Friday, August 5, 2011

Orange Peel uses in the House

You've just peeled that delicious, juicy orange and are about to toss the peel into the trash can. But before you drop it, think about what else you can do. The number of uses for orange peels just might surprise you.
In the kitchen, orange peels are already well-known. Several recipes call for orange zest, which is the thin upper layer of orange peels, to enhance desserts and other dishes. Garnishes of candied orange peels are made by boiling the peels in sugar water until almost translucent and then dried. Decorative and mildly flavored ice cubes can be made by placing pieces of orange zest in water-filled ice cubes trays and freezing. Orange peels can be placed in containers of brown sugar to keep the sugar moist and easy to use, or dried and put in tea canisters to add a little fragrance and flavor to loose tea or tea bags. Or you can simply throw orange peels in your disposal and turn it on with running water for a few moments to help freshen it.
Around the house, orange peels are popular for air freshening in potpourris along with cinnamon sticks, cloves, and other fragrant items. Dried orange peels wrapped loosely in cheesecloth and placed in closets can help reduce musty odors. Orange peels can also be added to compost heaps. In colder months, dried orange peels can be used as kindling in fireplaces. The oil in the peels is flammable and they burn slower and steadier than common kindling materials like newspaper, as well as scenting the air while they burn. Other unusual uses for orange peels include texture stamps in painting and as part of a harvest necklace in the fall.
There are also uses for orange peels with animals and insects. If you have an ant problem, a puree of orange peels and water put around the places where you find ants entering your house and directly on anthills can be a deterrent. Make a flea repellant for your dog by putting orange peels in water and bringing to a boil, then cooling and pouring over your dog and rubbing into the coat. Convince your neighborhood dogs and cats that your yard is not a litter box by spreading a mixture of dried orange peels and coffee grounds around. The combined smells should override their territorial scent cues.
So before you just toss that orange peel in the trash, stop and consider the alternatives. Don't just throw it away!

