How to Boil Orange Peels in Water

Updated July 20, 2017

The value of orange peels is frequently underestimated. A popular way to use an orange peel is for deodorising. Boiling an orange peel helps release its natural oils into the air, creating a pleasant citrus scent. Orange peels can also be boiled and then candied for some recipes. Whatever the ultimate purpose, using the whole fruit peel puts a few cents back into your pocket and keeps the peels from going to the trash heap.

Wash the peels thoroughly. This step is important, especially so if the peels will be consumed after being boiled. If one is available, use a small scrubber made specifically for fruits and veggies.

Remove the white layer of flesh from the orange peels. Using a small paring knife, remove the bitter flesh, called the pith. Slide the blade along the peel until little or no white flesh is visible.

Cut the peel into small strips. Using the paring knife, gently slice the peel lengthwise creating small ribbons.

Fill a pot with water. Use a pot large enough so that the peels are free to roll with the boiling water. Too many peels in the pot will prolong the boiling time.

Put the peels in the boiling water, and reduce the heat to simmer them. Let the peels simmer for about 15 minutes or until they are soft. If using the peels as a deodoriser, allow them to simmer for as long as desired. Check on the water level regularly so that the pot does not dry out.

Place the strainer in the sink and pour the peels into the strainer. Allow the peels to drain for a few minutes to remove excess water.


If you are boiling the peels for later consumption, try to find organic oranges. Most pesticides used on conventionally grown fruits stay on the peel.


Always use caution when using sharp objects or the stove.

Things You'll Need

  • Vegetable scrubber (optional)
  • Water
  • Orange peels
  • Small, sharp knife
  • Water
  • Small pot for boiling
  • Strainer
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About the Author

Jenna Johnson has been writing online since 2009 and is published on several websites. She attended college in Washington and graduated with a bachelor's degree in anthopology/social studies. While her educational background focuses on society and culture, her writing reflects her experiences and knowledge gained on the job as a wife and mother.