Thursday, May 19, 2011

A man is not an orange. You can't eat the fruit and throw the peel away

Don’t throw away your orange peels . . . besides compost, they have their potential separate from their juicy interiors; their precious essential oils.  Orange peels have a potential oil yield of 1.5 - 2%. 
The peels in their whole form make for a great nonabrasive natural sink scrubber, try a large section of orange peel. Use the interior side of the peel to remove grease and kitchen grime. The natural oils in the peels will clean and shine the sink, and the kitchen will have a pleasant citrus scent.  And then grind the peel in your garbage disposal to make it smell fresh and clean. 

Orange oil is highly flammable, and dried orange peels make fantastic fire starters. Simply dry them on paper towels or in a dehydrator. Place the dried skins beneath pieces of kindling before lighting. Burn baby burn!

You can also extract the oil from the peels after you’ve dried them.  See this previous post . . .

Once you’ve extracted the oil you can used it as a natural insecticide in your garden.  Instead of spraying your vegetables with a commercial pesticide that can contain harmful chemicals, you can make your own homemade pesticide with orange oil. Because it’s completely organic you can spray on the entire plant . . . including the fruits and vegetables. 

To make the orange oil insecticide you will need:

1 Tbsp. Orange Essential Oil
1 Qt. Water
Spray Bottle
1 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Combine 1 tbsp. of orange essential oil with 1 qt. of water in a spray bottle.

Add 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper to the mixture.

Shake the bottle to mix the oil with the water.

Spray the orange oil pesticide on vegetables to deter insects. Spray the stems, undersides of the leaves and the vegetables themselves to protect them.

Store the pesticide away from heat and direct sunlight. Shake the bottle before each use.


  1. How do you get the oil out? Put the peels on a paper towel and then what?


  3. The cayenne keeps clogging my spray bottles... I've already ruined two.

  4. I wonder if that would keep the deer away?