That’s when I did some research and found out orange peels are very useful. I posted about 10 Easy Ways to Use Orange Peels (you can read the post here) and I started to put those orange peels to good reuse. Since that post I experimented, researched, and found 10 more easy ways to reuse orange peels.
If I don’t have enough orange peels for a project, I either store orange peels in a container the freeze or let the orange peels dry on a tray for a few days (no oven or dehydrator needed!) and store them in a jar in my pantry until I have the amount I need.
1. Make Orange Essential Oil Extract. Instead of buying orange essential oil to use in projects, I make my own. Technically, my tutorial is for making an orange oil tincture or extract which is a little less potent than a pure essential oil. I use it for the same purpose I just need to use a little more of the homemade verses the commercially made.
2. For baking and tea. Make orange sugar by putting clean orange peels in a jar of sugar and allow it to sit for one to two weeks. Remove the peels and use orange flavored sugar in baking or tea. Yum!
3. Add a kick to your olive oil. Steep orange peels and cranberries in a closed bottle or container for a few hours. Then strain the fruit and peels from the olive oil and use the flavored oil to add a kick to your cooking. It is best to do this in small batches because it will spoil quickly. According to CNN, “Flavored oils made and used within about eight hours are safe and good for you. Or you can make a flavored oil, keep it refrigerated, and use or discard it within 10 days.”
4. Keep potatoes from turning purple or brown. Soak blanched and sliced potatoes in a bowl of water and orange peels for a few minutes before putting the potatoes in the dehydrator. The vitamin C in the orange peels allows the potato keeps the potatoes from turning unappetizing colors while dehydrating.
5. Enjoy an
Soak orange rinds (try not to include the bitter white part of the orange peel)
in a covered container of brandy for three to four weeks in a dark cupboard. Strain
the orange peels from the brandy and enjoy responsibly. The alcohol in the
brandy acts as a preservative (unlike the flavored olive oil.)
6. Make an orange spice rub to use on meat or fish.
7. Make a spray disinfecting cleaner that cuts through dirt like buttah. Steep orange peels in vinegar for 3 weeks. Strain the orange peels from the vinegar and pour the mixture in to a spray bottle. The natural oils in orange peel are an excellent cleaner that cuts through dirt and grease while the vinegar disinfects (and acts as a preservative for the orange oil in the cleaner.) Tip: do not use this cleaner on natural stone or granite because the acid in the vinegar can mar the natural surface of stone or in the case of marble make it fizz away.
8. Clear the air a musty drawer or closet. Wrap dried orange peels in a piece of cheesecloth and put them in a closed musty drawer, cupboard, or closet. The peels will remove the smell over time.
9. As a blemish fighting face mask. Soak an orange peel in milk for an hour before scrubbing your face with an orange peel (you may need to rough up the peel with your fingers to release some of the orange oil first.) Allow the mask to sit on your skin for 15 to 30 minutes and rinse the mixture from your face with only water to reduce pimples and dark spots. The fat in the milk acts as moisturizer and keeps the citric acid that fights the blemishes in the orange peels from drying your skin. The citric acid will make your skin photosensitive during the day. You may want to do this at night to avoid potential sunburn during the day.
10. Orange peel candles. Carefully scoop out the orange pulp, fill the peel with olive oil and light the pulp wick to make a small tea light (get the tutorial over at ApartmentTherapy .) It might be best to use these candles outside since orange peels make good firestarters.