Lately, I'm getting more or less addicted to oranges and I'm collection way too much orange peel compared to what my starting compost heap can handle.. Is there something I do with it, other than throwing it in the garbage can? I read about using an dehydrator to dry the peel and use it for air freshening (orange smell), but then you apparently need a dehydrator, what I don't have. Another thing I found was using it against mosquitos, by rubbing it over your skin.. But there are still no mosquito's and the peel will be green before there are.

I'm not looking for pure decorational usages.

  • 2
    I've heard that orange peel is often HEAVILY sprayed with pestisides and should not be eaten. Pesticides might also contribute to peel not composting.
    – jkj
    Commented May 25, 2013 at 23:49
  • @jkj: Yes, in my country (Slovakia) shops there are warnings attached to all citrus shelves about the pesticides. Maybe not all the batches are treated this way, but - how do you know? I've read washing them in warm water or even boiling for 30 minutes reduces the amount of chemicals. But is this more sustainable than throwing them away? I'd like not-chemically-treated oranges the most.
    – Peter Ivan
    Commented May 27, 2013 at 8:28

4 Answers 4


If you're a gardener, you can use them as slug bait.

Another use I've found for them is making infused vinegar for cleaning. Stuff a few peels into the bottom of a big jar and fill it up with any kind of cheap vinegar (I use apple cider,) then let it sit for a day or two and you've got a non-toxic cleaner with a comparatively bearable smell. Apparently you can also make vinegar from scratch with it by combining it with water and yeast. You might be able to use it for cooking, but as jkj pointed out, be wary of pesticides.

Citrus peels make cute serving containers for sherbet, but since most people don't eat the peel this really only defers the re-use.

For more preserving fun you might also consider making orange marmalade or an orange version of limoncello.

  • +1 for the marmalade. I'd also give +heaps for the limoncello, but we have but one vote.
    – andy256
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 1:43

How about candied orange peel? You can't eat too much of it, but if you like oranges, then you should like it. Of course, the saucy version of candied orange peel is marmalade.

Otherwise, you can put the peel into your hot bathwater, which should release some of the essential oils (popular in Japan).

Drying the peels and adding them to flavour your black tea, for example, is another option. (For drying a dehydrator works best, but a weak oven works as well: hot enough to speed up the drying process, so they don't get mouldy, but not so hot that you'll bake them.)

If all fails, compost them.

  • 1
    Isn't the peel of oranges usually treated with chemicals to protect the growing plant? Then it may have to be cleaned before .. or does boiling do it?
    – Stockfisch
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 8:35
  • 1
    @boo2060 Well, best are organic oranges (or rather, untreated oranges, never mind the label). I think ordinary oranges are in fact waxed, so it would be best to wash them with soap. Soap is easily digested, so you'd be better eating a little soap (which shouldn't happen anyway, if you rinse them) than eat this wax.
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 10:59
  • #33 - cook cinnamon rolls. buzzfeed.com/peggy/camping-hacks-that-are-borderline-genius Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 21:31

In addition to @user1205935's suggestion to dry them for use in hot tea, we also save a few of them for use in our garbage disposer (inline sink food waste grinder, aka "garbage disposal").

In general, I don't recommend heavy use of a garbage disposer to get rid of food waste that could be composted, but you generally will have a little food waste that goes down the drain, and if you have a garbage disposer to take care of that, you might want to maintain the appliance.

Pushing some orange peel down the disposer, and grinding it up, can help fight bacteria growth, and improve the smell of your disposer unit. (I also recommend tearing the peel into 5 to 10 pieces before putting down the disposer).


You could eat the peel with the oranges, this adds texture and reduces the sweetness of the orange.

  • 1
    You eat orange peel straight with the orange!?
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 4:01
  • Yes why waste it? Commented May 23, 2013 at 6:07
  • I'm afraid that if I start eating its peel, my orange addiction will be over soon, bitter as it is. But if some people like it, its perfect!
    – Sironsse
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 6:28

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