Lemonade isn't the only thing to make when life hands you lemons, and these 10 citrus home hacks are proof! But the best thing about these tips is that most of them use parts of a lemon that you'd typically discard, which essentially means you're repurposing rubbish. Well done, environmental warrior!
1. Lemon Cleaning Cloths
Lemon-scented cleaning cloths are a refreshing alternative to the expensive and all too often chemical-laden disinfectant wipes available at the store. Instructions: Submerge several clean washrags in a mixture of equal parts water and white distilled vinegar. Add a few drops of olive oil and soak until completely saturated. Wring out the washrags and then roll the peels from 4-6 lemons like a burrito (several peels in each). Store in an air-tight container until game time.
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2. Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
It's time to level up your DIY game from craft goddess to full-on earth mama with eHow's lemon and baking soda dishwasher detergent. All you need is a copy of Paul Simon's "Live In Central Park," a lemon and a mean case of the munchies. Instructions: Combine 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup white vinegar, (optional) 1/4 cup Borax, 1 tsp coarse salt, 2 tbsp lemon juice and pour the detergent mixture directly into the soap compartment of your dishwasher. We even have a tutorial that shows how to make your own laundry pods that don't look like candy.
3. Heal Those Heels
Those boots may have been made for walking, but your dry, cracked heels need a break. Seriously, hon — those hooves of yours are gross. But the good news is that the vitamin C in lemons can cure callouses (but not callousness). Instructions: Cut a lemon in half, remove the peel and place it on your heal like an upside-down hat. Keep the lemon rind in place with a sock, and leave it on your foot for 20 minutes. Repeat daily until your heels go from gross to gorgeous. And if you're a big guy like me, leave the lemons for the ladies and grab a grapefruit.
4. Manage That Microwave
Follow these simple steps to easily wipe your crusty microwave clean. Instructions: Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a a microwave-safe bowl. Add 1/2 cup of water, as well as the lemon halves, and microwave for three minutes or until the water boils. Let your bowl of lemon water sit in the microwave for five minutes. The lemon steam magically loosens food crud. Simply wipe the microwave clean without the hassle of having to scrub. Boom!
5. Lemon Dessert Bowls
This may not be an everyday use for lemons, but if you'd like to make a sweet impression on someone special, use a hollowed-out lemon rind as a fancy bowl! It says, "I'm quirky and safe, and I'll happily drive your mother to Costco on the weekends." Instructions: Simply cut a lemon in half, remove the flesh with a spoon or a fruit corer and place a scoop of sorbet or ice cream into the halved lemon. Not only is it cute, but it's a fun way to portion control. And it saves washing up!
6. Detox Your Dishwasher
Is there a soggy tortilla chip on your freshly-cleaned plates? After a handful of cleaning cycles, dishwashers begin to act and smell like dish-dirtiers. But fear not, you can detox your dishwasher with (you guessed it) a lemon. Instructions: Cut a lemon in half and place the pieces on the top rack of your dishwasher. Run the lemons through a cleaning cycle with soap and without dishes. If you really want to give your dishwasher a complete clean, then this eHow tutorial shows you how to nuke that puppy (organically, of course).
7. Lemon and Ginger Ice Cubes
Lemon and ginger are like that healthy couple next door who go to yoga together. Nutritionists attribute improved cognitive brain function, strengthened immunity and improved digestion to this nutritious power couple. And what better way to enjoy the benefits of lemon and ginger than to simply toss a few ice cubes into your sparkling water (or vodka tonic). Instructions: Prepare a mixture of equal parts freshly-squeezed lemon and filtered water. Pour the mixture into ice-cube trays and then grate ginger directly over the mixture until it's covered. Freeze the concoction overnight.
8. Make Your Shower Doors Shine
Soap scum and hard-water stains love nothing more than crudding up your shower doors. And if you live in a region with higher levels of calcium in the water, these stains can be particularly stubborn and often require special, expensive cleaners. But here's a bit of chemist's wisdom: Lemon and sea salt form a compound that can cut through the calcium and magnesium carbonates that build up on your shower door. In fact, you can use this hack wherever hard-water stains lurk. Instructions: Simply cut a lemon in half and dip the exposed end into a dish of sea salt before scrubbing your shower door in a circular motion.
9. Lemon and Peppermint Exfoliant Scrub
If you've tried a few of our lemon hacks and find yourself with leftover rinds that have been a delightful home to your stinky feet or your date's dessert, then try this homemade lemon and peppermint foot scrub. Instructions: Mix 1 cup coarse sea salt, 1/2 cup sweet almond oil, zest from one lemon and eight drops of peppermint essential oil. Store your magical foot rejuvenator in an air-tight jar.
10. Clean Your Entire Dang House
Are you buying different cleaning products for each room of your house? C'mon, dude! Stop buying what the marketers tell you to. Just make one cleaning product that is non-toxic and nearly FREE. Our sister site Hunker has the tutorial. Instructions: Mix equal parts lemon juice, distilled white vinegar and water into a spray bottle, and then confidently conquer the chaos in your castle for cheap.