When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Just don't be so quick throw away those peels. Check out these amazing and inexpensive uses for any kind of citrus peels.
1. Natural bug repellent
Common pests like cockroaches, mosquitos and ants, hate citrus. Lemon peels are the perfect way to keep bugs away without spraying toxic chemicals in your house.
To make a natural bug repellent, simply soak 1 cup of lemon peels in a tightly sealed glass mason jar in water for 10-14 days. Strain the lemon water infusion into a spray bottle, and spray anywhere the pests come to. Bonus: enjoy your home's fresh, citrusy scent too.
2. Brown sugar softener
Put a piece of any citrus rind into a container of brown sugar to keep the sugar from getting hard.
3. Natural cleaning and disinfectant spray
Add used orange or lemon halves (and any herbs or spices, such as rosemary or cloves) to distilled or apple cider vinegar and leave it for a few weeks to let the citrus notes take the edge off the vinegar smell. The essential oil stored within the peels works perfectly to deodorize and clean.
Sieve the citrus vinegar into a spray bottle, dilute 50 per cent with water and clean greasy non-granite kitchen counters, stove tops and bathroom counters. The mixture is also a wonderful, citrus-smelling disinfectant.
4. Orange peel candles
Transform an orange peel into a beautiful DIY homemade candle. Simply slice an orange in half, spoon out the pulp, carefully keeping the centre stem intact to act as a wick.
Pour in a few tablespoons of oil, coating the centre stem and light the stem. It doesn't get easier than that.
5. Citrus cordial and syrup
Turn used up citrus halves into homemade cordial - limes, oranges, grapefruits, blood oranges, lemons all work here. Put the halves in a bowl or jar and add the same weight in sugar, and leave overnight.
The next morning, dilute the resulting tangy-sweet syrup with water for a homemade cordial drink or drizzle the syrup directly onto cakes, ice cream, pancakes and overnight oats.
6. Mineral deposit remover
Decalcify the inside of a tea kettle by boiling peels inside it, then letting it sit for an hour. Or soak cloudy glassware in a sink-full of hot water and citrus rinds and let the citrus oils work their magic.
7. Ant-proof your kitchen
Scatter small slices of lemon peel along thresholds, windowsills, around door entrances, and near any cracks or holes where ants or pests frequent. Ants do not like lemon and won't enter your home. Lemons are also effective against roaches and fleas.
8. Copper, brass, and stainless steel polish
Brighten copper, brass, or stainless steel by dipping a juiced lemon half in salt (you also use baking soda or cream of tartar, which is surprisingly a great natural bleach, for the salt) and rubbing on the affected area. Leave on for 5 minutes. Then rinse in warm water and polish dry.
This article is first published in Wonderwall.sg.