25 Uses of Orange Peel

Oranges are a real ray of sunshine on the tongue, especially in the winter. The left over orange peels are tossed out in the garbage by most of us, but there's a long list of alternative uses for the peels:
1. Compost
If you're throwing them away anyway, consider adding them to a compost pile if you have the space and any use for fresh, healthy soil. Orange peels have all sorts of good stuff that will make your soil extra fertile.
2. Exfoliating Scrub
Ground orange peels with a dash of some other ingredients can be used as a powerful exfoliating scrub. Recopies can be found online through a simple web search.
3. Bath Oil
Rendering the essential oil of orange peels is easy, and there are several walk throughs available for it online. Adding a little orange peel oil to you bath will make it extra stimulating as well as imparting healthy benefits to your skin.
4. Potpourri
Dried orange peels have long been used as an ingredient in potpourri mixes for an extra citric tang. If your home feels a little musky or stuffed up, boiling some potpourri in water on the stove can really lighten the air.
5. Orange Zest
Orange peels were used in cooking for far longer than the fruit itself was used for cooking. The zest of oranges can be used in an endless variety of dishes, but it is perhaps best known as a flavor used in baking.
6. Flower Arrangements
Tastefully cut orange peels can be added to dried flower arrangements for extra color, shape, and style.
7. Kindling
The oil in orange peels is flammable. To see for yourself, try squeezing a fresh orange peel in front of a candle. Be careful, because a small burst of fire will be the result. Dried orange peels retain some of this oil, and they will burn longer than twigs, giving a new fire more time to spread. Smells nice too.
8. Fire starter
Because the oil in orange peels is so volatile, I make my own high octane fire starter by squeezing the oil of orange peels onto a bundle of drier lint. When I start a fire out camping with some dried orange peels on top of it for kindling under the larger wood, it always impresses my fellow campers.
9. Cat Repellant
Cats generally don't like strong smells, and orange peels are no exception. Adding orange peels around the outside of your home will keep the neighbors cats away, and rubbing fresh orange peels over the leaves of houseplants will teach your cat to keep to its own food bowl.
10. Candy
The use of orange peels in candy confections remains very popular in Europe. Sugar glazed orange peels are delicious. Dipped in dark chocolate, they are simply intoxicating. Take a look at your favorite internet cooking site for recopies.
11. Flavored Olive Oil
Aging olive oil with orange peels adds extra zest to the oil. Great on salads, pasta, you name it.
12. Ant Repellant
Got ants? Get orange peels, ants hate 'em. You can simply set some orange peels around problems areas, or use ground orange peels or oil in more visible areas. Helpful on picnics and camping too.
13. Plastic
Okay, you probably can't make this yourself. Scientists have discovered a method of making plastic by combining orange peels and carbon dioxide.
14. Brown Sugar Preservative
Brown sugar will become hard and crunchy in storage after a while. A few dried orange peels mixed in will draw away the moisture.
15. Cattle Feed
Another industry use for orange peels is by processing the left over peels made by the orange juice industry into feed pellets.
16. Bath Powder
If you don't want to go to the trouble of rendering the essential oil of orange peels, you can simply wait for them to dry out and grind them into a fine powder. A mortar and pestle work best. The powder has a similar effect to the bath oil.
17. Deodorize Garbage Cans
The powerful aroma of orange peels can fight the nasty smells that accumulate in a garbage can over time. Try dropping the peels of a couple oranges in the bottom of the can before you put in the trash bag. This will also keep away bugs if you have them.
18. Sponge
Before the orange peel dries out, they can be used as a very effective sponge due to the degreasing properties of it's oil. Give it a shot on a greasy stove top or sink some time.
19. Cleaning Dirty Water
Orange peels can be used as an effective cleaning agent to remove certain dies from industrial waste water from the textile industry.
20. Mosquito Repellant
Rubbing fresh orange peels over your skin will repel mosquitoes from biting you when you are exposed in the outdoors.
21. Celloistic Ethanol
The millions of tons of orange peel waste produced by orange juice companies could possibly be converted into liquid energy. Scientists are in the process of researching the efficiency of this energy alternative.
22. Tobacco Additive
We all know smoking isn't too smart, but smokers can add a little dried orange peel to their herbal blend for some extra flavor.
23. Lowering Blood Pressure
Herbalists recommend consumption of orange peels as an effective method of lowering your blood pressure. The Chinese have used the peels of bitter oranges as herbal medicine for thousands of years.
24. Aromatherapy
The oils of orange peels can be used as aroma therapy to treat the conditions of depression and anxiety.
25. Slug Repellant
Spreading some orange peels around the surface of the soil in your garden is an effective method of getting rid of slugs.

Some uses of Orange Peel

During the earliest days of orange cultivation, orange peels were more prized than the fruit they protected. The essential oils extracted from orange peels were often used in medicines for indigestion and other maladies. Cooks during the Middle Ages were more likely to use dried orange peels as seasonings than to serve the fruit or the juice. It wasn't until sweet oranges were introduced in Spain and Italy that the rest of the orange received any recognition. Even today, there are perhaps more uses for orange peels and the oils they contain than there are for the rest of the fruit.
One use for orange peels is as a dried seasoning. Orange peels can be scraped across a specialized kitchen grater called a zester. The zester removes only the thin upper layer oforange peels, not the lighter colored pith. The grating action creates a pile of orange zest, which is usually left to dry overnight before being stored in airtight herb bottles. Orange zest is often used to enhance other flavors in desserts, gravies, sauces, and even some meat dishes. Dried orange peels can also be sprinkled as a garnish.

