Should You Really Toss A Few Citrus Peels Into Your Next Load Of Laundry?

Doing a load of laundry can be the most dreaded task on our chore list. Trying to find the perfect detergent, softener, and cycle can be disappointing when the results aren't what you expected. However, you may find a solution in the last fruit you ate — believe it or not, citrus peels can freshen your next load of laundry. There's no doubt that citrus provides us with a number of benefits, including its ability to kick insects to the curb and repel cats from your bird feeder. So that they're also a great stain-removing agent may not come as a surprise.

Beyond their repellent properties, citrus peels have been used as an herbal medicine since ancient times. They can help relieve nausea, phlegm, and digestive issues, and its antioxidant makeup protects our cells from damage and promotes anti-inflammation. When it comes to clothes, their D-limonene content can help break down oil and stubborn stains. Still, between 40,000 and 120,000 tons of citrus peels end up discarded as waste each year, despite the countless benefits they offer even after they're eaten. The next time you eat an orange, consider preserving its peel for your next load of laundry.

Toss a few citrus peels into your next load of laundry

Before getting started, there are a few ways to go about using citrus peels for laundry. Some laundry enthusiasts prefer to soak the clothes with citrus peels before washing, allowing them to remove any surface-level stains before deodorizing the dirty clothes. After the clothes have soaked for about five minutes, you can throw them in the washer along with the citrus peels. If you're opposed to mixing them in with the clothes, you can toss them in the detergent tray and start the load.

If you're not a fan of physical peels, you can create a citrus-vinegar solution that works just as efficiently. To start, place all the peels in a jar before pouring a few cups of vinegar over them. Shake the jar to ensure each citrus rind is coated with vinegar, then allow the ingredients to soak and create a solution over time. Then, leave the solution to soak for at least a week before you use it. After a week, remove the citrus peels from the jar, pour the solution into a spray bottle, and spray it onto stained clothing before washing.

Other ways citrus peels can help keep the house clean

Citrus offers a multitude of disinfecting benefits that can help around the house. If you want to keep your clothes from collecting a musty smell over time, you can place dried orange peels in a closed bag or wrap them in cheesecloth and leave them in your closet next to your clothes. While you may need to replace the citrus rinds after a few months, it will keep your clothes smelling fresh. In the garden, you can toss these peels to repel pests from the plants you're growing. It's easy and compostable!

If you're in need of a natural air freshener, you can boil citrus peels in water to produce a fresh and festive-smelling scent around the house. Similarly, after you've dried your citrus peels, you can add them as a base for DIY potpourri, along with spices, seeds, leaves, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Set up a few mason jars around the house, and you'll feel lucky to have saved those orange peels from ending up in the trash.