Don’t just toss your table scraps to the dog!  Besides, your pooch might not even like the kind I am talking about here;  citrus peel. Those colorful rinds can do wonders.  I am a lemon water groupie (discussed hereand I throw the leftover rinds in a bag for later.  You might want to keep those lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, and others around too and let them extend their usefulness.  It is so simple and here’s how.



Use a vegetable peeler to try and remove most of the bitter white pith before drying it, but that is only important for cooking uses.

Before using the peel, you must dry it.  Hold on as this gets complicated:

  • Put the peels on a tray or cookie sheet in a single layer and leave it for a few days.
  • Flip them if you think of it to allow for more air exposure.
  • Store in a jar with a lid in the pantry.

An intricate process, I know.  But if you just can’t wait a few days, take the cookie sheet and toast in a low oven (200 degrees) until dry.  Keep checking every 15 minutes.




  • Here are several ways you can recycle those citrus peels to make your life smell and taste better:
  • Allow that outdoor fire pit to crackle with fragrance.  A few peels thrown in the pit makes for an especially fragrant fire! Just make sure they are really dried out.
  • Build a better ice cube.   Toss in a variety of peels to those ice molds. So pretty and makes ice water extra refreshing.
  • Dish up a great bowl of something.  Make your ordinary, extraordinary.  Include some peel into your rice as it is steaming or give your barbecue sauce a certain tang with some peel in it as it is simmering. I love it to add it to beans in the crock pot near the end.
  • Make cleaning more fun.  Yes, it is possible with some lively music playing and some yummy smelling cleaners. Here’s how: In a glass jar, fill with white vinegar, throw a large handful of peel in, cover with plastic wrap and leave for several days.  Remove peel and pour ia n spray bottle with equal parts water for a nice smelling non toxic home cleaner.
  • Throw together some compound butter or infused oil.  Your pantry and freezer can contain some interesting choices with some flavored oils/butters. This can be done in a snap and I give some great recipes here.


  • Infuse your home with scent. To a few cups of water, place a handful of peel and a generous bunch of mint, basil or other herb scent you like and simmer on the stove to give a great scent.
  • Give your marinade a lift.  A hint of citrus will enhance many dishes. Include the peels in the marinade for that upcoming summer grill and make it come alive.
  • Garnish at cocktail hour.  Many cocktails (virgin or boozy) require citrus peel of some kind.
  • Prepare a dry mix or two with a citrus hint.  Make a chai mix of spices and throw in a peel.  Or,  put a peel in some coconut sugar and let infuse for a week and then remove.
  • Create nice smelling clothes. Make a dryer sachet by reusing a cotton muslin bag (that some jewelry comes in) or those tea bags that you put loose tea in and place several larger pieces of peel in it.   Seal tightly.  Use in your dryer and your next batch of laundry will smell great.

What do you say?  How about sharing how you use leftover peels or tidbits for other uses?  Share in the comments.

lime: photo credit: <a href=””>xalamay</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

lemon: photo credit: <a href=””>Nina Matthews Photography</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>


Love this post! I know to do some of these things, but I don't. I needed this reminder. Thanks Lori!

Good luck with using your peels! Citrus is my favorite!

So many great ideas, but my very favorite of all is using citrus peels in the fire pit! Our neighborhood's backyard party season is just getting geared up, and I can't wait to try your idea at our next bonfire! 😀