Don’t trash the orange peels just yet! It’s keenu season in Pakistan, and, chances are, orange lovers have overloaded their garbage with peels. But surprisingly, there are plenty of creative ways to use the fragrant outer covering of the fruit around the house. As compiled by thesproutingseed.com and Prevention magazine, read on for amazing ways to use these versatile citrus left-overs.
1. Keep pets out of your plants
You set your expensive bonsai plant on a shelf but still worry your cat might try to munch on the leaves, which are mildly toxic and could make your pet sick. To help prevent this, dice the peels of two oranges and sprinkle them onto the plant's dirt. Cats and dogs dislike the strong scent of citrus, so your furry pal will stay away.
2. Freshen musty closets
We often reach into closets and notice a whiff of a mouldy odour. To rid your closets of the stale smell, place the rinds from the inside of orange peels and place it on the foot of an old pair of cotton socks, then tie the end and set the sachet on a shelf. The pith will absorb and neutralise odours, while the fruit's oils give off a fresh fragrance.
3. Stop sugar from hardening
A common problem in Pakistan – the odd mix of dry and humid weather causes sugar granules to stick together making it clumpy. Ensure your sugar stays spongy and supple by placing a slice of orange peel in the jar or cheeni daan. The rind will slowly release oils that keep the sugar moist. Replace once a month.
PHOTO: EMMA SMITH
4. Get a fire roaring with ease
We all love a bonfire with friends on a chilly evening but it’s hard to keep the intensity of the fire stable. A trick that will ensure you spend more time enjoying the warmth of the cosy fire—and less time trying to get the logs to catch: Let the peels from a few oranges sit out overnight so they dry, then throw them into the fireplace and carefully light. Oils from an orange peel are flammable, so the peels will burn longer than paper kindling. Plus, you'll get a nice citrus scent permeating the air around.
PHOTO: JASON PATRICK ROSS
5. Lift soap scum from glassware
Grimy glasses will sparkle if you follow this trick: Soak the glassware in a sink filled with warm water and a handful of orange peels for about ten minutes, then wash as usual. The peels' citric acid will power through the soap scum and mineral deposits that cause cloudiness. The result – glistening glasses that look and smell super fresh.
6. Clean counters without chemicals
It’s time you can bypass the headaches that can come from using harsh cleaning products with this all-natural—and superbly effective—cleaner: In a spray bottle, combine the peel from one orange and one and a half cups of vinegar or sirka. Keep bottle closed tightly for two weeks, then add a cup of water to the spray bottle. The orange peel's citric acid will break down grease, while the vinegar disinfects to get your counters and sinks sparkling.
PHOTO: KITCHEN MAGIC
7. Deodorise garbage
Crunch situation - guests are due to arrive soon and you just noticed a funky stench coming from the garbage can in the kitchen. Tossing the garbage out hasn’t helped either. The fix: Toss the peel of an orange into the garbage. The fruit's acids will neutralise the stench, while the coarse counteract the food particle build-up around the bin. Repeat once a week or as needed.
8. Repel mosquitoes
This season is swarming with the blood-sucking pests, but you have a fix that is au naturel. Apparently mosquitoes don't like limonene, which is what makes up 95 per cent of an orange peel. By grating the peel around the areas you like to sit outside or close to the window in your room, you can now keep mosquitoes at bay.
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