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10 Cool Uses for Pineapple Skins

Updated on September 11, 2014

Re-use those pineapple skins, cores and scraps

Find out how to use pineapple skins in your kitchen and home, and give those scraps a second life!

These pineapple skin uses are really simple, frugal and use up the entire pineapple so you don't waste anything.

There's nothing quite like a fresh, juicy pineapple. But nearly every time after peeling one, I look at all the scraps leftover and can't help think that most of the fruit is going to waste.

Although I use a peeling technique that wastes as little as possible, there's still so much that won't be eaten.

Now it's time to share all the great ideas and recipes I've discovered in my quest to save pineapple skins from the scrap heap. Scroll down to find your next pineapple skin kitchen project.

And if you love reducing waste by reusing kitchen scraps, here are a couple more of my articles you might like. Open them up in another tab and enjoy after reading this page.

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1. Pineapple skin sun tea

My mother in law first showed me this traditional way to use up pineapple skins. It's really easy, and is good for you, too! Pineapples contain high amounts of bromelain which have amazing health benefits.

To make your tea, combine the skin, core and any other scraps of one pineapple in a container that has a lid. A small pot or large glass jar is ideal. Cover the pineapple scraps with water, and leave out in the sun for several hours until the water turns yellow. Strain the tea, chill completely and drink sweetened or as is.

photo credit: adventurejournalist via photopin cc

Don't have any sun? There's a similar recipe you can make on the stovetop, known as Pineappleade

2. Pineapple Pot Pourri

Pot pourri is surprisingly easy to make at home, but most people associate it with dried flowers and leaves. In fact, you can use most fruits to make pot pourri, and pineapple skins work wonderfully this way.

To make your own pineapple pot pourri, follow these simple instructions subbing in pineapple skins for the other fruits. You can experiment with different spices, herbs and perfumes to make your perfect mix. I personally love the aroma of pineapple paired with dried ginger, dried coconut and vanilla.

photo credit: Lathyrus via photopin cc

The best low-price dehydrator to make dried pineapple

Using a food dehydrator makes it really easy to make home-made fruit pot pourri.

Just collect your leftover pineapple skins, dehydrate them until crisp and cut into small pieces ready to release their sweet fragrance into your home.

This Nesco dehydrator is a really great price and performs well. Seriously, for the cost of a couple of good pizzas you can make home-made pot pourri - as well as fruit chips, jerky, dried herbs, raw foods and more - for years. Not a bad investment.

Nesco American Harvest FD-37 400 Watt Food Dehydrator
Nesco American Harvest FD-37 400 Watt Food Dehydrator

The best quality dehydrator in this price range, it won't break the bank.

Perfect for someone who likes to dehydrate foods regularly without spending hundreds on equipment.

It does a great job. The only downside is it can be a little noisy, so plan to use it when you won't disturb anyone else in the house.

 

3. DIY Pineapple Vinegar

It's easy to make vinegar at home using the scraps from pineapples.

This straightforward recipe from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook doesn't require any fancy equipment, and you can adapt the flavours to suit your taste.

I love using it for cleaning, because it leaves a faint fruity smell in the house. You can add a half cup to the rinse cycle as a natural clothes softener. For cleaning, I make a plain version, leaving out the spices.

It's also great in vinaigrettes, in Mexican dishes and diluted with honey and water as a drink when you feel a cold coming on.

Make sure your water is filtered, or at least non-chlorinated. Chlorine will kill all the bacteria necessary for fermentation.

  • Cook time: 36 hours
  • Ready in: 36 hours
  • Yields: 2 quarts

Ingredients

  • Skin & core of 1 pineapple
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch red chile flakes

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients together in a large glass bowl or jar.
  2. Cover with a cheesecloth to protect from flies.
  3. Leave at room temperature for around 36hours. The vinegar should be lightly acidic, with an aroma of pineapples.
  4. Skim any foam off the top, remove pineapple pieces and strain the vinegar into clean jars.
  5. Close the jars tightly. The vinegar will keep for several months in a cool place.
2.4 stars from 14 ratings of Pineapple Vinegar Recipe

4. Pineapple peel body scrub

Pineapples are rich in bromelain, which is often used to tenderise meat. Little surprise, then that they are great at softening the tough skin on our feet. Something to keep in mind next time you're giving yourself an at-home pedicure.

