Oh, the wonders of lemons. Not only do we love putting this fresh-smelling, tart-tasting fruit in pies, cakes, candies and refreshing beverages but we also associate the smell of lemons with cleanliness and good energy. The scent of a lemon is connected with alertness and positive impressions. It's no wonder so many cleaning products on the market today use lemons to entice you to buy them, but if you're trying to use more mild and natural cleaning products in your home, an inexpensive, fresh lemon is a wonderful way to get all your nooks and crannies sparkly clean. We have 10 easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy ideas for cleaning with this versatile citrus fruit.
1. Make Copper Sparkle
Using copper cookware is one of the most beautiful ways to prepare your food. In addition to being delightful to look at, copper pans distribute heat evenly, making them a wonderful tool for cooking temperature-sensitive foods. However, the downside of cooking with copper is the fact that it will tarnish, and you'll need to polish it often.
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Instead of buying expensive copper-cleaning products, use a lemon and coarse salt. Dip the cut side of the lemon half in coarse salt and scrub lightly to remove the tarnish buildup. When your pots are shiny clean, wipe away the grime with a paper towel. The citric acid in the lemon dissolves the tarnish, and the salt becomes a mild abrasive to clear away the tarnish. If you don't have coarse salt, you can dip the lemon in baking soda. The baking soda will also act as a soft scrub. Using a lemon is a quick, easy and earth-friendly hack to polish your copper.
2. Brighten Whites
If you're trying to eliminate harsh chemicals from your home-cleaning products, lemons can be an excellent alternative to bleach. Just add the lemon juice from two or three lemons to your wash water when washing whites to help keep them bright. For clothes that can be washed in hot water, add them to a pot with lemon slices and bring it to a boil. Then, let the clothes soak overnight to remove stains. Some antiperspirants will react with body salts and discolor your clothes. To remove the yellow stains, mix baking soda, lemon juice and water and gently scrub it into the area. Let it sit for an hour or two before washing as usual in your washing machine.
3. Remove Cutting Board Smells and Stains
Mmm! Garlic, onions and peppers are delicious when added to your favorite recipes, but when they are cut on your wooden cutting board, these yummy vegetables can stain and can leave your board smelling pretty stinky. To de-grease, de-stink and remove grime from your cutting board, dip the cut side of a lemon half in coarse salt and scrub. Rinse it off in warm water and your cutting board will be fresh-smelling and clean in no time.
4. Freshen Drinking Water
There's nothing like fresh lemon juice to liven up an otherwise plain glass of ice water. Not only will your water taste fresh and citrusy but you can be sure the sliced lemons will make your water a bit healthier to drink. Lemon juice contains some anti-bacterial properties to eliminate a few strains of bacteria. Healthy and pretty? That's a win-win situation in our book.
5. Wipe Down Countertops
To disinfect and make your countertops sparkly clean, scrub them with a DIY cleaning spray made from white vinegar and lemon peels. Pour your homemade solution in a spray bottle, attach a fun label and you have a strong, natural cleaning agent. You can also use the citrus spray cleaner to remove soap scum and water stains from your bathroom and kitchen faucets, tile grout and shower doors.
6. Clean Coffee Makers
Coffee makers need to be de-scaled often, especially if you have hard water. Your coffee maker will work more efficiently, and your coffee will taste better when your machine is clean. There's no need to buy expensive de-scalers to remove stubborn mineral deposits when you can just add a cup of lemon juice and 2 cups of water to your coffee maker's water reservoir. Run the lemon water through several cycles and you'll have a clean and fresh coffee maker.
7. Scrub Your Microwave
When you're trying to "squeeze the day" and get more out of your time, here's a great lemony cleaning tip for removing stuck-on grime and getting rid of nasty odors in your microwave. Slice a lemon or two, put them in a glass bowl of hot water, place the bowl in the microwave and turn it on for five minutes. When the timer goes off, leave the door closed. Let the bowl sit in the microwave for five more minutes so the steam can break up all the grease and grime. While the steam is doing all the hard work, the lemon juice will be deodorizing the inside. After five minutes, simply wipe down the inside of the microwave with a paper towel and your fresh and clean microwave is ready for your next cooking adventure.
8. Freshen Up a Dishwasher
To freshen up and increase the cleaning power of your dishwasher, place a bowl of lemon slices in hot water on the top rack. Run your dishwasher as usual and the lemons will give it a cleaning boost. They'll make your dishwasher smell fresh and citrusy, and your silverware and dishes will come out squeaky clean.
9. Add Cleaning Power When Hand-Washing Your Pots and Pans
Save your lemon rinds in the refrigerator until you're ready to wash some greasy pots and pans by hand. Throw the rinds and a few lemon slices into your soapy dishwater to help cut the grease and use the peels to scrub the grimy pans. Your pots and pans will come out sparkly clean, and they'll smell great.
10. Make Your Mirrors Sparkle
Give yourself a whole new outlook on life and make your spring cleaning fresh and fun. Mix lemon juice with water in a spray bottle to clean and disinfect your mirrors. Your bathroom will be sparkly clean, and it will smell great too.
We hope you're prepared and excited not only to make lemonade but also to clean your home the next time life gives you a bunch of lemons!