or What To Do With All Those Winter Holiday Season Orange Peels
Do you spin your dreidel for satsumas? Do tangerines join the other bounty of your Kwanzaa Mazao? Does Santa sneak an orange into the toe of your stocking? Are clementines part of your Festivus celebration? Whatever your winter holiday(s) of choice, it’s likely that you’ve got a few oranges in your fruit basket this time of year. They’re a delicious in-season hit of vitamin C, edible sunshine in its own compostable packaging – But you don’t have to toss those peels into your compost pile or bin. Mixed with vinegar, orange peels give up their powerful oils to create a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner perfect for zero-waste cleaning and disinfecting.
- Fill a glass jar with orange peels (any variety of orange works well). Wash the peels well before eating, but you do that anyway, right? You want clean oranges for your cleaner and for your body’s sake.
- Pour in vinegar to cover the peels. If you’re not eating a pile of oranges in one sitting, just cover the peels with vinegar as you go, filling the jar over time. When it’s full to the top, move to the next step.
- Cap the jar, set it in a dark spot, and wait at least 2 weeks, or 1 month for full potency.
- Strain the vinegar, compost the softened peels, and use the vinegar for household cleaning and disinfecting.
- Are you new to cleaning with vinegar? There are so many uses for the stuff, we’re not going to list them all here – Vinegar Tips has 1,001 tips for you. This orange vinegar is especially powerful thanks to the limonene the vinegar has liberated from the peels. Use caution when cleaning painted, varnished, or other delicate surfaces!
If you’re looking for more DIY cleaning ideas, check out my other project, Trash Backwards – We’ve got a host of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ideas for all sorts of things, orange peels included!