How to Use Citrus Peels as Natural Dish Scrubbers

How to Use Citrus Peels as Natural Dish Scrubbers

How to Use Citrus Peels as Natural Dish Scrubbers


Citrus peels are nature’s scrubbers! The peels from lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits make excellent eco-friendly scouring pads. Using citrus peels to clean dishes is an easy way to avoid harsh chemical cleaners and reduce waste. In this article, I will provide tips on collecting and preparing citrus peels for dish scrubbing. I’ll also share my favorite scrubbing techniques and homemade citrus-infused cleaning solutions. With just a little effort, you can harness the natural cleaning power of citrus peels. Ready to give your sponges and brillo pads a break? Let’s dive in!

Collecting and Preparing Citrus Peels

Before you can start scrubbing with citrus peels, you need to collect and prepare them:

Choose Thick-Skinned Citrus Fruits

The peels of thick-skinned citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits make the best natural scouring pads. Their coarse texture is ideal for scrubbing tough, stuck-on messes. Thinner peels from lemons and limes also work but may require more elbow grease.

Wash and Dry Peels Thoroughly

Once you squeeze the juice from your citrus fruits, rinse the peels well to remove any dirt or chemical residues. Allow peels to air dry completely before using. Damp peels won’t scrub as effectively.

Cut Peels into Quarters

For easy gripping, cut peels into quarters or eighths. Smaller pieces give you more control when scrubbing. Remove any remaining fruit pulp, which can harbor bacteria.

Store in an Airtight Container

To prolong freshness, store dried citrus peels in an airtight container or plastic bag. They’ll keep for several weeks at room temperature or longer in the fridge.

Scrubbing Techniques and Tips

Citrus peels make fantastic natural scouring pads for all sorts of cleaning tasks. Here are some tips for getting the most from your peels:

Focus on Tough, Stuck-On Messes

The abrasive texture of citrus peels makes them ideal for tackling baked-on or burnt-on foods. Use a rubbing motion to gently lift stubborn spots from pots, pans, baking dishes, and more.

Avoid Scratching Delicate Surfaces

While excellent for scrubbing most surfaces, I don’t recommend using citrus peels on non-stick cookware or polished materials that are prone to scratching. For those, stick to soft sponges or microfiber cloths.

Combine with Baking Soda

For extra scrubbing power, dip citrus peels in baking soda before scouring dishes. The combination of abrasive citrus oils and alkaline baking soda helps break down stuck-on gunk.

Make a Citrus Scrubbing Solution

You can also infuse vinegar or water with citrus peels to make DIY scrubbing solutions. Simply steep washed peels in vinegar or water for 2-3 days then remove peels. The liquid will absorb the peels’ natural citrus oils.

Compost Peels When Finished

Don’t throw citrus peels in the trash when you’re done scrubbing! Used peels can be composted or added to a garden as fertilizer. It’s a zero-waste solution.

Scrubbing Whole Citrus Halves

Besides citrus quarters or eighths, you can also scrub using whole citrus halves:

  • Cut a citrus fruit (grapefruit works well) in half crosswise.

  • Squeeze juice from each half and reserve for drinking.

  • Scrub dirty dishes with the textured interior citrus skin, focusing on stuck-on spots.

  • The curved shape allows you to apply focused pressure and easily scrub curved cookware.

  • When finished scrubbing, toss the used citrus halves into the compost bin.

Scrubbing with whole citrus halves takes advantage of the peels’ natural shape for ergonomic cleaning.

Make Your Own Citrus Scrubbers

For the ultimate eco-friendly citrus scrubbers, you can create your own from used peels:

Supplies Needed

  • Dried citrus peels
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tile or plastic mesh sheet


  1. Arrange peels flesh-side down on a tile or mesh sheet in your desired scrubber shape.

  2. Apply hot glue around the edges of the peels to adhere them to the tile.

  3. Once the glue dries, your citrus scrubber is ready for sudsy dish duty!

  4. To use, dip scrubber in soapy water and scrub dishes as usual. Rinse and air dry after each use.

DIY citrus scrubbers provide an earth-friendly alternative to store-bought plastic scrubbies. Customize them to perfectly fit your hand for comfortable cleaning.

Discover the Power of Citrus Peels

With their refreshing scent, natural oils, and abrasive texture, citrus peels are ideal eco-friendly scrubbers for tackling grease, grime, and baked-on foods. Their cleaning power rivals harsh chemical cleaners. Plus, using food scraps that would otherwise go to waste reduces environmental impact. Give citrus peels a try, and you may never look at dish duty the same way again! With a little creativity, you can harness citrus peels as natural, homemade dish scrubbers.