Fresh oranges – a staple in fruit bowls nationwide. But they aren’t just a juicy dose of vitamin C wrapped up in handily compostable packaging. Saving the orange peel is a savvy frugal move, as it has countless uses around the house beyond cookery. Here’s a clutch of ideas to help you reuse orange peels…
1. Reuse orange peels to make your own firelighters
Dry strips of orange peel in the airing cupboard or similar for DIY eco-friendly firelighters.
Orange peel is naturally flammable, due to the concentration of oil in the dried peel and makes ideal kindling. An extra tip: wrap a few tufts of dryer lint around your orange peel firelighters to get your BBQs and bonfires going even faster.
2. Reuse orange peels to brew a multipurpose cleaner
Infuse fresh orange peel in a big jar filled with ‘cheap as chips’ distilled white vinegar for your very own batch of non-toxic all-purpose cleaner.
No need to eat dozens of oranges in one go! Simply keep a large jar handy and add the washed peel as you go, making sure to pour in enough vinegar to cover the peel each time you add more. Once the jar is full of your orange peel and vinegar infusion, screw the lid on tightly and place in a dark cupboard for a month.
When ready, strain out the peel and compost. The remaining infused vinegar has super degreasing power from the orange oil and is incredibly useful, especially on ovens and hobs – see why we love it so much!
3. Make your own garden-friendly ant spray
Chop up a batch of orange peel and add to a spray bottle filled with water. Shake well and leave to infuse for an hour or two, then spray wherever you want to deter the passage of ants. They loathe orange
4. Reuse orange peels to fragrance your home
Dried orange peel ‘curls’ will refresh old pot pourri, or chuck a few into the bottom of the bin to keep musty smells at bay.
Need a more radical solution? Simmer a pot of orange peel and water on the stove and enjoy a fresh zingy scent around the house. Love spices? Why not add a couple of cinnamon sticks and a few cloves to the water as well?
If you’re into fragrance burners, it’s also possible to make your own orange essential oil from orange peel. The method’s a little time consuming, but fun if you have the inclination. Great homemade gift for Christmas, too!
5. Banish dull skin
Pep up tired circulation with a dash of this homemade orange zest body scrub – costs pennies, zero nasties and all goodness for your skin.
6. Feed the birds
Help out a few feathered friends as the winter draws in by hanging out a clever orange peel bird feeder or two.
Cut a large orange in half and remove the pulp with a spoon. Don’t worry if it splits slightly, you can still use it. Carefully poke two holes opposite each other at the cut end of the orange peel half and leave in the airing cupboard or similar to dry. Once dried, thread strong twine through the holes, fill with seed and hang outside!
7. Make a candle
Whoever thought of making tea lights from orange peel and a little ordinary olive oil was a genius! It’s so easy and effective too, with a natty built-in ‘shade’ to boot… check out the tutorialand prepare to be amazed!