Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
April 29, 2024 ·  7 min read

7 Amazing Things You Could Do With Those Orange Peels Slated For the Trash Can

Why spend so much money purchasing products you could make at home yourself with something that’s supposed to be thrown away? Oranges are awesome fruits with amazing health benefits and a lot of people love to eat them in a variety of ways, subsequently tossing loads and loads of peels in the trash. Well, you don’t have to do that anymore! There are tons of incredible, natural, non-toxic and cost-effective household products you could make with your orange peels. And let’s not forget that your home and skin will be left with one of the sweetest natural fragrances in the world. Here are some interesting ideas to help you get started on your citrus-maximizing journey [1]:

Air freshener and fragrance

Zero waste natural home cleaner, orange peel infused vinegar for all purpose cleaning.
Credit: Shutterstock

Oranges are sweetly aromatic fruits and their peels hold a lot of this natural fragrance in oil form. There are lots of ways you could use them to keep the air fresh and sweet. One way is to allow the orange peels to dry completely before using them for this purpose. Add the dried flakes to your potpourri or spice bowl, along with other herbs of your choice. You could also mash them up into a powdery or flaky form and sprinkle some pinches at strategic points all over your home, even in your closet. If you are a fan of sweet-smelling essential oils, you could you can try a homemade orange oil to add to your diffuser. Orange goes perfectly well with lavender oil.

Boil your fresh orange peels in a water-filled pot and allow the zingy, citrusy flavor to waft all over your home.

Read More: Woman put cloves in oranges, house smells awesome

Sweet-smelling, long-lasting candles

Close perspective of a half sliced orange peel floating in water with a diy candle light
Credit: Shutterstock

Orange peels make the most beautiful, sweet-smelling and adorable candles ever, and the fact that they are made from something so simple makes these candles even more special. The peel should be cup-shaped and fresh. All you have to do is fill it with olive oil to a level just below the open surface, then light a fire in the center of the oil pool. You’ll have yourself a candle that will last for hours and fill the air with a wonderful, yummy scent.

Multipurpose cleaning agent

DIY cleaning spray, natural toxic free home cleaner, orange peel infused vinegar. Zero waste homemade citrus cleaner for all purpose cleaning. Eco friendly living concept. View through plant.
Credit: Shutterstock

Squeeze your orange peels. Do you notice the oil that oozes from the pores? That compound is not just there to make you sneeze.

Vinegar infused with orange oil makes a useful, powerful, all-purpose cleaning agent that can be used as an alternative to bleach. The combination is less toxic and you can confidently breathe in a natural citrus fragrance rather than those bleach fumes. 

The procedure is simple and easy, although it’ll usually take about a month for the cleaner to be fully ready with super grease-cutting power.

Take your time eating your oranges. Every time you have peels handy, put them in a big glass jar and pour in enough distilled white vinegar to cover the peels. Repeat these two steps every time you add more peels to the jar. When it’s full, seal the jar and let it sit undisturbed in a dark cupboard for a month. 

The peels would take time to soften and release it’s natural degreasing oils containing D-limonene, a powerful chemical with grease-cutting and disinfectant properties. When the mixture is ready, extract the peels and use your now-sweet-smelling vinegar to clean everything from tabletops, bathtubs, sinks, ovens, floors, windows, and stovetops.

Cooking zest

A zester zesting orange skin on a white plate on a wooden tabletop.
Credit: Shutterstock

Just like lemon and lime zest, orange zest is a wonderful flavoring ingredient in the kitchen. Cakes, bread, muffins – you could literally swap lemon zest with orange zest in any dish. All you have to do is grate the peel and sprinkle as required. If you feel the peel is too acidic to go into your edibles, you could try drying them out first and mashing them into a powdered form. This reduces the acidity and still maintains a lot of the flavor. Don’t have a citrus zester? No problem, there are ways around that

Read More: Does Eating Carrots Make You Tan?

