25 Astonishing Uses For Your Fruit & Vegetable Peel

25 Astonishing Uses For Your Fruit & Vegetable Peel

Stop! Don't throw away those leftover fruit and vegetable peels, I've got some brilliant uses for them, so prepare to be amazed.

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1. Potato peel crisps

I can't wait to try making these seriously delicious-looking crisps, or 'chips' as they are known in the US. If you've been peeling potatoes for a Sunday roast or a winter soup then you'll have plenty of leftover peels. Use them to make the crisps seen in the video above.

2. Avocado peel for face & hair

Did you know you can use avocado peel as a rich face moisturiser? It contains lots of fatty acids which are great for your hair and skin. If you've just used an avocado in a recipe, grab the peel and rub it over your face and hair, leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash it off.


3. Orange peel for whiter teeth

Grab some scissors and cut an inch strip out of your leftover orange peel. Cover your teeth with the pith facing you and rub it back and forth. The acid on the peel will help to brighten them. Brush your teeth after a little while, but not straight away, as you do not want to damage any tooth enamel weakened by acid. 

4. Lemon peel for a cleaner kettle

cut lemon
Get it clean in a flash!

If you live in a hard-water area then you may find your kettle has a build up of mineral deposits inside. This can cause scaling, which will eventually slow down your kettle's heating process. Grab some thin slices of lemon peel and bring them to the boil in your kettle. After the mixture has boiled, let it sit for an hour, drain and then rinse.

5. Peach peel as a face scrub

Save your peach peels and add a little sugar to the inside of the skin. Gently scrub your face with the peach skin to make you feel revitalised and keep your skin hydrated. If you want to know how to peel a peach without a knife, see kingArthurFlour.com.

6. Cucumber peels to combat ants

cucumber slices
Ants begone!

Do you have ants visiting? Find out where the entry point is and leave cucumber peels there overnight. Ants do not like cucumber and will not return. This solution is child and pet friendly, just remember to dispose of them the next day.

7. Orange peel for fabric dye

Eco-friendly and cost-effective, you can use orange peels, lemon ends, spinach, onion skins and more to create your very own homemade natural dye. Try experimenting to see what colours you can create.

Head over to Lemons For Life to find out how.

8. Banana peel for polishing shoes

Who knew you could use banana peel in such a useful way? If you have got to the bottom of your pot of shoe polish, then grab an old banana skin and follow the instructions from Videojug in the video above.

9. Parsnip & carrot peel fritters

Using some flour, spices, fresh herbs and a beaten egg, you can create your own fritters with leftover carrot and parsnip peel. Create a firm shape with the combined mixture and fry over a medium heat. This is fantastic use for those leftover peelings from roast dinners - enjoy!

10. Lemon peel for a homemade seasoning

This will go beautifully with so many dishes.
This will go beautifully with so many dishes.

simplyScratch.com have a super recipe for you to make your own lemon pepper seasoning. If you're already using lemon juice in a recipe, it's a great way to use the peel.

11. Apple peel jelly

Do you eat a lot of apples? Well I've got a great use for them if you do! Your leftover apple peels, cores and a few other ingredients, can be used to make your very own apple peel jelly! Head to sMartinRealty.com for the instructions on how to do it.

12. Potato peel for puffy eyes

Using your leftover potato peelings, place the underside of them on each eye for around ten minutes. The enzyme 'catecholase' is in potatoes, which acts as a skin lightener - say goodbye to dark circles!

13. Orange peel for potpourri

Your home will smell amazing.
Your home will smell amazing.

With the cold weather approaching it's a nice idea to make your home smell lovely and seasonal. I've found a great recipe from callHerBlessed and it looks very easy to do.

14. Lemon peel for a clean coffee pot

If your coffee pot has stains then reach for the lemon peel, lemon, salt, ice and water. Follow the instructions at doItYourself.com and you can enjoy a sparkling clean coffee pot.

15. Orange peel to keep brown sugar soft

Do you find it annoying when you go to get your brown sugar and discover it has turned into a hard rock? Prevent this by tossing a few orange peels into the jar and you'll find it will be perfectly soft, every time you go to use it.

16. Orange peel for a cocktail twist

The flaming orange twist is a great way to make your cocktails look extra-special! Learn how to flame an orange twist by checking out the video above made by Bon Appétit.