Another use for orange peels is as a candied dessert or accent. Orange peels can be boiled in sugar water until they become nearly translucent. Once allowed to dry, or placed in a food dehydrator, the candied orange peels can be eaten as a snack or combined with other dried fruits as an unusual salad. Different recipes for candied orange peels are available, but generally they involve the entire peel and pith, with several boiling sessions and a drying stage.
Outside of the kitchen, there are a surprising number of uses for orange peels. One unusual use for dried orange peels is as kindling for fires. The orange oils found in the peels are indeed flammable, but they burn more slowly and steadily than common kindling material such as newspaper. Orange peels also have the advantage of creating a pleasant odor as they burn. It may be convenient to keep a heat-resistant bucket near the fireplace as a collection point for discarded orange peels.
Another use for orange peels is air freshening. Combine dried orange peels, cinnamon sticks, lemon peels, and flower petals in a simmering pot of water. As the steam leaves thepotpourri, the air should become much more fragrant. Orange oil, derived from orange peels, is often used in commercial air fresheners and furniture polishes. Dried orange peels can also be stored in a cheesecloth bag and kept in closets to reduce musty odors.
The essential oils found in orange peels are also used as insect repellents. To discourage ants from entering your home, experts suggest using a blended puree of orange peels and water directly on anthills and favored pathways. Rubbing orange peels directly on the skin is also said to be an effective mosquito repellent. Insects in general find the odor of orange oil offensive, which may be a natural means of protecting the fruit from would-be predators.
Small insects aren't the only living things affected by the smell of orange peels. Some experts suggest that a mixture of dried orange peels and coffee grounds will discourage neighborhood cats from using a homeowner's yard as a litter box. Animals such as cats and dogs are territorial, using scent cues to orient themselves. The overpowering smell of orangeoil and coffee overrides their usual litter box signals.
There are dozens of uses for the ingredients found in orange peels. One promising use involves the combination of carbon dioxide gas and orange peels to create a form of plastic. Other research involving citrus plants and their amazing chemical structure is still ongoing

Lemon helpful Tips

Lemons - a fruit with a wonderful fragrance, great in food and beverages, but also very handy for multiple purposes around the home!
Lemons have been cultivated by humans for over a thousand years. The fruit is mentioned in tenth century Arabic literature, but was probably first grown in Assam, India.
Lemons are high in vitamin C, have an anti-bacterial effect and are thought to possess antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. The juice consists of about 5% acid, which  also makes them useful for a variety of household purposes. Lemons and/or lemon juice are a popular addition in environmentally friendly cleaning applications.

Selecting and storing lemons

The best lemons are those that have smooth, oily skins and are heavy for their size. They should be bright yellow with no green tinges. Lemons will keep for up to a week at room temperature, two to three weeks refrigerated. Lemon zest (peel) can be frozen for months.

Juicing lemons
To get the most juice from a lemon, it should be allowed to reach room temperature, or microwaved for a few seconds prior to juicing. Using your palm to roll the lemon on a hard surface can also help improve juice yields. If you only need a little juice, some people pierce the end with a fork, squeeze the amount needed, cover the holes with tape and then store in the fridge.
There's so much more to lemons than just using them in cooking and making lemonade! Here's a selection of handy tips. Remember to test in inconspicuous areas first.

Ant deterrent
Pouring lemon juice around areas that ants frequent is said to repel them.

Air freshener
An equal amount of lemon juice and water added to an atomizer will create a wonderful synthetic chemical-free green air freshener for your home.

All purpose cleaner
Again, an equal amount of lemon juice and water added to a spray bottle is an effective kitchen and bathroom cleaner and can also be used on walls (spot test first).
A small amount of lemon juice can also be added to vinegar based cleaning solutions to help neutralize the smell of the vinegar.

Heat a bowl of water and lemon slices in your microwave for 30 seconds to a minute; then wipe out the oven. Stains will be easier to remove and old food odors will be neutralized. 

Half a lemon stored in your fridge will help control and eliminate unpleasant smells.

Rub a lemon juice and baking soda paste onto chrome or copper, rinse and then wipe/buff with a soft cloth or paper towel.

Mix 1/2 cup borax and a cup of lemon juice for a powerful toilet cleaner that will leave it smelling extra clean!

Lime scale
Use a half lemon to clean the lime scale off a sink or taps/faucets; rinse well.

For bleaching purposes, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your washing machine's rinse cycle and hang clothes outside to dry.
A teaspoon of lemon juice thrown into your wash can also help your clothes to smell fresher.

A teaspoon of lemon juice added to your dishwashing detergent can help boost grease cutting power

Hot lemon juice and baking soda is a good drain cleaner that is safe to use in septic systems.
If you have a garbage disposal unit, throw in some lemon peel from time to time while it's working in order to keep it smelling fresh.

Chopping boards
Rub lemon juice into your wooden chopping board, leave overnight and then rinse. Wood chopping boards appear to have anti-bacterial properties anyway, but the lemon will help kill off any remaining nasties and neutralize odors.

