Oranges and lemons are known to be bursting with vitamin C. Plus, they’re rich in fibre and they stimulate the immune system. And what better way to start the day than with a nice glass of orange juice or freshly squeezed lemonade! The best part is that these citrus fruits can still be useful even after you’ve consumed them: their peels lend themselves to a thousand and one practical and sometimes surprising uses. Here are a few of them:
To get rid of ants
Place lemon rind near windows, driveways and holes where ants enter your house. Because they’re “allergic” to this smell, they won’t come into your home. You can also marinate lemon rind in white vinegar for a few days, then spray this mixture where ants go by. Guaranteed to repel!
To make your laundry smell nice
Lavender has been used to perfume closets, but did you know that orange peels are just as effective at preventing a musty smell? Put a few dried orange peels in a nylon stocking, tie it up tightly and place it in your closet or drawer to give your laundry a fresh scent. You can also add cinnamon or nutmeg for a richer fragrance.
If your teens are in the habit of leaving smelly shoes or gym bags lying around the house, there’s no need to spray them with chemicals. Place some orange peels inside to absorb unpleasant odours.
Speaking of odours, if you want to impart a fresh smell to your living space, nothing could be easier: boil a few orange (or lemon) peels in a pot of water for a few minutes. For an exotic touch, add a stick of cinnamon and (why not?) some cloves or herbs.
To clean the house
Do you want an effective and 100% natural cleaner for your home? Here’s a recipe to try: marinate some lemon peels in a container filled with white vinegar and leave it for two weeks. Then filter out the liquid and add an equal amount of water to make a great product for removing grease and disinfecting any surface!
Citrus peels can also be used to deodorize and disinfect your household appliances: place a few lemon peels in your dishwasher before starting it to remove odours and scale. You can also put some lemon zest in a small bowl of water to clean your microwave oven. Heat for five minutes and let stand for the steam to take effect. All you have to do is wipe your microwave with a cloth to sanitize it and make it sparkle like it did when you first got it!
For the trash can
Finally, here’s a great trick to mask odours coming from the trash: before putting a bag inside, place a few orange peels at the bottom of the can. Not only will they neutralize odours, but they’ll also prevent insects from circling around.
Nothing is lost, everything is transformed
Whatever way you use your orange or lemon peels, don’t forget to put them in your brown bin after you’re done. Then they can still be used, either to make compost or to create energy. In fact, some municipalities in Quebec send your organic waste to a biomethanization plant where it is transformed into renewable natural gas. This clean, locally produced energy is injected into the gas network and reduces GHG emissions from landfill sites.