We all know that oranges are great for our health, but what you might not realize, is that their peels are useful, too. So, before you throw them away, here are a bunch of ways to put them to use around the house.
First, you've probably noticed that lots of wood polishes have citrus in them. Why spend money on chemicals when all you really need is an orange peel to get the job done? Just rub the white side of the peel on your wood furniture and watch it shine right up.
The same goes for caked on microwave stains. Start by putting a few peels in a bowl, add some water, and then microwave on high for five minutes. The steam from the water will loosen up the stains, while the citric acid from the orange peels will kill the bacteria. Once it's done heating, wipe away the mess with a damp cloth and you'll be good to go.
Next, orange peels aren't just good for cleaning around the house, they're good for cleaning your body, too. Instead of buying an expensive body scrub, just wrap the orange peels in some cheesecloth or gauze, tie it up and use it the next time you shower. The peel will firm and brighten you skin, and besides being free, it's all natural.
Finally, orange peels are a great household deodorizer. Put a single layer of orange peels on a cookie sheet in a warm room for a few days until they're dry. Once they get brittle, grind them up, and put them in a sachet. From there you can place them in drawers, closets, shoes, or even at the bottom of your garbage can to keep odors from overwhelming your house.
The next time you eat an orange, don't forget to hold onto the peel. You'll see that what most people toss in the trash can be a real treasure around the house.
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TV. Downgrade to a cheaper package or eliminate cable/satellite altogether and use services like Hulu and Netflix (NFLX).
Electronics. Put your electronics on a "smart" power strip to lower electricity costs. Turn off electronics and unplug phone chargers when they're not in use.
Lights. Replace your traditional bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs to cut energy costs dramatically.
Furniture. Shop second-hand, go to garage sales and comparison-shop online to get the best prices on some great, unusual pieces.
Heating and cooling. Get a programmable thermostat to help regulate your home's temperature based on when you're there and when you're away.
Appliances. Energy Star appliances may cost more to buy, but they're well worth it when it comes to the long-term savings.
Water. Don't waste money on bottled water. Filter your own tap water with a faucet-mounted or pitcher-style filter and take it with you in a reusable water bottle.
Dishes. Only run the dishwasher when it's full, and let the dishes air-dry.
Cleaning. Use reusable sponges and dish cloths rather than paper towels. Make your own cleaning solutions from inexpensive household ingredients like ammonia, vinegar and baking soda.
Shower. Use a low-flow shower head and limit your shower time. (Sorry, long, hot showers are a no-no.)
Sink. Turn off the water when you're brushing teeth or shaving.
Toilet. Invest in a dual-flush toilet, which has separate buttons allowing you to flush with a small amount of water or a large amount, depending on the job at hand.
Lights. Put lights on a dimmer to use less energy late at night and early in the morning, when bright light is not necessary.
Heating. Bundle up in cold months with multiple covers and quilts, and turn the heat down when you're sleeping.
Closet. Clean out your closet and sell any unwanted or rarely used clothes and accessories.
Use it more. Instead of eating out, cook more dinners at home, and have friends over for a potlucks instead of going out to pricey restaurants.
Phone. Get rid of your landline if you rarely use it. There's no point in having one if you're on your cell all the time anyway.
Internet. Get internet service from your phone or TV provider and bundle your services for savings.
Work out. Create a home gym and cancel your pricey gym membership.
Store food in bulk. Get a standalone freezer and create a pantry area with shelving units to store products purchased in bulk or on sale.
Laundry. Use cold water, only run full loads, air-dry items, and regularly clean lint traps to keep your machines running efficiently.
Hot water tank. Insulate your hot water tank and set it at a lower temperature.
Furnace. Change the furnace filter regularly and have your air ducts professionally cleaned every three to five years.
Extra space. Rent out unused space, whether it's a storage space, a bedroom to a student, or creating an entire apartment.
Insulation. Keep heat from escaping and lower your energy bills by insulating your attic.
Odds and ends. Storing a ton of stuff up there? Hold a garage sale and sell what you're not using.