Skip to Content

20 Genius Ways To Use Citrus Peels You’ve Probably Never Thought Of

lemon peel

Next time you eat an orange or a grapefruit, or squeeze a lemon or a lime, save the peels! There are so many ways to use these peels you’ll be amazed – and in this blog post we’ll reveal 20 of the best!

For Food & Flavor…

1. Citrus Zest

Using a fine grater or zester (such as this microplane zester) grate the citrus peels to create a fine zest. This zest can be used to add flavor to all sorts of dishes, and is great for use in baking. You can even freeze it to keep for later.

2. Lemon Pepper Seasoning

You can use the zest of a lemon to make fragrant and fresh lemon pepper seasoning to add extra flavor to a number of dishes. Get the full tutorial for making this at

3. Candied Peels

Turn your citrus peels into delicious sweet treats by candying them. It’s so simple to do using only citrus peels, sugar and water and the resulting candied peels can be eaten guilt free! See a full tutorial for making candied lemon peels here – but there are also instructions for other citrus peels at the bottom of the page.

4. Lemon Olive Oil

This is a super simple way to add citrus-y flavor to olive oil. Simply add 2-3 tablespoons of finely grated lemon zest to a cup of extra virgin olive oil, place in a glass jar and allow to stand for two weeks, shaking occasionally. Pour the oil into a strainer and discard the zest and you’ll be left with delicious lemon flavored oil.

5. Citrus Extracts

Making your own extracts is really easy using citrus peels. Check out this tutorial for making your own lemon extract and just swap out the lemon peel with orange, grapefruit or lime for different flavors.

6. Citrus Liqueurs

Infusing citrus peels with grain alcohol and adding syrup is a fantastic way to make your own tasty liqueurs. Check out this tutorial revealing how to make your own Tangerine Spice, Orange Saffron and Mint Lime liqueurs.

7. Infuse In Tea

Add some citrus peels to your tea to give an extra citrus kick.

For Home & Cleaning…

8. Citrus Vinegar Cleaner

Vinegar is an incredible natural cleaner but has a pungent smell that not many people like. Infusing citrus peels in the vinegar gives a fresh aroma that masks the nasty smell and adds extra cleaning properties! Check out this tutorial for making your own citrus vinegar.

9. Trash Can Freshener

Throw some lemon peels into your trash can to kill bad odors and freshen up.

10. Destink Your Garbage Disposal

Throw some citrus peels into your garbage disposal reguarly to deodorize and keep it smelling fresh.

11. Chrome & Stainless Steel Polish

Sprinkle some sea salt over the metal and scrub using lemon peel to clean and bring back shine.

12. Microwave Cleaner

This is a really simple natural microwave cleaner. Add some lemon peels to a microwave safe bowl filled halfway with water. Heat the water on full power in the microwave for five minutes giving it time to boil and the steam to condense inside the microwave. Safely remove the bowl and wipe away the residue with a towel.

13. Coffee Cup Stain Remover

Put some lemon peel into a coffee stained mug, add some warm water and allow to sit for a few hours. Pour away and then scrub and the coffee stains should disappear!

14. Ant Deterrent

Place lemon peels by windows, door frames or cracks where ants and other pests can enter. Lemon is a natural ant deterrent and can also help to keep roaches and fleas away.

15. Cat Deterrent

Sprinkle orange peels around your plants and in your garden to stop cats from “doing their business” in unwanted areas.

16. Simmering Stove Scents

Simmering citrus peels, plus other herbs and spices in water on the stove is a great way to add a beautiful aroma to your home. Try orange peels, cloves and cinnamon sticks for a warming aroma.

17. Potpourri

Dry your citrus peels and then mix with other dried herbs, spices and flowers for a fragrant homemade potpourri. Find out how to dry citrus peels here. 

For Health & Beauty…

18. Homemade Vitamin C Powder

You can make your own vitamin C powder by grinding up a variety of dried citrus peels. Best of all, this homemade vitamin C still contains live enzymes unlike its store bought counter-parts. To find out how to make your own vitamin C powder, check out this tutorial. 

19. Skin Brightener

Lemons contain alpha-hydroxy acids which are responsible for lemons ability to brighten skin. Try making this lemon peel scrub and use it to brighten your skin.

20. Nail Whitener

Rub a wedge of lemon onto your nails to whiten them.