To make a pineapple foot scrub, place your pineapple scraps in a food processor or blender and blend until you get a coarse paste. Apply the paste to your feet, and leave for 20 minutes while you relax. Rinse and continue your pedicure.

For a simpler version of the pineapple foot exfoliant, use the entire pineapple skins without chopping them up. Simply rub the inside, fleshy part of the peels over your skin for a few minutes, using small circular motions.

Edit: (July 2014) I've just come across a great little blog entry about making pineapple peel body scrub. Check it out!

photo credit: Rachel D via photopin cc

5. Zoborodo

This refreshing drink comes from Nigeria, and it is incredibly delicious.

Dried hibiscus flowers give the drink a beautiful deep pink colour and floral taste. They're available to buy online if you can't find them near you.

photo credit: Amy Loves Yah via photopin cc

Cook Time

Prep Time:

Total Time:

Serves:

Ingredients

  • skin of 1 pineapple
  • 1 handful dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • sugar to taste

Instructions

  1. - Combine all the ingredients (except sugar) in a lidded pot.
  2. - Add 2 litres water, and bring to boil.
  3. - Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and close lid.
  4. - Leave to infuse for 10 minutes, before straining into a jug.
  5. - Serve chilled, with plenty of ice and sugar to taste.

How to peel a pineapple - With the least waste possible

This is the exact same technique I use. Once you've done it a couple of times it's really easy and quick.

6. Pineapple car freshener

A few years ago, I bought a used car that I thought was a great deal...until I went to drive it for the first time. The previous owners were heavy smokers, and the car stank of cigarettes!

I tried airing the car out, vacuuming, and using a mixture of bi-carb and vinegar to neutralise the odours. Nothing worked. Then a friend told me her trick for making a car smell great - pineapple skins.

To make a pineapple air freshener, collect the scraps from one or several pineapples and place them in a plastic bag. Leave the bag on the dashboard, or another place exposed to plenty of sun during the day. After a couple of weeks, the pineapple pieces will shrink and dry out, and your car will smell like a fruit cocktail.

7. Tepache - Pineapple drink from Mexico

A quick search online will result in dozens of tepache recipes, all different. Some ferment for 24 hours, while others are left for 2 weeks. Traditional tepache used only pineapple scraps, while modern versions use the whole fruit, and add beer to speed up the fermentation process.

For a completely authentic Mexican tepache recipe, check out this page which features a step-by-step tutorial with pictures and tips.

For a simpler version, scroll down for the recipe I use at home.

Whichever version you choose, know that this drink is delicious, and because of the fermentation process is great for your digestion and general health.

Picture by Thelmadatter [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Simple tepache recipe

The piloncillo, or unrefined cane sugar used in this recipe gives it that wonderful, authentic taste. You can also use raw cane sugar, jaggery, palm or coconut sugars.

Cook Time

Prep Time:

Total Time:

Serves:

Ingredients

  • Skin & core of 1 pineapple
  • 12 cups water
  • 2.5 cups piloncillo
  • 1 small canela stick
  • 2 cloves

Instructions

  1. - Wash the pineapple skins and cut into large pieces.
  2. - Place the pineapple skins in a large glass bowl and add 8 cups of water, piloncillo, the canela and the cloves.
  3. - Cover with a cheesecloth, and let sit for about 48 hours. You should notice small bubbles in the liquid.
  4. - Strain the liquid and add the other 4 cups of water, then let sit a further 12 hours.
  5. - Strain again; and serve cold with ice cubes.
Curva Artisan Series Double Wall Beverage Glasses and Tumblers - Unique 8 oz Thermo Insulated Drinking Glasses, Set of 4
Curva Artisan Series Double Wall Beverage Glasses and Tumblers - Unique 8 oz Thermo Insulated Drinking Glasses, Set of 4

These are the best drinks glasses, of all time. They keep your beverages icy cold, and look absolutely amazing. Imagine sitting outside in summer and drinking some ice cold, refreshing tepache with your friends.

