(Original story was published on Thursday September 10, 2015, on HGTV.ca.)
Hold up! Don’t toss away that citrus peel just yet. Turns out those scraps from oranges, lemons and limes prove useful all around the home, from being an effective cleaning product, to a great way to give yourself a natural beauty boost.
1. Make Zest
Use a fine grater (or zester) and grate the citrus peel to create zest that can be added to all sorts of sweet or savoury dishes.
2. Infuse Tea with Citrus
Give your tea a refreshing boost by adding citrus peels to your cup.
3. Make Candied Citrus Peels
Transform your peels into a sweet treat by candying them simply with sugar and water. Try Epicurious’ recipe.
4. Make Lemon Olive Oil
Add a citrus twist to plain olive oil by mixing 2 tablespoons of finely grated lemon zest to one cup of extra virgin olive oil, let sit for two weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain the oil to remove the zest, and you’re left with lightly lemon-infused oil.
5. Make Citrus Liqueur
DIY your own liqueurs by infusing citrus peels with alcohol and adding a touch of syrup. Check out NY Times to get inspired to try to make your own.
6. Make Citrus Olive Oil
Make homemade extracts with the peel of a lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit. Learn how from the blog Just Putzing.
7. DIY Vitamin C Powder
Whip up homemade vitamin C powder simply by grinding various dried citrus peels. Learn how to DIY your own at College Green Mag.
8. Make Citrus Pepper Seasoning
Use lemon zest to make lemon pepper seasoning, for a great way to boost up the flavour in a dish. Try Simply Scratch’s recipe.
9. DIY Citrusy Potpourri
Make homemade potpourri with dried citrus peels, herbs, spices and flowers. Check out From Nature With Love for a great recipe.
10. DIY Citrus Vinegar Natural House Cleaner
Vinegar is a fantastic natural cleaner, but the smell seems to deter some from using it. Infuse citrus peels in it to offer a fresh aroma and mask the pungent smell. Learn how to make your own at The Yummy Life.
11. Polish Surfaces
Bring back the shine or chrome and stainless steel by scrubbing it with a lemon and a dash of sea salt.
12. Remove Stains in Coffee Cups
Easily scrub away coffee stains inside a mug by filing a cup with warm water and a lemon peel, letting it sit for an hour, then washing clean.
13. Clean Microwave
Clean your microwave by filling a microwave-safe bowl halfway with water, adding lemon peels, and start the microwave on full power for a few minutes. You’ll be able to easily wipe away leftover stains with a cloth.
14. Freshen Garbage Disposal
Deodorize your garbage disposal and keep it smelling fresh by tossing in a few citrus peels.
15. Freshen Trash Can
Kill bad odors in your trash can by tossing in some citrus peels.
16. Brighten Skin
For a natural way to brighten skin, make a lemon-infused peel scrub. For a standout recipe, try Beauty Banter.
17. Lighten Nails
Whiten up your nails by rubbing them with a lemon peel.
18. Make a Home Aroma
Add a beautiful aroma to your home by simmering citrus peels with herbs and spices (like cinnamon and cloves!) with water.
19. Deter Cats
Protect your garden from cats using it as a litter box by adding orange peels to your around your plants. Sprinkle orange peels around your plants and in your garden to stop cats from “doing their business” in unwanted areas.
20. Deter Ants
Have any tiny crevices by windows, cracks or door frames? Add some lemon peels to deter the creatures from entering.