Ask the people at Martha Stewart Living and they'll tell you that lemons are as indispensable as onions and garlic when it comes to cooking.
But lemons can do more, much more than give food that characteristic lemon zing. Lemons also make amazing safe, natural, non-toxic cleaners and disinfectants.
Fill your supermarket basket with lemons because here are 10 amazing uses for lemons around the house.
1. Degreasing Stoves and Benchtops
The citric acid in lemons is a potent degreaser and pairing with a bit of baking soda will make it doubly effective. Sprinkle a handful of baking soda on your stove top or bench top and rub the surface with a slice of lemon. Wipe any residue with a clean damp cloth. You'll have a grease-free stove and bench top in no time!
2. Microwave Cleaning
Cut 1 lemon into thin slices and place in a bowl of water. Place the bowl inside the microwave, set it on high for a minute or two to work its magic. The mist will loosen built up gunk which can be easily wiped with a clean cloth. Voila! A clean and fresh smelling microwave oven.
3. Safe Pest Repellant
The citric acid in lemons and makes an effective insect repellant. Pesky critters like ants can't stand the smell of lemons! If you have ants in the kitchen, squeeze drops of lemon juice on cracks and crevices where they enter. Lemon works just as well on fleas, mosquitoes, and cockroaches. Give your floors a lemon and water wash, spray around the house with that solution and say bye bye to pests.
4. Refresh Cutting Boards
The bacteria hiding in the knife scars of cutting boards can cause cross-contamination of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella as well as allowing bad odours to fester. Give cutting boards a refresh by sprinkling coarse salt over the entire cutting board and rub the salt in using a sliced half of lemon. Squeeze lightly on the lemon as you go to release the lemon juice. This will remove the stink and sanitize the board too!
5. Freshen the Fridge
Of all the appliances we have, the fridge often has the stinkiest reputation. Here's a quick and easy way to get the stink out of the fridge. Dab a few drops of lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge, leave in the fridge overnight and be greeted by a fresh lemony scent in the morning.
Lemons can make an amazing dishwashing detergent. Simply cut lemons into 1/4 inch chunks being careful to remove the seeds. Using a stove, heat the lemon chunks in 11/2 cup of water slowly until reduced. Strain the lemon mix to eliminate any bits of pulp and stir in 4 oz white vinegar and a cup of salt until well combined. Bring to a boil until well-combined. Let cool and you have a dishwasher detergent ready for tough action!
7. Metal Polish
Cut the lemon into small pieces and dip in a solution of hot vinegar and salt. Rub metal with the piece of lemon and thoroughly rinse. Polish dry with a clean cloth to make brass, copper, and bronze shine like new again!
8. Bathroom Cleaning
A lemon sliced in half is all you need to clean the bathroom. Well, maybe more than one, but the thing is, lemons can be used all around the bathroom. Remove soap scum from floors, walls, shower curtain, and tapware! The acid in lemon eliminates bacteria while effectively breaking down built-up dirt and grime. If you notice any rust stains, go ahead and put that lemon to good use, it works on rust too!
9. Removes Mould and Mildew
Mould is a common sight in bathrooms. Mould not only ruins the clean look of the house, but more importantly, it's a health risk. Using bleach to treat mould just compounds one health risk with another. Skip the bleach and use a lemon paste by mixing lemon juice with salt or borax. Then just happily go to town on the mould with a brush.
10. Doedorise Garbage Bins
Finally, when you're done cleaning the house with your lemons, chuck any leftover lemons and lemon peels in the garbage bin to neutralise that stinky garbage smell!
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