Eco-friendly insect control

Flavored white vinegar with rosemary and orange zest in a clear spray bottle. Ecological detergent for cleaning the house. The concept of refusal to use harmful household chemicals.
Credit: Shutterstock

A lot of people don’t like to use chemical insecticides because they are not only toxic and harmful to the environment, but they also put the human respiratory system at great risk when inhaled. When the molecules from these sprays rest on the surface of furniture, they can cause severe irritation on the skin. 

Orange water is a natural and effective alternative to these products. Ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches, beetles, and weevils abhor the fragrance of oranges. It drives them nuts. Cut your peel into small pieces and drop them into a bottle filled with water. Allow the solution to sit for two hours and shake vigorously afterward. You can transfer the entire solution or just the solvent into a spray bottle. Those bugs won’t know what hit them. Oranges water is also safe to use on your house and garden plants. For more detailed instructions click here. If you don’t have any orange peels but are looking for power of orange to repel insects there are store-bought varieties. 

Make your own revitalizing orange zest body scrub

A beautiful tender woman put a natural cosmetic scrub to her shoulder and smiles
Credit: Shutterstock

Orange peels are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that prevent your skin from looking dull, dry or strained. Orange oil also works as a toner and a cleanser, removing dirt and dead cells from the surface of your skin [2]

Orange peels are best used in conjunction with other natural ingredients to reduce the effects of the acidity which may cause irritation. One of the most popular ideas is the orange peel sugar scrub, a gentle exfoliator made with orange peels, granulated sugar, honey and coconut oil [3]. Sugar is a natural humectant, which means that it draws moisture from the environment into the skin [4]. It also helps to scrub off dead skin cells without causing redness or irritation. Honey is a natural exfoliator filled with antioxidants that rejuvenate and revive the skin, maintaining its elasticity and youthfulness [5]. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer packed with anti-inflammatory properties [6]

Zest your orange peels into a jar and add some sugar, honey, and coconut oil directly into it. Mix thoroughly until a thick and well-balanced consistency is attained. Use the scrub to exfoliate your skin two or three times a week, right before you take a shower. You’ll be left feeling fresh, smooth, supple, and sweet-smelling all day long. 

 Wash off immediately if you notice any signs of irritation. Discontinue use if your skin is reacting negatively to it or getting inflamed. Some skin types may be too sensitive for citrus scrubs. 

Flavored salt

Orange peel powder in white bowl with orange slices on light grey background
Credit: Shutterstock

This is one of my favorite uses of orange peels. I literally don’t cook with salt if it’s not orange-flavored, and I make this at home myself. It leaves all your meals with a wonderful orange aroma that blends into every dish with a binding flavor. 

Cut your orange peels into small strips and dry them out. Mash the peels up into a finely powdered form and scoop a little quantity into your salt shaker. You’re going to love it, trust me!

With these seven wonderful ideas, you’ll never have to throw away your orange peels anymore. In fact, you’d actually find yourself buying and eating more oranges just to get the peels, staying healthier and happier all the same!

Read More: 15 Unusual Ways To Use Rosemary That Goes Way Beyond Cooking


  1. Admin. 7 ways to reuse orange peels. Green Redeem.—garden/7-ways-to-reuse-orange-peels-. Retrieved 03-07-19
  2. Healthmunsta. Orange Peels for Glowing Skin. Bellatory. Retrieved 03-07-19
  3. Strong, Debbie. 10 Brilliant Things You Can Do With Leftover Orange Peels. Woman’s World. Retrieved 03-07-19Hoyt, Emily. 3 Ways Sugar Is Good for Your Skin. Huff Post. Retrieved 03-07-19
  4. Contributor. 5 Natural Anti-Aging Secrets From Around The World. Huff Post. Retrieved 03-07-19
  5. Varma et al. In vitro anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil. Science Direct. Retrieved 03-07-19Ware, Megan. Health benefits of oranges. Medical News Today. Retrieved 03-07-19Admin. The many things that can be cleaned with D-limonene. Bell Chem. Retrieved 03-07-19
  6. Bernardes et al. Impact of Pesticides on Environmental and Human Health. Intech Open. Retrieved 03-07-19