How To Make Homemade Potpourri With Citrus Fruit Peels

citrus peels for homemade potpourri

I recently read a blog post about the many uses of banana peels and was inspired to find out how other fruits’ skins also could be repurposed. Most of us typically just eat the flesh (or meat) of fruits and never consider how we can benefit from their peels. Fruits’ outer layers are full of minerals and vitamins, yet they are usually wasted. I knew there had to be solutions in blogosphere for this problem. After some searching, I stumbled on this idea to use fruit peelings to make homemade potpourri.

Whether you prefer to simmer or dehydrate your peelings, you can’t choose wrong with the two recipes below. They cost a fraction of the price of store-bought air fresheners, and are better for you and your family’s health. Collect your peelings and a few ingredients to bring the refreshing scents of nature indoors.

To Make Stovetop Potpourri:

  1. Gather Your Fruit Skins: You can use any type of citrus fruit skins that you have on hand. My family eats lots of oranges, lemons and limes, so that’s what I usually use for my potpourri. I find that fresh fruit peels produce a more potent fragrance. However, if you’d rather save peelings from several fruits before you brew your potpourri, just keep the peelings in a sealed container or freezer bag in your refrigerator until you are ready.
  2. Mix the Ingredients for Your Potpourri: Check that all of the stickers have been removed from your fruit peels. Place all of the peelings in a pot or slow cooker. Pour in enough water to cover the tops of your fruit skins. Add spices, like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and cover with water. Adding essential oils are optional but not required.
  3. Brew on Low Heat: Simmer your potpourri on low heat, and leave it uncovered to allow the scents to fill your home. Stir occasionally, and add water as necessary. When you’re done simmering your potpourri, cover the pot with a lid and let it sit until I’m ready to use it again. Enjoy!

Fun Fact: Farmers in California produce an estimated 90 percent of lemons in the United States, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

Dehydrated Potpourri:

  1. Repeat step one from the above recipe
  2. Dry Out Your Skins: Then arrange your peelings on a cookie sheet, leaving small spaces between the pieces. You may want to cut the fruit skins into fun shapes for a more decorative touch. Then let the peelings sit out for a few days. This process will go a lot faster when the weather warms up in the Spring and Summer. A dehydrator will also work to dry fruit peelings.
  3. Add Spices: Put your dry peelings in a sealed tight container then add cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, pine cones, dried flowers and/or essential oils.
  4. Close Your Jar and Shake: The longer your container stays sealed, the better your potpourri will smell. Give it to a friend or keep for yourself to put in bowls and baskets around your home. Enjoy!

Have you ever made potpourri from fruit peelings? What are some other ways you like to repurpose them?

Image Credit: Juicing via photopin (license)

About the Author

Sustainable Fashion Blogger since 2008 with work featured in magazines and newspapers, among other publications. Find her on .