Glass and mirrors
4 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with half a gallon of water makes an effective window cleaner.

Straight lemon juice can be used as a general degreaser.

2 parts olive oil or cooking oil mixed with 1 part lemon juice makes for an excellent furniture polish!

To lighten hair, dampen it with lemon juice and sit out in the sun for an hour. This does work, I tried it myself. Hey, it was the 80's!
I've read that the juice of a lemon mixed with one cup warm water makes for a great hair conditioner. It should be allowed to stay in your hair for a few minutes then washed off. Exercise caution if you have a sensitive scalp.

Cuts, stings and itches
A small amount of lemon juice dripped onto minor wounds can help stop bleeding and disinfect the injury (it will sting a bit). Lemon juice applied to itches, poison ivy rashes and wasp stings is said to relieve discomfort.

The smell of fish can linger on your hands, even after scrubbing with soap - rubbing your hands with lemon juice will neutralize the smell and leave your hands smelling wonderful.
Isn't it incredible how we have so many environmentally harsh cleaning chemicals in our homes when nature already offers most of what we need! Have some helpful hints for using lemons in and around the home? Please add them below!

14 Things to do with Orange Peels

14 Things to Do with Orange Peels
I have been noticing lately that the orange peels in the house seem to be multiplying....I find them in practically every room in the house! Here is a pile I found in the kitchen:
So, what do we do with all of these orange peels? I am trying to decrease our landfill contribution so we researched and found some clever things to do. We also found that scientists are finding ways to use limonene, the phytochemical found in orange peels. Limonene makes up 95% of the essential oil in all citrus fruits. Scientists are also finding ways to make ethanol from the limonene and are finding that limonene has anti-cancer effects. You can learn more about the benefits of limonene here- Another beneficial thing nature has provided us!

Here are some things you can do:
1. Make salad dressing: place orange peels and cranberries in a good qualitly olive oil, close up with a cork and let sit. It should be ready for salad in a few weeks.
2. Throw a few peels down the garbage's a great deoderizer. Don't use too much, however, I have broken a disposal this way!

3. Use a zester to produce yummy orange zest. Bottle it up, it keeps in the fridge for about a week, or put it in the freezer to keep longer. Sprinkle it into your favorite sugar cookie recipe or on vanilla ice cream, it's also good in sauces, soups and salads!

5. Puree the orange peel in water to make a spray that will discourage ants from crossing.

6. Flies and mosquitos don't like orange either. Small piles of zest will help discourage these pests without the use of pesticides! This could really come in handy on a picnic.

7. Simmer peels in water, add a pinch or two of cloves and a cinnamon stick for a wonderful fragrance for your home. Actually, this will help clean the air from airborne cold and flu germs! I do this through the entire winter season!

9. Candy the orange peels. For the recipe and a beautiful tutorial how click here-

10. Put the peels around your houseplants to keep the kitties out of the dirt.

11. Make orange sugar by placing clean peels in a jar of sugar. This is tasty in a hot cup of tea.
-Put orange peels in a glass jar with grain alcohol (we used vodka)
-Let the peels soak in the vodka for about 3 weeks, shake vigorously for a few minutes every few days.
- Strain out the peel and put the liquid into a dark container, store in a cool place

Now the little ladies have a special place in the kitchen to put these very useful gifts from nature. Hopefully, I won't be finding them all over the house anymore! =)

