If you frequently use fresh lemon in baking, homemade salad dressings and tea, you may find yourself throwing out a substantial amount of peel. While you can add lemon peel zest to desserts, and as a garnish on a variety of foods, it also has a number of other helpful, practical household applications. The next time you find yourself with extra lemon peel, use it in one of several different ways to create a fresh smell around the house, clean household messes and even discourage pesky insects.
Dice the peel of a lemon and add it to a bowl half full of water after something has exploded in the microwave. Put the lemon-water bowl in the microwave and let it cook for five minutes. The lemon scent will neutralize the smell of the exploded food, and the boiling water will make wiping down the inside of the appliance quick and easy.
Rub a piece of lemon peel on a wooden or plastic cutting board when it begins to smell like garlic or onions. Often, cutting boards hold the smell of the most potent things cut on them. Rubbing the board with lemon peel will help neutralize the odor.
Add several chunks of lemon peel to a bowl of boiling water on the stove top to humidify the room. Top up the water level as necessary, and let the water boil for a couple hours. The result will be a less dry home with a pleasant, light lemon scent.
Place small chunks of lemon peel in areas of your home in which you believe ants or other insects are located. If you see ants entering your home through a crack in a door frame, for example, put the lemon peel in the immediate vicinity. The acid smell discourages and repels the insects.
Add water and several slices of lemon peel to a coffee pot or teapot that has become discolored due to a mineral deposit buildup. Boil the water for several minutes, then pour it out and dry the pot. The deposits will be eaten away by the lemon peel's acidity.