17. Vegetable peel for an easy stock

This is a classic use for vegetable peels. Use leftover kitchen scraps to make a delicious stock as a base for soups, stews and gravy. You can also freeze it until you need to use it, find out how by checking out inSonnetsKitchen.

18. Banana peel for cleaning houseplants

Have your houseplant's leaves lost their shine? Eat a banana and then use the peel to clean them! Wipe down each leaf with the inner side of the banana peel for shine and a pleasant smell.


19. Lemon peel for homemade candles

Make your home smell and look beautiful with these lavender lemon candles from Brit.co. For more like this, head to 19 natural ways to make your home smell wonderful.

20. Apple peel in tea

I bet this tastes fabulous.
I bet this tastes fabulous.

If you've been busy peeling apples for a tasty pie, or yummy sauce, why not use the leftover peel to create a sweet tea? theKitchn.com tells you how to make your own - it's very simple. Experiment using other peel, like orange or peach. Let us know which you like best!

21. Fruit & vegetable peels in compost

You can use vegetable and fruit peels in your compost bin or pile - they're a great source of nitrogen. For more details on making compost, check out recycleNow.com.

22. Lemon peel to clean stainless steel, chrome & copper

Rub lemon peel on stained surfaces and it will bring back the shine to your stainless steel, chrome and copper. They will look as good as new!

23. Clementine peel in mulled wine

clementines in bowl
They'll add so much depth!

Using the peel from clementine, lemon and lime you can knock up the perfect seasonal treat. For Jamie's mulled wine recipe, head to JamieOliver.com - it sounds lovely.

24. Apple peel & tomato peel for purifying water

A researcher in Singapore at the National University has discovered that tomato is an efficient adsorbent for water purification, and apple peel a biomass for water purification. Try soaking your leftover tomato and apple peels in alcohol for a day to remove the micro-organisms, then let them dry. Soak the peels in a bowl of tap water for one hour, then remove the peels.

25. Orange peel for a citrus-infused cleaner

Another great homemade cleaning product.
Another great homemade cleaning product.

We all know the wonders of vinegar, (if you don't, head straight to Be amazed: 21 surprising uses for vinegar to know more), so why not make a citrus-infused cleaner as an inexpensive home cleaning product? All you need are peels and some trusty white vinegar. Visit myMerryMessyLife.com for more details on how to make your own.

Hope you've enjoyed our tips! If you've got any that we haven't listed, let us know in the comments below.

Colleen B


Lifelong biscuit addict. Obsessed with recipes, cooking & eating. Slightly lazier than the average bear, so likes writing about life hacks & discovering the quickest / easiest way to do things.

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  1. Author Sue on January 9, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Parmesan shavings - quicker, tastier, and less of a clean up operation than using a fine grater!

    1. Author Colleen B on January 12, 2016 at 11:50 am

      Great tip Sue!

  2. Author Selvum Naidoo on April 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Great stuff !

    1. Author Colleen B on May 3, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the blog post Selvum, please share it with your pals! :)

  3. Author Donatello46 on April 19, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Hm, I'm not too sure about the wisdom of using an acidic medium like orange peel to clean teeth, after all it is acidity that causes erosion of tooth enamel in the first place. A possibly better way and the complete opposite of the orange peel method, is to dip a wet toothbrush in a little bicarbonate of soda and brush teeth with that (some toothpastes even include bicarb in their ingredients and charge more for it - this is much cheaper).

    1. Author Chelsea Hood on February 24, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      this is amazing thank you for the info this will help a lot

  4. Author Maria on November 2, 2020 at 6:36 am

    We have hens and I cook the potato peelings in a veggie stock with crushed garlic and then feed peelings and garlic to hens on the ground so they forage and put the stock in with their fluid and they love it. Our hens live for years an we are sure this contributes.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 3, 2020 at 11:43 am

      Nice idea!

  5. Author mary on September 23, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    did you know orange peel dried on a woodburner give a wonderfu arom........and then the dried peel is a great fire lighter!

    1. Author Joanne A on January 27, 2023 at 12:28 pm

      Great tip! The oils in the orange peel are powerful, but please note that burning orange peels can also release harmful chemicals into the air. Hence, it is necessary to use them in a well-ventilated area and not inhale the smoke directly.


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