add some fresh orange peel, making sure that you have removed all the orange flesh from your orange peel to brown sugar. This will help draw all the moisture from the sugar and keep it from solidifying.
- Start a Fire (Camping) –. Dried orange peel makes great kindling for your next campfire. I have not tried this but I will be the next time we go camping and want to toast some marshmallows.
- Bird Feeder – Cut an orange in half and remove the fruit, take half of the orange and create 3 evenly spaced holes near the cut section of the peel. Thread sturdy string through each of the holes, tie a knot at the top to hold all your strings together, hang it from a tree and fill it with bird seed.
- Slug Repellent – Slugs can be a major problem in your garden when you are growing your own vegetables. The last thing you want to do is go and buy some slug repellent which is full of nasty chemicals that are not good for your garden and are also extremely harmful to children. Instead spread some orange peels on top of your garden soil around the plants you want to protect and the slugs will stay away.
These are just a few of a huge collection of different ways I have found you can reuse orange peel before it ends up in your compost bin.
How do you use your orange peel?