We've already published a brilliant article about the uses of orange peels, so it would only make sense to do a follow-up about lemon peels. In fact, we could hardly believe it, but if anything lemon peels are even more useful than orange peels! What's that? You want to see the evidence and decide for yourself? Okay, here are 25 zesty reasons that you shouldn't throw away those lemon peels:
1. Make an All-Purpose Cleaner You can use lemon peels and vinegar to make a great and natural all-purpose cleaner. Do this by filling a container with lemon peels. Add vinegar until the peels are covered and seal with a tight-fitting lid. Put the container away and forget about it for two weeks. After two weeks, strain the lemon peels from the vinegar and add water to the lemon vinegar. This mixture will clean the greasiest and dirtiest spots around the house and you'll never have to buy an all-purpose cleaner again!
2. Skin Lightener or Brightener
Lemon is a natural skin lightener because it contains citric acid which is actually a bleaching agent. Apply the leftover lemon peels to your hands, face, or wherever else you would like to lighten the skin and tighten the pores.
3. Garbage Disposal Deodorizer In order to get rid of poor smells coming from the garbage disposal, toss a few lemon or orange peels down the drain. Remove the fruit before doing this because the citrus juices could come splashing back at your face!
4. Simmering Stove-Top Scents Add some lemon peels or rinds to a pot of simmering water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and orange peels for a natural deodorizer and air humidifier.
5. Coffee Cup Stain Remover
Have a favorite coffee cup that is stained at the bottom? Put a small section of lemon peel into the mug and add water. Let the cup sit for several hours and then wipe it clean with a cloth. The stains should completely disappear!
6. Keep Your Refrigerator Fresh Cut a lemon in half and place it in the fridge to absorb smells. This time, you should leave the fruit and peel together so that the moisture of the fruit can absorb the odor.
7. Microwave Cleaner If your microwave is giving off a foul smell, add lemon rinds to a microwave-safe bowl and fill the bowl with water half-way. Cook in the microwave on high for 5 minutes, allowing the water to boil and the steam to condense inside the microwave. Carefully remove the bowl and wipe away the mess in the microwave with a damp towel.
8. Chrome Polish To cut through mineral deposits on chrome faucets and other tarnished chrome, rub it with a squeezed lemon half, then rinse and buff with a soft cloth. For this cleaning method, the lemon should remain with the fruit inside.
9. Copper, Brass, and Stainless Steel Polish To brighten copper, brass, or stainless steel, dip half of a lemon in salt and rub it on the affected area. Leave the lemon on for 5 minutes, rinse with warm water, and polish dry.
10. Brown Sugar Keeper To keep brown sugar moist and ready to use, add some lemon peel (with the pulp removed) to the brown sugar.
11. Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen
Scatter small slices of lemon peels around the kitchen to get rid of ants. Make sure you place them at the thresholds, windowsills, around door entrances and near any cracks where ants may be entering. Ants do not like the smell of lemon and will not enter your home. They can also be effective protection against larger insects like roaches and fleas.
12. Lemon Zest Lemon zest is great to add to marinades, salads, baked goods, and lots of other dishes. To zest a lemon, simply grate the peel with a zester or the smallest grater you have. You can use the zest when it's fresh, or dry it out on paper towel and store it in a jar.
13. Lemon Twists Use a vegetable peeler or a knife to cut long strips of the lemon, while removing the white pitch part of the peel that's bitter. Prepare on the spot or save them for cocktails or lemon water later in the freezer.
14. Lemon Extract Powder Using the zest or twists above, dry them skin-side down on a plate for about 3 to 4 days. Put the dried peels into a blender or a spice grinder and pulverize them into powder. You can use this powder instead of lemon extract or zest in recipes.
15. Lemon Sugar Once you've made the lemon extract powder, you can also add it to sugar, or make fresh twists and place them in a jar of sugar to ferment and infuse the sugar.
16. Cutting Board Refresher
If you want to refresh your cutting board, rub the surface with a lemon after washing. Let the lemon sit for a few minutes and then rinse. The antibacterial properties of the lemon will remove the germs lurking on your cutting board.
17. Lemon Pepper Mix the lemon extract powder with freshly cracked pepper for an interesting taste.
18. Candied Lemon Peel Deliciously Sweet candied lemon peels can be eaten plain, dipped in chocolate or used in baked goods. The peel or twist is candied by placing it or cooking it in sugar.
19. Lemon Sugar Scrub Mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar with finely chopped lemon peel and add enough olive oil to make a paste. Wet your body in the shower, turn off the water and massage the sugar rinse all over your skin. Then rinse off with warm water and feel the softness!
20. Tea Kettle / Coffee Pot Cleaner
If you have mineral deposits in your tea kettle or coffee pot, fill the kettle with water and add a handful of thin lemon peel slices. Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat and let the mixture sit for an hour. Drain the mixture and rinse well. For a coffee pot, add ice, salt, and lemon rinds to the empty pot, swish and swirl for a minute or two, then dump and rinse the mixture.
21. Nail Whitener Whiten your fingernails by rubbing them with a lemon wedge.
22. Motion Sickness Cure Suck a slice of lemon to prevent you from feeling nauseous.
23. Grater Cleaners Clean out old or hard to reach spots in your grater by rubbing the pulp side of a cut lemon over the grater.
24. Fire-Starters You can make natural and cheap fire-starters for those camping nights by baking discarded lemon or orange peels until they darken.
25. Trash Can Deodorizer Put a few lemon peels in the bottom of the trash can from time to time to keep your garbage from stinking up the house.