Orange Peel Tips

I'm not a big fruit eater, mainly because fruit tends to taste pretty much like acidic water these days due to modern farming techniques (and my dulled taste buds), but I do occasionally enjoy an orange or mandarin (tangerine).
Everything that nature creates usually has multiple functions and in the case of oranges, the skin has far more uses than just being a protective coating.
Limonene, which comprises 95% of the oil in an orange’s peel, is being used in all sorts of applications, including the manufacture of plastics.
The Florida orange juice industry generates 5 million tons of citrus peel waste annually. The citrus waste is usually dried into citrus pulp pellets and fed to cattle, but may in future be used to make up to 60 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol.
While these are all large scale projects, here's some ideas I found around the web for what you can do with orange peel instead of just throwing it in the bin:
  • Due to the high content of flammable oil in orange peel, dried peel makes a great firestarter or kindling
  • It seems that cats don't like the smell of peel, so you can place them around plants where you don't want cats digging
  • Using a "zester", the top layer of an orange peel can be scraped to produce zest. This can then be used to strong flavor to foods, such as sauces, soups and salads. The zest can be dried overnight and then stored in airtight bottles for future use.
  • Dried orange peels can be placed in a cloth bag and placed in closets and cupboards to reduce musty odors
  • A puree blend of orange peel and water can be applied to an area to discourage ants from crossing.
  • Most insects hate limonene - the oil in the peel. Small piles of zest can be placed around an area to keep it free from flies and mosquitos. Some people claim rubbing orange peel on your skin willprevent mosquito bites.
  • To deodorize a garbage disposal unit, throw down a few peels while it's operating
  • While on the topic of garbage, placing orange peel at the bottom of your trash can, before putting the bag or bags in is said to reduce odor and also help discourage insect infestation.
  • Use the orange skin to scrub and deodorise your kitchen sink.
  • Candied orange peels are a tasty treat that seem very simple to make. Plenty of recipes can be found on the Internet.
  • Add them to your compost pile
Extracting orange oil
Orange oil is being used in many cleaning products these days for its pleasant aroma and powerful solvent properties. As an essential oil, it has many health-related benefits. If you'd like to have a go at making your own orange oil extract, try this:
Note: because this process uses solvents, wear gloves, keep out of reach of children and naked flame and the same applies for the finished product. Orange oil is flammable and very corrosive. For most cleaning purposes, a quarter of an ounce (7 mls) mixed in with a quart (1 liter) of water should be sufficient. Always spot test a brew before applying in quantity.
  1. dry the orange peels
  2. grind the peels
  3. place into a mason (glass) jar and cover with grain alcohol (even vodka)
  4. shake vigorously for a few minutes. If possible repeat this over a couple of days. Warmed alcohol will help yield more oil
  5. strain mixture through a coffee filter
  6. place  mixture in a shallow dish, cover with a material that will breathe and allow alcohol to evaporate
  7. what's left over will be orange oil
Most orange oil you buy is cold-pressed, which is a preferable method of extraction, but I couldn't find any oil presses suitable for home use/small quantities available. If you know of such an item, please let me know!
By the way, if you're using vodka, instead of using the method to extract the oil, after straining, rebottle the vodka and you'll have a orange flavored liqueur.

10 Unique Uses of Orange Peel

Orange is a delicious fruit. Not only the inner part of orange (fruit) but also the outer part (peel) is useful in many ways. Here are the ten unique uses for orange peels.

  1. As A Bathing Powder

    Dry some orange peels and make them as a powder. Use this powder regularly for bathing to make your skin glow.
  2. Mosquito Repellent

    Apply orange peels over your exposed skin on nights to repel the mosquitoes.
  3. Get Rid of Ants

    Take few orange peels in a cup of warm water. Make it as puree in a blender. Pour this solution into the anthills to prevent ants.
  4. As a Scent

    Boil orange peels on the stove with a few cloves to make your home filled with scent.
  5. Keeps Brown Sugar Soft

    If you place a piece of orange peel in your bag of brown sugar the sugar will stay soft.
  6. As Bath Oil

    Dried orange peels can be used as homemade bath oils. Orange peels can be used in dried flower arrangements.
  7. Household Cleaner

    Limonene, a carbon-based compound that makes up around 95% of the oil found in orange peel is often used to give household cleaners a citrus smell.

    8.For Kindling in Winter

    Dried orange peels can be used as kindling at fire places. The flammable oils found inside the peels enable them to burn much longer than paper

    9. Protects Leaves of Household Plants From Cats

              Rub the leaves of your house plants with orange peel once a month and put some orange peels on the                   surface of the soil in potted plants which prevents them destroyed from cats.

10. Homemade Oil 

You can make delicious homemade oil with orange peels. Place some orange peels and cranberries in olive oil and close it with a cork. You can observe a wonderful flavor to the oil after some weeks

Orange peels can help us lower environmental pollution: Scientists are researching to make plastic from orange peel (orange peels have a carbon compound limonene) which is eco-friendly