Does Lemon & Lime Get Rid of Discoloration?

Does Lemon & Lime Get Rid of Discoloration? thumbnail
Use lemons and limes to make great all-natural cleaning products.

The acidic content in lemons and limes, which is lower than that of most vinegars, is just high enough to get rid of discoloration on a variety of objects, ranging from clothes to metal to wooden furniture. Depending on the saturation of the discoloration, you may be able to get away with using some juice from either fruit instead of having to spend money on expensive commercial cleaners.

  1. Metals

    • Anything made of silver, copper, chrome or brass, such as plumbing fixtures, pots and pans, car parts or musical instruments, may become discolored over time. If you have this problem, but don't want to spend the money on specialty metal cleaners, you can polish these items with a paste made of one part lemon or lime juice to two parts baking soda. If any of these items have a brushed-metal finish, rub the paste with the grain. You can do this by hand or with a soft cloth.

    Laundry

    • When your whites are not so white and you've run out of bleach, lemon juice can be used as an alternative. Fill your washing machine with detergent, clothes and water as you normally would. Allow the machine to wash until it gets to the rinse cycle. At this point, add about half a cup of lemon juice and allow the machine to complete the cycle. For best results, hang the clothes outside to dry instead of using your dryer.

    Lime and Rust

    • The acidic content in lemons and limes is high enough to break down tough stains created by lime, rust and other minerals commonly found in hard water. When cleaning up these stains, you can rub half a lemon or lime directly onto the stain. This may be enough to lift the stain if it hasn't been sitting for too long. If you have trouble, use a scouring pad in tandem with the lemon or lime.

    Wood Furniture

    • You can make your own wood furniture polish out of lemon juice and olive oil to help even out discoloration from water. This polish also gets rid of dullness seen in older pieces of furniture. Whisk together two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice. Dip a soft cloth into the mixture and polish the furniture. Incidentally, this also makes a tasty dressing for salads.

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