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7 Reasons to Start Collecting Leftover Orange Peels

More than 80% of the world’s orange production is used to make orange juice. Most of the time when eating an orange, all the attention goes to the juice-filled flesh, and we often end up throwing the peels away. But those peels can have several uses, so perhaps we should think twice before trashing them.

We at Bright Side believe in sustainability and finding purpose for things we initially don’t think we needed, so here are 7 uses for your leftover orange peels.

1. They can whiten your teeth.

When we think about what it means to have a great smile, our first thought is usually “white.” Orange peels contain a natural compound called citric acid that is frequently added to whitening toothpaste, and it can help to make your teeth pearly white.

2. Make a natural household cleaner.

Making your own orange peel cleaner is an easy way to reduce waste and save money at the same time. You can use it to clean windows, stovetops, plates, etc. Regular vinegar naturally contains acetic acid that works to dissolve those nasty stains, and the limonene from the orange peels acts as a solvent.

How to make it:

  • Pour some vinegar into a bottle.
  • Add the orange peels.
  • Keep it in the fridge for a few weeks and shake it from time to time.
  • When it’s done, put it in a spray bottle to easily use it on different surfaces.

3. Turn them into candles.

If you’re into citrus scents, a great way to make your place smell amazing is to use those leftover orange peels and turn them into a cute little candle.

How to do it:

  • Cut the orange in half and remove/eat its contents, but leave the stem in place.
  • Fill the empty orange with your preferred cooking oil.
  • Use the stem as a normal wick.

4. Grate them into zest.

If you want to add that distinct orange flavor to a recipe and have some spare orange peels, a nice way to do it is by grating them into zest. Besides adding a nice punch of flavor, it also contains a ton of nutrients and health benefits.

5. Use them as a bug repellent.

Another useful tip to make use of your leftover peels is to make a bug repellent. The compound, limonene, is commonly used in products to repel insects.

How to make it:

  • Dry out some orange peels.
  • Fill a spray bottle with water.
  • Add the dried orange peels to it.
  • Spray it whenever you need to!

6. Make an orange peel sugar scrub.

Making your own scrub gives you the ability to customize it exactly how you want, and it can even save you some money. Exfoliating the skin can have a lot of benefits, but be careful to not overdo it — a few times a week is more than enough.

How to make it:

  • In a bowl, mix sugar and orange peels.
  • Pour in your favorite oil (like jojoba, coconut, argan, etc.) and stir.
  • Apply that mixture to your skin to gently exfoliate.

7. Use them as shoe deodorant.

It’s clear that nobody enjoys the smell of stinky feet, even though it’s normal and very common. Another great use for your spare orange peels is to place them in each shoe overnight and enjoy the fresh citrus scent in the morning while putting your shoes on.

Have you ever tried any of these tricks? Do you use orange peels for anything else?

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Please note: This article was updated in August 2021 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit kinoko_noyama / Reddit
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