Why You Should Never Throw Away Orange Peels

They're true multitaskers.
Francesco Carta fotografo via Getty Images

I’m starting to wonder whether there’s any such thing as true food waste. I’ve written before about how everything from garlic peels to empty tomato puree tubes have their uses ― and now, it seems, your orange peels can be set to work, too.

The peels contain lots of oils (which are high in monoterpenes and d-limonene). These help to soften brown sugar, food-based media company Tasting Table revealed ― but you can’t just whack fresh orange peels in and go.

What are the steps?

First, you have to get rid of the pulp from the inside of the peel as this contains a lot of moisture (the opposite of what you want to introduce to already-crystallising sugar).

Then, wash and dry the peel ― this helps to ensure it’s clean.

After that, leave the citrus leftovers in your brown sugar for a couple of hours before removing them.

“Not only will it help reinstate moisture, but it can also impart a slightly citrusy aroma, which is an added benefit. Not only will it help reinstate moisture, but it can also impart a slightly citrusy aroma, which is an added benefit,” Tasting Table shared.

The trick also works just as well with lemon peels ― and no matter what method you’re using, you’ll want to keep brown sugar in an airtight, water-free environment to ensure maximum fluffiness.

Anything else I can do with old orange peels?

Yes ― lots!

TikTok user zerowastcartel revealed that you can add the peels to white vinegar in a spray bottle and leave them for a couple of weeks for an effective (and zesty-smelling) cleaning spray.

You can also add olive oil to halved orange peels with the pith still attached to make a tealight (aww).

And the peels can even make a great degreaser (wave farewell to those sticky spots on your hob).

Very ap-peel-ing (sorry...)


Here 5 ways to reuse your orange peels: 1. Use to make a multipurpose cleaner with vinegar 2. Freshen up the room as a candle (add olive oil) 3. Use it as a sponge, citrus is a great degreaser 4. Clean garbage disposal 5. Prevent brown sugar from clumping #zerowastediy #upcycle #preventfoodwaste #nofoodwaste #kitchenhacks #foodhacks #kitchenessentials #sahm #sustainableliving #zerowasteliving #zerowaste #oranges #orangepeel

♬ original sound - ZeroWasteCartel