 

9. Make juice from pineapple skin

Even if you peel your pineapples in the least wasteful way possible, there's plenty of juicy goodness still stored in the skin. Which is why I was so happy to find this article about how to juice pineapple skin.

Juicing machines filter out all the tough bits of skin, anyway, so don't worry about the eyes, spikes and tough bits ruining your juice. It'll be exactly the same as normal pineapple juice. And to think you would have thrown it away!

photo credit: s-vikitty via photopin cc

10. Pineapple Skin Paper

I haven't tried this at home yet, but am planning on experimenting and posting my results with making pineapple skin paper sometime soon.

In the meantime, you can read about the process of making pineapple paper in Thailand. Basically, the pineapple skins are chopped up, the fibre is released and the pulp is set onto frames to dry in the sun.

Picture of girl making paper in Burma by Thomas Schoch [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

When's the last time you ate pineapple, and what do you usually do with those skins?

Do you love pineapples?

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    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I do love a fresh pineapple. These are great ideas. So many people do a square cut on a pineapple and waste so much of the fruit.

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      These are such interesting ideas. I never knew you could do anything with pineapple skins!

    • Rosetta Slone profile image
      Author

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      @Aunt-Mollie: I'm so happy you learnt something new here!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      This is one of the most informative and interesting lenses I've ever seen. I want those guitar ice cube sticks! And I really want to try every one of your tips. I've always disliked the waste of a pineapple. For that reason, much as I love to eat them, I buy them infrequently. Thank you for inspiring me to spend more time with one of my favorite fruits.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 4 years ago

      I do love pineapple! The skins, unfortunately, usually end up in the trash...that is until seeing all of this wonderful advise! Nicely done and *blessed* :-)

    • Rosetta Slone profile image
      Author

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      @happynutritionist: I'm glad to hear I may have rescued a few skins from the trash can!

    • profile image

      sybil watson 4 years ago

      Wow, so many fantastic ideas! I've always thought all that leftover skin was a huge waste - now I know what to do with it. Great job!

    • irminia profile image

      irminia 4 years ago

      I adore pineapples and I do use your peeling technique. But pineapples don't grow where I leave - they are imported from far away and treated with a fair amount of pesticides/fungicides/whatever-cides. So I guess I better shouldn't use the peel ...

    • Rosetta Slone profile image
      Author

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      @irminia: Hmmm, I'm not sure if pineapples are a high spray crop. A friend told me she washes hers with bi-carb to eliminate the sprays on the skin. Off to investigate...

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 4 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      I love to buy fresh pineapples in season, and you're right... So much goes to waste. I love these ideas! I never would have guessed there were so many ways to use the skins.

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 4 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      Forgot to mention... Blessed

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      I do love them and I love the pineapple potpourri idea! Must try ;) #blessed

    • jayavi profile image

      jayavi 4 years ago

      nicely arrange. love this lens

    • alenmic profile image

      alenmic 4 years ago

      I love pineapples, both fresh and cooked. Thank to this lens, i know there are many things to do with pineapples ^^..great.

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 4 years ago from Ohio

      Since we just had several inches of snow where I live, your wonderful lens provided an added bonus by transporting me to the tropics as I read it! SquidAngel Blessings.

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      I love pineapples! And that pineapple tea sounds lovely. :)

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I love fresh pineapples, I ate pineapples a few days a go. Love these great ideas on how to use pineapples skins.

    • profile image

      MasterDripper 3 years ago

      I love pineapple and never thought of using the skin. I would try the tea and the Jeep (I mean car) freshener...great ideas...cheers and thanks

    • Katie Hazel profile image

      Katie Hazel 3 years ago

      Can I just say I love this lens! It's awesome! thanks for all the ideas :)

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 3 years ago from Diamondhead

      Wow! Sound like you have some great uses, I usually just eat them and root the tops for my garden.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I usually buy them from a vendor who peels it right in front of me. I never thought there are all these wonderful things you can do to those skin.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      What a unique lens! We all had pineapple tonight. I don't know what my wife did with the skin. Probably put it in the compost pile. Thanks for some great ideas!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from Chicago area

      This is very cool! I think my only concern with using pineapple skins for consumption (juice etc.) would be cleaning them adequately, with all those nooks & crannies. Perhaps a good scrub with Veggie Wash spray or a homemade version of that. Love these ideas.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 3 years ago from Diamondhead

      I was just about to cut open a pineapple tonight, you have some very interesting suggestions for pineapple use. I usually just eat it raw and grow the tips into plants.

