Lemons are a favorite all over the world and an essential kitchen staple. Plus, they’re one of those foods that you can use every bit of – from the flesh to the peels.
Lemon peels contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals and fiber that provide a nutritional boost. In fact, compared to lemon juice, the peels have more vitamins C and A, beta-carotene, folate, calcium, magnesium and potassium, to name a few.
The peels are even refreshing and smell divine, and can add flavor and aroma to foods and drinks. They also offer skin as well as common household cleaning benefits.
Here are 10 amazing uses for lemon peels.
1. Improve Your Skin Health
Lemon peel has many skin benefits. The acid in it can help enhance the clarity, glow and softness of your skin.
Plus, lemon peels are great for exfoliating to remove dead skin cells and stimulate new skin growth. They can also be helpful for those with acne.
You can choose from various methods to reap the benefits.
- You can rub fresh lemon peel all over your face. Wait 10 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Do it 3 or 4 times a week to enjoy smooth and bright skin.
- Dry your leftover lemon peels in the sun for a few days. Put the dried lemon peels in the blender into a coarse powder. Mix 1 cup of this crumbly mix with ½ cup of sugar and enough olive oil and honey to make a paste. Gently rub this homemade scrub on your damp skin for a few minutes, then leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it off to get soft and glowing skin.
- Grind dried lemon peel into a powder, then add a little water to make a paste. Apply it on the acne-affected area. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Repeat once daily.
- Massage leftover lemon peels on your hands, elbows and heels to rejuvenate and lighten the skin as well as tighten the pores.
2. Make Lemon Peel Tea
Instead of throwing away the peel, you can use it to make tasty and healthy homemade tea.
Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, lemon peels can help improve digestion, reduce weight, balance your pH levels, boost the immune system, and offer liver-toning benefits, among others.
It’s easy to make the tea.
- Put 1 tablespoon of thinly cut lemon peels (remove the white pith) in a cup.
- Pour some boiling water over the peels.
- Cover and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain the liquid.
- Add some honey and stir thoroughly.
- Drink the tea while it is still warm.
3. Keep Your Home Ant-Free
Dealing with ants is a frustrating and tiring task. Now, you can make your kitchen and other areas of your house ant-proof with the help of lemon peels.
The sweet, lemony smell deters ants. Also, the acidic property masks the scent trails that their ant friends follow when finding their way into your home.
- Cut lemon peels into small pieces.
- Place these pieces in windowsills, door entrances and any sorts of cracks to prevent pests and ants from getting in.
- Replace the lemon peels every few days until you are satisfied with your efforts.
4. Make a DIY All-Purpose Cleaner
Lemon peel can also be used as an all-purpose cleaner. Its acidic property makes it an awesome element for cutting through grease and disinfecting items.
It is particularly effective at cleaning glass windows, mirrors and showerheads, and other household surfaces.
- Throw a few handfuls of washed, chopped lemon peels into a clean glass jar half way.
- Pour white vinegar into the jar until the peels are completely covered.
- Put the lid on and keep the jar on a sunny windowsill for 2 to 3 weeks, shaking it occasionally.
- Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer or a cheesecloth.
- Transfer the lemony liquid into a clean spray bottle.
- Use your homemade lemon cleanser as you would use any other all-purpose cleaner. You can also dilute it with an equal amount of water and then use it.
Note: Do not use this cleaner on porous surfaces like granite and marble.
5. Make Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Whether you are preparing chicken wings, pasta, grilled veggies or roasted potatoes, you can enhance the taste with homemade lemon pepper seasoning.
The savory blend of salt, zesty lemon peel and freshly cracked black pepper is all that you need to take your culinary skills to new levels.
- Preheat your oven on the lowest possible setting.
- Using a zester or vegetable peeler, remove the yellow part from the outside of 4 or 5 lemons.
- Coarsely grind ¼ cup of black peppercorns.
- In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together the crushed pepper and lemon zest.
- Spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet.
- Bake it on low until the mixture is dry.
- Add ¼ cup of sea salt to the mixture.
- Store it in an airtight container and use as needed.
