12 Ways to Use Up Leftover Citrus Peels

STOP. Don’t toss that citrus peel! You can use every part of your fruit in ways you’ve never even thought of, like:

1. Use the zest to flavor your foods.

Cooking dinner shouldn't be complicated

Cooking is how you acquired the leftover peels and it is how you will soon get rid of them. Sure, you can use them to make delicious cookies or pies—but so many savory recipes also call for lemon or orange zest. Take this Lobster Roll Pizza, for example. Or this Roasted Broccolini. Or this Balsamic Salmon. The possibilities are endless.

Find more information about how to zest citrus here and here.

2. Keep your brown sugar soft.

There is a super easy way to soften brown sugar, but you’ll never have to use it if your sugar doesn’t harden in the first place. Apparently, sticking an orange peel in the bag will keep it nice and moist. Who knew?

3. Make lemon sugar.

What’s better than plain ol’ granulated sugar? LEMON sugar. All you have to do is pulse your chopped zest in a food processor with some white sugar until it’s finely ground. Let it dry, then enjoy it in any summer treat.

4. Infuse your tea…

You’ve likely added a lemon wedge or two to a cup of tea before. But if you want a milder flavor, try using just the peel next time.

5. …or your olive oil…

Lemon-infused olive oil is one of the most refreshing things on the planet. Just imagine dipping a piece of bread in it and try not to smile. Don’t even get me started on the salad dressing possibilities.

6. …or even your liquor.

Hey, why not?

7. Remove stains.

You probably know about the stain-fighting powers of lemon juice, but did you know that the remaining pulp in the peel will also get rid of unsightly spots on clothing? Well now you do.

8. Deodorize smelly areas.

A citrus peel at the bottom of your trash can will do wonders for your nose. Smelly garbage disposal? Just throw a lemon peel in there with some ice, run the disposal, and breathe easy again.

9. Make your house smell like amazing.

Potpourri, anyone? Dry out strips of an orange peel, and combine them with dehydrated cinnamon sticks or flower petals for a delicious-smelling mix.

10. Repel pests.

Apparently lemon peels repel mosquitos. And roaches. And ants. And cats? Do with that information what you will.

11. Give your skin a gorgeous glow.

Rub your face with the inside of a peel for a beautiful, bright complexion and sweet-smelling skin.

12. Clean your coffee pot.

Get rid of those brown stains once and for all with lemon peels. Just fill your pot up with water, add a few lemon peels, ice, and a sprinkle of salt, and swirl the concoction around until your carafe is clear again.

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