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Orange Peel


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I've used a zester to remove only the colored part (not the pith). pulverize them very well or they will become scratchy in the final soap. You won't smell much if any citrus after it hits the lye solution, but if using citrus EO's you may get a bit of a scent anchor from the zest.

A better use of the citrus peels, IMO, is infused in vinegar to use as a surface cleaner. Citrus and vinegar cut grease and grime like nobody's business!

Get a nice big glass jar (the bigger the better), fill it with white vinegar and the peels as they accumulate. Let them steep a good long while (2 weeks is good, a month is better). Shake them once in a while to agitate. When you need to clean your kitchen dilute the infused vinegar with water in a spray bottle and go to town.

There are other additions/variations to this formula, but it works very well as-is too.

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I use the peels from those "cuties" oranges, because they have so very little pith. I just save the peels, since we can go through a box of those in a few days in my house, and dry them on paper in the sun in the laundry room. Once they are dry (seems to take 3-4 days), I grind them up in the food processor, or even a coffee grinder if I want a real fine grind. I dont find them to be scratchy at all in a recipe, although I do really only use them in a kitchen/gardening soap.

I've used lemon and lime peel too, but for those I "grate" them and dry the grated peel instead of using the whole peel.

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Thanks everybody. These oranges do not seem to have a very thick skin like some that I have. Not as thin as the cuties, but still rather thin. We have been having a wide range of weather these last couple of weeks so I may have to wait until summer to try (if my kids are having an orange kick then. I tend to buy the fruit that they will eat at that time) It has been to wet, cold, cloudy, snowy with not much sun. :( I like the idea of putting them in vinager. I will have to try that at least.

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