    • JimHofman profile image

      JimHofman 3 years ago

      I love pineapple! We just threw out the skins. Thanks for the great ideas here!

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 3 years ago from Europe

      To think I've just been composting them all this time.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 3 years ago

      I like the foot scrub idea. Great tip.

    • profile image

      angelatvs 3 years ago

      Wow, I never knew... Thanks so much for the wonderful ideas

    • cwilson360 profile image

      cwilson360 3 years ago

      if my house smelled like pineapple I would crave margaritas all the time. Love it.

    • profile image

      acreativethinker 3 years ago

      So many fabulous ideas for using pineapple. Thanks for sharing. Take care :)

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      So many great ways to use those pineapple skins. I never realized there was so much you could do with the skins. I buy pineapples all the time and will try some of your uses.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image
      Author

      Rosetta Slone 3 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      @Susan Zutautas: Yay! More pineapple skins saved from the trash. Enjoy using them up in great ways.

    • SavioC profile image

      SavioC 3 years ago

      We had pineapple more than a couple of weeks back and we always throw the skins out. But now we are going to make foot scrub thanks to you. Its always great to use something that we used to throw as waste.

    • Demaw profile image

      Demaw 3 years ago

      Who knew. Some very good uses for pineapple skin. Will definitely try some of them.

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 3 years ago

      A while back, and much to my surprise, I found I had that I had pineapple growing in my garden (hence my photo). There are only a couple and the fruits are a long time coming but once they do - WOW! The sweetness makes your eyes water when you eat cut it off the plant and just eat it. I'm so glad to find ways to use the rest of the fruit that the plant took so long producing - I love the foot scrub and the drinks and am now impatient for the next free pineapple from my generous plants. great lens. Thanks.

    • profile image

      ColettaTeske 3 years ago

      I love your ideas for re-using the pineapple skins. I don't like to waste any kind of food. I will be sharing this with my friends. Great job. And, I really want to see a lens on that pineapple paper!

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      I never knew pineapple skin has this many uses, I usually throw it away. I especially like its use as a foot scrub. Thank you so much, I have one pineapple sitting in my kitchen counter now :)

    • Rosetta Slone profile image
      Author

      Rosetta Slone 3 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      @VioletteRose LM: One less pineapple wasted. Awesome!

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 3 years ago from Europe

      I've just been composting it - my worms have been living a life of tropical luxury that my feet could have been enjoying.

    • rainykua profile image

      rainykua 3 years ago

      I had no idea that there are so many things we can do with pineapple skins!

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      The Mexican tepache looks really refreshing!

    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 2 years ago

      Yes, I do. Nowadays I eat them every day. There is a street vendor who goes daily to our shop and deliver us a piece each.

    • mrinfo10 lm profile image

      mrinfo10 lm 2 years ago

      I never knew about using Pineapples for the feet like that. Your recipes sound delicious, and I'm a heavy believer in Pineapple, since it really helps with inflammation as well.

    • jewlsss profile image

      jewlsss 2 years ago

      Great ideas! I usually consume one pineapple a week. I never knew there are so many possibilities for using the skin, hence I always chuck it away. But now I know it better :)

    • profile image

      yehet 9 months ago

      great ideas :) but, can pineapple skin be used for fiberglass? can you answer as quickly as possible? I have this investigatory project and I decided to use pineapple skin cause pine apple skins are wasted here in the philippines

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 6 months ago from Sittingbourne

      Really good article, a person after my own heart. I tend to use my skins in a nutri bullet then strain out the bits which I use in a mash to feed the wild birds.

      kind regards Peter

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