6 clever ways to use fruit peels instead of throwing them out

CyrilLutz/ShutterstockYour fruit peels don’t have to go to waste.
  • Using fruit peels for practical purposes can help you to reduce food waste.
  • Orange peels can be turned into candy and a sweet syrup.
  • Grapefruit rinds can be used to make a fibre-rich tea.
  • Banana peels can be used to give your shoes an extra shine.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

You might be surprised to find there are many uses for your food scraps, especially fruit peels.

We instinctively toss out the protective coating of our oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and bananas after we get what we need from them: juice, zest, or the delicious fruit itself. But rather than tossing these scraps in the trash, you can use them up.

We rounded up some ways that you can use the whole fruit – even the peel – to truly get the most out of your purchase.


Make your home sparkle with lemon peels.

Boontoom Sae-Kor/ShutterstockLemon peels can freshen up your garbage, too.

Thanks to their high concentration of citric acid and their refreshing scent, lemon peels are perfect for getting your kitchen and bathroom squeaky clean, according to DIY Natural.

Rub lemon peels along faucets, shower doors, and sinks, then rinse. Toss smaller pieces of peel into a garbage disposal and run it to deodorise your kitchen sink, or toss a few rinds into the bottom of your trash can to freshen it up.


Rejuvenate your beauty routine with avocado peels.

NatashaPhoto/iStockAvocado has moisturizing properties.

You don’t have to spend extra money to take advantage of avocado’s moisturizing properties.

Just rub the inside of the peel on your skin, leave it on for about five minutes, and then rinse. As Women’s Health magazine explained, rubbing the inside of the peel on your body can help exfoliate your skin.


Turn orange peels into candy and syrup.

noPPonPat/ShutterstockOrange peels can also be used to create a flavored syrup for tea.

Rather than buying sugar-covered gummies from the store when you have an aching sweet tooth, try making your own treats with leftover orange peels.

Here’s a simple recipe for candied oranges from the experts at Food Network. The recipe also makes a sweet syrup for tea – win, win.

There are also some chef-approved marmalade recipes that utilise the entire orange, including the peel.


Brighten up shoes and plants with banana peels.

Sandra Mu/Getty ImagesBanana peels can help shine your shoes.

They may have a reputation for tripping people up, but banana peels are actually quite useful.

Rub the inside of a banana peel on scuffed shoes or on the leaves of dull houseplants and then wipe clean with a cloth. This can help shine your shoes or give your plant a boost because bananas are high in potassium – a key ingredient in shoe polish and a welcome nutrient for plants, according to Prevention.


Try making a grapefruit-rind tea.

Joey Hadden/InsiderGrapefruit rind can be used to make a drink.

Grapefruit has long been celebrated for its supposed health benefits, which include things like helping to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, according to Health.com.

Plus the rind of a grapefruit can be used to create a tea that is rich in fibre.

To make tea from grapefruit peels, simply add a minced grapefruit peel to boiling water and let it simmer for 15 minutes, then sweeten to taste with honey.


Make a rich compost with all of your peels.

Justin Sullivan/GettyA compost bin is a great way to fight food waste.

If you still find yourself with leftover fruit peels, don’t toss them in the garbage can. Add them to your compost bin to enrich soil for gardening and fight food waste.

Read More:

Composting at home isn’t as hard as you might think – here’s how to do it

10 things in your kitchen that you should immediately throw in the trash

There is no such things as an ‘unhealthy’ fruit, but here’s what you need to know about their benefits and drawbacks

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