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Got Old Oranges? Here’s How to Put Them to Work All Around the House

It turns out everyone's favourite source of vitamin C can come in handy even after it's past its prime.

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What to do with old oranges - make kindlingPhoto: Shutterstock

What to do with old oranges? Make kindling!

Can’t seem to get that campfire started? Dried orange and lemon peels are a far superior choice for use as kindling than newspaper. Not only do they smell better and produce less creosote than newspaper, but the flammable oils found inside the orange peels enable them to burn much longer than paper.

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What to do with old oranges - make pomandersPhoto: Shutterstock

Turn old oranges into pomanders

Pomanders have been used for centuries to fill small spaces with a delightful ­fragrance as well as to combat moths. They’re also incredibly easy to make. Take a bunch of cloves and stick them into an old orange, covering the whole ­surface. Now suspend your pomander using a piece of string, wool or monofilament fishing line inside a wardrobe or cupboard, and it will keep the space smelling fresh for years.

Find out more genius home hacks to get rid of odours.

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What to do with old oranges - keep cats off your lawnPhoto: Shutterstock

Keep cats off your lawn

Are the neighbour’s cats still ­mistaking your lawn for their litter box? Gently point them elsewhere by making a mixture of orange peels and coffee grounds and distributing it around the cats’ “old haunts.” If they don’t take the hint, lay down a second batch and try moistening it with a bit of water.

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What to do with old oranges - get rid of antsPhoto: Shutterstock

Show ants the door

Want to get rid of the ants in your garden, on your patio and along the foundations of your home? Reach for an old orange! In a blender, make a smooth puree of a few orange peels in 1 cup of warm water. Slowly pour the solution over and into anthills to send the little pests packing. Repeat the process if they return.

Find out how to get rid of 10 of the most disgusting house bugs.

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What to do with old oranges - mosquito repellentPhoto: Shutterstock

Make your own mosquito repellent

If you’re not crazy about the idea of rubbing onions all over yourself to keep away mosquitoes (yes, onions are actually a DIY insect repellent!), you may be happy to know that you can often get similar results by rubbing fresh orange or lemon peels over your exposed skin. It’s said that mosquitoes and gnats are totally repulsed by either scent.

Find out the best mosquito repellent plants to grow in your yard.

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Uses for oranges - orange peel spiralPhoto: Shutterstock

Get rid of funky garbage disposal odours

“My grandma used to put the orange peels down the garbage disposal after removing them from the orange,” says an editor from our sister site Taste of Home. “It made the drain smell very fresh and got rid of any bad odours.”

These plastic wrap hacks will make your life so much easier!

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fridgePhoto: A-photographyy/Shutterstock

Deodorize your refrigerator

Orange peels won’t just eliminate the smell of trash but can clear up any lingering odours in your fridge. Merry Maids, a home cleaning service, suggests placing an orange peel filled with salt in your fridge to keep it smelling fresh. Cut the orange in half, scoop out the pulp, fill the rind with salt and just tuck it away on the back of a shelf.

Find out more clever uses for salt all around the house.

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cleaning showerPhoto: VH-studio/Shutterstock

Make a natural cleaner

You can make a natural cleaner for your home just using old oranges and vinegar. Cut off as much of the white part of the rind as possible, says Nate Masterson, head of natural product development for Maple Holistics. Then put the peels in a jar of vinegar and let it sit for two weeks, shaking the container once a day. After two weeks is up, strain the liquid into another container. “This natural cleaner has an extremely long shelf-life and smells delicious,” Masterson says. “Plus it can safely and effectively kill germs.”

Check out 100 more brilliant uses for vinegar all around the house.

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orange drinkPhoto: Nadir Keklik/Shutterstock

When life hands you old oranges, make orange lemonade!

No, really… This is the perfect summer sipper! Get the recipe here.

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orange peelsPhoto: Kseniia Konakova/Shutterstock

Never spend a dime on another fragranced candle

“Boiling orange peel on the stove top with spices like cinnamon and clove is the best way to make your home smell amazing,” suggests one Taste of Home editor.

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exfoliatorPhoto: Anneleven.com/Shutterstock

Exfoliate your skin

Dip a cut orange in coarse, raw sugar and gently scrub your skin with it to exfoliate. “The coarse sugar removes the dead skin and oils and juices from the orange soften the skin,” one Taste of Home editor says. You can try this on your face, hands and feet.

Chances are, you’ve already got all the ingredients you’ll need to make these homemade facial masks.

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cleaning glove