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Do you throw your orange peels in the garbage? You probably do, like most people do, but did you know they can be quite useful? Here are several ideas of how to use them both in your home and garden.
- Dry the orange peels for use in homemade potpourri or teas.
- Simmer orange peels in water with spices to humidify and freshen the air in your house.
- Zest the oranges and freeze small portions for later use in recipes. (My favorite way to use orange zest is in sugar cookies!)
- Cut or grate the peels and add them to your garden to deter insects, cats, and dogs that disturb your plants. Some people mix them with coffee grounds for this purpose.
- Add the peels to your compost for a boost of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. (You may not want put citrus peels into your compost if you are vermicomposting. Although the peels won’t hurt the worms, many worms simply won’t eat them.)
- Dry orange peels and grind them into a powder you can strew around your patio to help deter mosquitoes. You can also rub your skin with the peels for a natural insect repellent.
- Use a hollowed out orange half for a mini bird feeder. Or squeeze the last juices from the orange into a shallow bowl for butterflies to feed on. You can even put out the peels themselves, as the bright orange color attracts these beneficial insects.
- Put orange peels in a jar with white vinegar and let them steep. You will have a lovely orange-scented cleaning solution that is safe and inexpensive. It is good for cleaning greasy surfaces and it smells so much better than those strong commercial cleaning products!