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15 Clever Uses for Lemon Peels at Home (With Pictures)

Cleaning a microwave oven with water and lemon

Whether served as a vitamin C package, squeezed into lemonades, or zested into candid cuisines, the humble lemon is not actually humble when it comes to its uses. Before it gained its usefulness, historians suggest it originated from India. But our good friends, Italians, introduced it to Europe as an ornamental fruit during Roman times. They later crowned it “limone,” which France used as “limon” and brought the term to Britain in the 1300s.

Today, all the parts of the nutritious fruit, including peels, are very useful. Without further ado, let us find out ways of using them at home.

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The 15 Uses for Lemon Peels at Home

1. Removing Rust Stains

Just like you should not judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t also judge a rusty frying pan or workshop tool by its color. This brown stain is easy to remove, and you only need lemon peels, soap, and salt.

Lemon peels have small concentrations of citric acid. And from our basic chemistry class, most acids react with metals. So, lemon peels react with rust to loosen it from the surface, after which you can scrape it off.

Adding salt to the peels acts as a gentle scrubber. It removes stains by scratching the surface without leaving behind ugly scrap marks. Soap, on the other hand, cleans off citric acid and salt.

Always rinse the pan or tool with fresh water after using lemon peels because they may destroy the galvanized layer.

2. Removing Hard Water Stains

Calcium deposits on enamel give the toilet some of its off-white properties. Because citric acid reacts with calcium, it can help in whitening.

To do this, take a single lemon peel and use the soft white inner skin to clean your tooth. Rub the peel on the enamel in an upward, then sideways motion for five minutes, then rinse off.

3. Cleaning Sinks

Mix lemon peels and baking soda, and then sprinkle on your wet sink or bathtub. The lemon will cut through the grime, grease, and watermarks and leave you with a sparkling sink.

4. Fragrance

To freshen up your home, put lemon peels in small jars and place them around your home. The lemon peels will infuse your house with a fresh citrus smell.

Another option: cut a big lemon into two halves and scoop out the endocarp paying attention not to remove the placenta. Fill up the lemon with vegetable oil or melted wax and light up the placenta as a wick. The candle will light up for hours while releasing a citrus scent.

5. Disinfectant

Lemon peels have antibacterial properties and can be used to disinfect surfaces. To make a disinfectant with lemon peels, put lemon peels in a jar up to halfway, and then put the other half in white vinegar. Let the mixture absorb the juices for 2 weeks, and then strain into a spray bottle. Use it to disinfect your countertops, chopping boards, and surfaces.

6. Cleaning Your Microwave and Oven

Whenever food spills an oven, it gets baked in and becomes difficult to scrub off. To clean caked food spills, take a bowl and put lemon peels, and add water. Put the bowl in the microwave and turn the heat on high for 5 minutes for the water to boil. The steam will condense on the food spills, soften them and make them easy to wipe off.

7. Make Marmalade

Chop your lemon peels into small pieces and put them in a pot with water. Bring to a boil for 30 minutes, add sugar and boil for another 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and store in sterilized glass jars.

8. Coffee Stain Remover

If you have coffee-stained mugs, put some lemon peels in the mug and add water. Come after a few hours, and your mugs will be looking as good as new.

9. Pest-Proof Your Kitchen

Lemon peels are a great pest repellent and keep off ants, roaches, fleas, and other critters away. Put lemon peels around thresholds, door entrances, windowsills, and any cracks pests may enter through.

10. Kettle Cleaner

Whenever your kettle has mineral deposit buildup, put a few lemon peels in your kettle, add water, and bring to a boil. Once it has boiled, switch off the kettle. Let the concoction sit for an hour or two, and then rinse. The mineral buildup should come off easily.

11. Make Lemon Extract

Put lemon peels in a jar up to ¾ full, and then fill the rest of the jar with alcohol. Seal the jar and then shake well. Put the jar in a dark spot for 4 to 6 weeks, and keep shaking every other day. After the time-lapse, strain the mixture and put it in a clean bottle. Use the lemon extract to make baked goodies like poppyseed muffins.

12. Keep Your Refrigerator Fresh

Take a handful of lemon peels and dry them in the oven for 20 minutes. Once they are dry, put them in the corners of your fridge. The dried lemon peels will remove any unpleasant smell that your fridge may have. Swap the peels out every week to keep your refrigerator smelling clean.

13. Lemon Body Scrub

Take a handful of lemon peels, dry them in the oven for 20 minutes and then dry blend them. Mix the blended lemon peels with 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup of coconut oil, and juice from ½ a fresh lemon. Bottle the mixture in a mason jar, and use it as a face or body scrub.

14. Nail Whitener

Are your nails stained? If they are, lemon peels will sort you out. Be it nicotine stains, stains from an old manicure, or just dull nails, lemon peels will brighten your nails.

Put 1 cup of warm water in a bowl, squeeze half a lemon, add ½ a teaspoon of baking powder, and then throw in some lemon peels. Steep your fingernails in the solution for 10 minutes. If your nails are badly stained, do this treatment over the course of a week to see results.

15. Firelighters

Starting a fire can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be the case. Dried lemon peels are excellent kindling, thanks to the citrus oil in them. To make them, dry your lemon peels in the sun or oven, or put them in a warm place to air dry.

When completely dry, bag them in a brown paper bag and add a silica packet to keep them fresh. Next time you’re starting a fire, take some pieces of the dried lemon peels and put them in between a newspaper, and light your fire. Stand aside, and whoosh, you’ll have a big flame. As a bonus, your fire will smell nice!

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Lemon peels contain a lot of citric acid which is an excellent air refresher, cleaning agent, insect repellant, and nutritious as well. Just find the right way to repurpose them, from rust removers to lemon candles to marmalades.

Featured Image Credit: Marian Weyo, Shutterstock

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