30 Ways Lemons Love You Back: Household Uses

Lemons in White BowlYou already know that lemons are a great way to add some zest to your favorite recipes.  And, you’ve probably heard about all of the wonderful health benefits of Warm Lemon Water. However, do you know what else the lovely lemon can help you accomplish in and around your home?

I’ve scoured the web (and a few books too), to bring you some of the best household uses for lemons.  Shown below are thirty ways that you can use lemons around your home to save money, add freshness, and make your life easier. I have tried many, but not all, of them. 

Extend the Life of Your Fresh Produce

Clean Fruits and Vegetables – Mix lemon juice with distilled vinegar and water. Then sprtiz it on fresh fruits and vegetables and rinse well.

Keep fruit from oxidizing – Slow the natural oxidation process by squeezing some lemon juice over cut fruit.

Keep Guacamole Green – Sprinkle a liberal amount of fresh lemon juice over freshly made guacamole to keep it from turning brown.  The same works for freshly cut fruit salad and potatoes.

Make Soggy Lettuce Crisp – Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl of cold water. Then put the soggy lettuce in it and refrigerate it for one hour.  Dry the leaves completely before using them.

Freshen Your Kitchen

Garbage Disposal – Drop half a lemon into the drain with some baking soda and ice cubes.  Cover the disposal and turn it on for a few seconds.

Garbage Pail – Save leftover lemon and orange peels and place them in the base of your garbage pail, under the bag. Repeat once every couple of weeks.

Wooden Cutting Board and Rolling Pin – Squeeze half a lemon onto the board, scrub, and allow to soak for 20 minutes before rinsing. You may also use salt to scrub the board.

Box Graters – Rub a half-cut lemon over the grater and wash as usual.

Coffee Maker – Pour of mixture of half lemon juice and half water into the reservoir and run a full cycle. Afterward, run the machine again with plain water to rinse it out.

Blender – Blend a lemon with a little dish washing soap and water to get it sparkling again. Rinse well.

Refrigerator – Dab lemon juice onto a cotton ball or sponge and leave it in the fridge for several hours to absorb odors. Repeat as needed with fresh cotton ball.

Metal Kitchen Sinks and Faucets and Aluminum pots and pans Make a paste of lemon juice and salt. Apply the paste, scrub gently, and rinse.

Microwave – Mix 3 tablespoons lemon juice into 1 1/2 cups water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5-10 minutes,. Then wipe away the softened food with a dishrag.

Dishwasher – Add lemon peels to your dishwasher every now and then to help rinse and deodorize it.

Plastic Containers – Rub a lemon over the inside of a plastic container, or rinse it with lemon juice to help remove stains and smells.

Freshen Other Parts of Your Home

Freshen the Fireplace – Throw a few lemon peels into the flames to freshen the scent.

Neutralize Cat-Box Odors – Cut a couple of lemons in half and place them, cut side up, in a dish in the room to freshen the air.

Sanitize Your Humidifier – Pour 3 or 4 teaspoons of lemon juice into the water to remove odor and replace it with a lemon-fresh fragrance. Repeat every couple of weeks.

Bathroom Cleaner (Basins, Bathtub, Toilet) – Make a paste of borax and lemon juice and apply it to the stain with a scrub brush or sponge. Let it sit for up to two hours, then scrub away.

Soften Hardened Paintbrushes – Bring lemon juice to a boil on the stove, drop in the brushes, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Wash and rinse in soap water and let dry.

Repel Ants and Other Pests – Place lemon juice in a spray bottle, and regularly mist door thresholds, window sills, and anywhere else bugs might creep in.

Enhance Your Laundry

Boost Laundry Detergent – Pour 1 cup of lemon juice into the washer during the wash cycle to zap stains, brighten fabrics, remove rust and mineral discolorations from cotton clothes, and leave your clothes smelling fresh.

Rid Clothes of Mildew – Make a paste of lemon juice and salt and rub it on the affected area of your clothes, then dry the clothes in sunlight. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

Remove Stains – Scrub the stained area on shirts and blouses with equal parts lemon juice and water.

Bleach Delicate Fabrics – Swap your chlorine bleach for lemon juice, which is milder but no less effective. Soak your ‘unmentionables” in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda for at least half an hour before washing.

Clean Hard Surfaces

Get Rid of Tough Stains on White Marble and Ivory – (Do this only as a last resort; acid can damage marble.) Cut a lemon in half, dip the exposed flesh into some table salt, and rub it vigorously on the stain. Rinse well.

Brass, Copper, Stainless Steel – Make a paste of lemon juice and salt and coat the affected area.  Let it stay on for 5 minutes. Then wash in warm water, rinse, and polish dry.

Chrome – Rub a lemon rind over the chrome to remove tarnish. Rinse well and dry with a soft cloth.

Polish furniture – Mix one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil to make furniture polish. To remove scratches on wood furniture, mix equal parts lemon juice and vegetable oil and rub it on the scratch with a soft cloth.

Remove dried paint from glass – Apply hot lemon juice with a soft cloth. Leave until nearly dry, and then wipe off.  To clean glass, use straight lemon juice on a sponge  or dilute a few tablespoons in a cup of water and spray it on. Wipe it off with newspaper.

So, the next time you zest a lemon, don’t throw it away – instead, keep it for an entirely different purpose.

Source: http://www.marthastewart.com, http://www.trueactivist.com, http://www.rd.com, http://www.almanac.com, http://www.care2.com, http://www.foodnetwork.com



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