This homemade seasoning will last for up to 6 months.
Even without adding the pepper, you can use lemon zest to flavor both sweet and savory dishes.
6. Brighten Yellow Nails and Teeth
No matter how beautifully you cut and shape your nails, if they have a yellowish tinge you’ll be reaching for some nail polish. But it’s important to give your nails a break from the polish, as they need air to breathe and remain healthy.
To brighten yellow nails, lemon peel is one of the best secrets. The acidic property of the peels helps reduce discoloration. In addition, it is effective in treating nail infections that may be causing the discoloration.
- Soak your nails in warm water for 10 minutes.
- Rub each of your nails with fresh lemon peels for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Rinse your nails with water.
- Use this treatment twice daily until your nails are no longer discolored.
You can also use fresh lemon peels to reduce the yellow tinge accumulated on your teeth. Its bleaching property helps reduce teeth staining, especially smoking stains.
- Rub lemon peel over your teeth for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Rinse your teeth and mouth thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Do this twice daily until you are satisfied with the results.
7. Create Lemon-Infused Oil
Lemon-infused olive oil is a superb addition to practically anything you would dress with olive oil.
From vegetables like roasted peppers to seafood, quick pasta dishes and healthy salads, lemon-infused olive oil will show off your culinary skills.
As both lemon and olive oil are superfoods, you’ll also enjoy the health benefits of both in a single step.
- Dry the peels of 5 or 6 lemons (don’t use the bitter white pith) for at least 1 hour in a sunny place to remove any moisture.
- Put the dried lemon peels into a jar (one with a tight-fitting lid).
- Pour 3 cups of extra-virgin olive oil over the lemon peels.
- Seal the jar tightly and keep it in a dry place out of direct sunlight for 1 or 2 months.
- Strain the lemon-infused oil through a sieve and store it in a clean jar.
- Use as needed.
8. Make a Scented Humidifier
Winter air is dry and humidifiers help put moisture back into the air, which can create a lot of benefits for you and your family. In fact, increasing humidity levels significantly reduces the ability of airborne viruses to cause flu infections.
If you are using a stove-top humidifier, you can add lemon peels to the water to impart a lovely fragrance in the room.
- Put lemon peels in a pot of water.
- Optionally, add some cloves and cinnamon sticks as well.
- Simmer the water on the lowest heat setting to humidify and scent the air.
9. Deodorize and Clean the Microwave
A microwave is one of those kitchen appliances that are often neglected. As a result, they end up with caked on bits of food and may even be smelly, too.
If your microwave needs a good cleaning, use your leftover lemon peels. The acidic nature of the peel will help get rid of stains and grease that might have builtup on the inside of your microwave. It will even make the microwave smell good.
- Fill a microwave-safe bowl with water.
- Squeeze the juice of 2 or 3 lemons into the water. Also, cut up the used lemons and drop the pieces in the water.
- Put the bowl in the microwave and turn it on high power for 5 minutes so that steam develops.
- Turn off the microwave, but do not open the door for another 10 minutes.
- After opening the door, wipe down the inside with a wet washcloth.
10. Add Fragrance to Your Fireplace
During the cold winter nights, everyone loves to sit near the fireplace to feel cozy and warm. You can turn your fireplace into a scented heaven with lemon peels.
Simply toss your leftover fresh or dried lemon peels in your fireplace to enjoy a lemony scent wafting into your room.
Dried peels will also help ignite the wood around them, due to the oil in the peels. Plus, the wood will burn longer.
If you’re outdoors, adding lemon peels to your campfire will help keep mosquitoes and others insects away.
- Add lemon peel (with all the pulp removed) to brown sugar to help keep it moist and easy to use.
- Throw a few lemon peels in the bottom of the trashcan to keep things smelling fresh.
- Add lemon peels to your dishwasher every now and then to help rinse and deodorize it.
- To sanitize your cutting board, rub the surface with fresh lemon peels. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing it off.
- Brighten copper, brass or stainless steel by rubbing the surface with fresh lemon peels.
- Putting lemon peels in your bathwater will leave you feeling refreshed and smelling great.