Skin in the Game – 10 Amazing Uses for Orange Peel

There is a gloriously simple decadence that comes with peeling an orange. The gentle sound of the rind releasing its carefully guarded treasure, the sharp burst of citrusy aroma and the luscious colours of the revealed flesh make it a festival for the senses.

If MacGyver could choose one fruit to take with him to a desert island, I guarantee you it would be an orange. And not just for the delectable flavour and incredible health benefits. While often forgotten in our haste to pamper our palettes with sweet, zesty goodness, the humble orange peel has enough practical uses to get him through an entire season of hair-raising, nail-biting adventures.

This unheralded marvel of nature can contribute to our lives in an astonishing number of ways. We’ve narrowed it down to the ten we think really shine. Some may be familiar; others may surprise and delight you. Whatever the case, we promise you’ll never look at a piece of orange rind the same way. Let’s take a look, shall we?

  1. Awesome Orange Deodoriser

The powerful oils in the skin of an orange are an incredibly effective deodoriser. No need to fork out for expensive, chemical-laden products. You can utilise your orange peels au naturale to purge the pong in a huge number of ways, including:

  • Stinky Shoes: Dry out a handful of peels and secure them in a small sachet or breathable pouch. Pop the pouch in your shoes to neutralise the unpleasant whiff.
  • Garbage Disposal: There’s nothing worse than a foul smell emanating from your Insinkerator. Throw a bunch of used peels down there and fire that sucker up until the peels are completely pulverised. Run some water through, and you’re done!
  • Refrigerator: Cut an orange in half and remove the fruit. Eat the fruit. Fill the peel with salt and place it in the back of your fridge. It will keep things smelling delightful for at least a week or two.
  1. Oral Hygiene Goes Orange

The combination of orange oil and the soft, pulpy rind make an amazing combination that can help to keep your smile bright. Rubbing the inside of the skin over your teeth and gums as part of a thorough routine of oral hygiene can help to whiten your teeth, reduce sensitivity and freshen your breath.

  1. Our Non-Patented Orange Hangover Cure

This one is our favourite. (hey, we’re Aussies, after all…). If “one more and that’s it” turned into a bender that’s left you trying desperately to remember the license plate of the road train that ran you over, then help is at hand! If you can find the kitchen, boil up some orange peel and salt in water for about twenty minutes. Let it cool, get within running distance of the latrines, and neck the life-giving elixir. If you can keep it down, you will be amazed at how quickly you will feel human and start recalling all the deathly embarrassing things you said and did the previous night while under the influence.

  1. Bath Powder with an Orange Twist

From self-destruction, we move to self-care. Take your pamper game to the next level by adding a citrusy sensation to your tub.

Dry out some peels, then pulverise them in a blender to a fine powder. Sprinkle a little in your bath, or mix some in with Epsom salts and you’ve got yourself an invigorating way to spoil yourself once you’ve recovered from that hangover…

For an extra credit alternative, you can also whip up your own orange essential oil (see below) and add a few drops to the bath for a perfectly dreamy experience.

  1. Orange Lip Balm – Pucker Up, Buttercup!

This one is also pretty genius, incredibly useful and deceptively simple. For moist, kissable lips, make up some orange peel powder (see above). Then, combine equal parts almond oil and sugar, sprinkle in the desired amount of powder and let the mixture set. Once it’s firm, apply to your lips and pucker up!

  1. Make Your Own Orange Essential Oil

Orange essential oil has a ton of amazing uses. Aside from the spectacular fragrance, it’s widely used to increase alertness and concentration, boost mood, reduce stress and even soothe skin ailments. If you’ve ever purchased essential oil, you’ll know how obscenely expensive it can be. That’s why you’ll be delighted to know how quick and easy it is to make yourself. You can thank us later:

i. Peel the zest of an orange with a knife. Don’t stress if you get some of the pith but try to minimise it if you can.

ii. Chop up the peel and steep it in vodka or alcohol for about a week, shaking gently a few times each day.

iii. Strain the peel from the liquid and squeeze it to remove as much of the alcohol and extracted oils as possible.

iv. For a more concentrated brew, let the mixture sit uncovered for a couple of days to allow some of the alcohol to evaporate off.

v. Cover and add a few drops to your bath, essential oil burner, or dab behind your ear for an invigorating boost. Heavenly!

  1. Make Your Own Citrus Cleaner

Yet another budget saver! Surface cleaners are expensive and a disaster for our environment. Why spend a small fortune on harsh chemicals, when you can make an incredibly effective, ecologically friendly cleaner at home for pennies? Interested? We thought you would be! Cue the drum roll ‘cause we’re about to change your world:

Save up a bunch of orange peels (add lemon or other citrus variety if you like)

i. Place the peels in a clean glass jar until they reach the top

ii. Fill the jar with white vinegar, and let it sit for 2 weeks.

iii. When ready, strain the liquid and discard the peels thoughtfully.

iv. Mix in water to the vinegar with a ratio of 2:1.

v. Fill a pump spray and unleash your cleaning A-Game!

The combination of citrus oils and vinegar will cut through grease, lime, mould, soap scum and other nasties while making everything smell delectable.

  1. Orange Peel Wood Polisher

Oh, orange peel! Is there anything you can’t do? Who would have thought that all you need to add a lustrous gleam to your wooden furniture was our multi-talented friend? The oils in the peel are perfect for infusing new life into wood, while the soft pith is the gentlest of sponges. It’s a match made in heaven and a generous rub with a slice of peel, followed by a wipe with a slightly damp cloth will have your furniture looking spectacular

  1. Orange Clarity Tea

Looking for a zesty, spicy, caffeine-free lift on a cold day? To create your own gourmet orange infusion tea, boil dried orange peel with some star anise, cloves and a stick of cinnamon. Let it infuse for a few minutes, add your favourite sweetener (we recommend agave or a splash of maple syrup) and enjoy!

  1. Romantic Orange Peel Candle

For an organic touch, cut an orange in half and gently remove the fruit, being careful to leave to soft pith stem in the middle intact, as this will serve as your wick. Fill your peel with oil (olive oil works best and delivers a superb aroma), leaving about half a centimetre of stem protruding. Then, simply light the wick and you’ll have a stunning, fragrant candle that will burn for hours.
Pro Tip: Allow the peel to dry somewhat before using, as this will make it easier to light the stem-wick.

Amazing, huh? This is just a fraction of what you can do with Mother Nature’s most versatile form of packaging. We’re pretty sure that you’ll never look at orange peel the same way.

While we’ve focused on oranges, all citrus peels have similar qualities. Feel free to substitute lemons, blood oranges, mandarins, tangelos, or whichever flavour you favour.

Further reading

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