WAIT! Stop! Don’t throw out that orange peel! Just because you can’t eat it doesn’t mean it needs to go in the trash right away. Composting is a great way to repurpose kitchen scraps, but there are tons of other things you can do with the inedible parts of your favorite fruits and vegetables. Here’s our list of the Top 10 ways to reuse produce peels:
1. Household cleaning
Citrus peels in particular are great for cutting through grime and grease. Boil orange rinds and use the water as a glass cleaner. Sprinkle salt on a greasy stovetop, rub with a juiced lemon half and watch the mess disappear when you wipe it up with a towel. Cook a bowl of lemon rinds in water in the microwave on high for 5 minutes and wipe down the inside to get rid of stuck-on splatter.
Rather than using harsh chemicals to polish your metals, try lemons instead. For chrome and stainless steel, rub with a squeezed lemon half, rinse, and dry with a soft cloth. Copper will look good as new when polished with a juiced lemon half dipped in salt, baking soda, or cream of tartar, then rinsed and dried after 5 minutes. You can use oranges and limes for this as well.
3. Healing splinters and warts
Did you know a banana peel can help remove splinters and cure warts? Tape a banana peel over the affected area. Enzymes in the peel will get a deep splinter out of your skin and heal the wound. Repeat for two weeks to heal warts naturally with the peel’s potassium.
4. Hair coloring
Watch those gray hairs get darker when you rinse your hair with potato peel water. Boil peels for a half hour, then strain and cool the water before pouring it on your post-shampoo hair (don’t try this if you’re trying to go blonde!).
5. Serving dishes
Cutting up some melons for a fruit salad? Instead of tossing the rind, scoop it out clean and use it as a serving bowl. Watermelons, cantaloupes and honeydews work really well for this. Winter squash halves can be used to serve soups in the fall, too!
6. Air fresheners
Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh citrus in their home? Boil or dehydrate orange and lemon peels for a burst of fresh, natural scent. Dropping a few in your dehumidifier is another great way to give your home a citrusy smell. Try dehydrating apple peels, pomegranate skins, and other fruit trimmings for a delicious-smelling homemade potpourri.
7. Skin care
You can use fruit rinds to get clearer, younger-looking skin! Chopped lemon peel mixed with sugar and olive oil makes an excellent exfoliating scrub, as does the inside of a peach skin with a little sugar. Use orange or lemon rinds as a skin tonic by rubbing them on your face, then rinsing after a few minutes. A small piece of lemon peel left on an age spot for an hour can help to lighten its appearance.
8. Shoe shining
Rubbing the slippery side of a banana peel on your shoes works as a natural polish to keep them clean and shiny!
9. Softening brown sugar
A lemon or orange peel can be cut up and added to a bag of brown sugar to soften it when it becomes hard and grainy.
10. Seedling pots
If you’re starting seedlings for your garden, plant them in a scooped-out avocado shell for a biodegradable “pot.”
What’s your favorite way to reuse fruit and veggie skins?
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