Citrus fruit has many uses in our daily lives, from making refreshing lemonade to squeezing some juice into a chocolate cake.
But did you know that their rinds are just as useful as their juice? Lime, lemon, orange, and grapefruit rinds have a fantastic fragrance and pest-repellent, antibacterial, and savory properties that go to waste if you throw the peels out.
Let’s look into some fun and brilliant uses of citrus rinds!
1. Add Them To Your Compost
The first thing a gardener will do when it comes to citrus peels is throw them in the compost, just like this reddit user.
A popular gardening myth that has been around for years is that you shouldn’t compost these rinds. However, they break down easily, don’t have negative effects on the soil, and their smell may keep scavengers away.
The only instance where you shouldn’t use them is in your worm compost bin since these critters don’t like eating them.
2. Use Them To Add Acidity To Your Soil
I love using orange peel in my garden as they can improve soil acidity, repel pests, and improve fertility. If you don’t have orange rind, any citrus works well.
Dehydrate the peels, grind them in a food processor, and add them to the top of the soil, where they’ll act as mulch and leach some of their acidity during watering.
3. Freeze Them For Later
A little bit of lemon zest goes a long way in the kitchen, whether you’re baking cakes or cooking chicken curry.
I know there’s always been a time when you simply cannot find a way to use those rinds, but you can just pop them in the freezer.
They’ll stay fresh for up to three months and you’ll be able to use the zest whenever the recipe calls for it, even if you don’t have any lemons at hand.
And the best part is that you don’t have to thaw the peels; simply take them out and add them directly to your dishes!
4. Use Citrus Rind To Make A Compound Butter
Making a compound butter will elevate your cooking skills to another level, and your guests will wonder what your secret is!
The best part about it is that it isn’t that complicated. All you need is softened butter, herbs of your own choice, garlic, salt and pepper, and lemon zest.
If you want a more lemony flavor, you can add some lemon juice as well.
Another recipe combines habaneros, garlic, and lime zest, or you can go with 1 tablespoon of orange zest and 2 tablespoons of honey.
You can even interchange these ingredients based on your own taste or until you find the perfect combination.
Here are some more ideas:
5. Infuse Olive Oil
Another way to enhance the taste of your meals is by infusing olive oil with a citrusy flavor.
Add the oil to a saucepan, add orange and lemon peels, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Once the olive oil cools down, remove the peels and transfer it to a sterilized container.
Here’s the recipe I love:
6. Make Candied Citrus Peel
Candied citrus rinds are a guilt-free snack for the whole family.
Here’s how to make them:
You can store this candy in your fridge for about a month, but they get eaten pretty quickly in my experience!
7. They Prevent Brown Sugar From Clumping
One thing I dislike about brown sugar is its clumping habit, but citrus peels were the end of my struggles.
Simply pop some orange rind where you keep your brown sugar, and it’ll keep it fresh and moist.
8. Use Them For Potpourri
I frequently go through stages of making all sorts of flower arrangements and projects, and potpourri is just one issue on the agenda.
It is an excellent organic air freshener, and all you need are dried citrus rinds and some aromatics.
The first step is to gather and dry the peels.
Then add the spices and decorations, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, pinecones, dried flowers, and a drop or two of your favorite essential oil for a stronger fragrance.
Place everything in a jar, shake it, and either give it to a friend or find a place for it in your own home.
Pro tip: The fragrance gets more intense the longer the potpourri stays closed in a jar.
9. Clean Your Counters
Just like this reddit user said, citrus rinds soaked in vinegar makes a good all-purpose cleaner you can use for your counters.
They have antibacterial properties and a fresh smell that significantly masks the vinegar odor.
All you need to do is add lemon or orange peels to vinegar and leave it for 1-3 weeks, and you’ll have a homemade cleaner.
10. And Microwaves
If you want a quick and easy way to clean your microwave, just use citrus peels!
Add them to a bowl, fill it with water, and heat it on high for a minute. You can cook it for up to 2-3 minutes, depending on how stubborn the stains are.
Just wipe the melted stains with a clean microfiber cloth, and your microwave will be as good as new.
11. Or Use Them To Remove Stains
Removing stains has never been easier and cheaper. Instead of throwing the citrus rinds away, you can put some salt on them and wipe the stains from your favorite cups and mugs.
They even remove grime build-up in kettles. Place some citrus slices in your kettle, fill it with water, let it boil, and leave the solution for an hour. Remove everything and rinse it well afterward.
You can also use citrus peels in combination with ice, salt, and water to clean coffee pots. Mix everything inside, pour it out, and rinse the pot.
Rubbing some citrus peels on your stainless steel will remove soap residue.
12. They’re Great At Neutralizing Odors
The strong citrusy smell can battle foul odors whether you use lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit.
You can grind the rinds and place them in the bottom of your trash bags for a fresher smell.
If you want to eliminate odors from your fridge, cut any citrus in half (although oranges and grapefruits work better due to their size), scoop out the flesh, fill the citrus bowl with salt, and place it in your refrigerator for a pleasant scent.
13. Citrus Rinds Are Excellent Garbage Disposal Fresheners
A smelly garbage disposal isn’t something you want in your home, which is why we buy air fresheners.
But did you know you can make your own with citrus peel?
Add any citrus rinds you have to an ice-cube tray, cover them in vinegar, and freeze them. The vinegar will kill the stinky bacteria while the peels freshen up your kitchen.
Citrus rinds also have antibacterial properties, so you can just freeze them with water if you cannot handle the vinegar smell.
14. And Pest Deterrents
Many insects cannot handle the citrus scent, which is why they make excellent pest-repellent.
One way to use them is to grate the zest and scatter it around your plants, windowsills, and doorways.
You can also make a citrus spray as a method of pest control during flowering.
Add the zest of one citrus peel to a pint of boiling water and leave it overnight. Strain it the next day, pour it into a sprayer, and mist the bugs away.
How do you use citrus peels? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
I hope you found this article helpful.
Until next time!