What do you use lemons for in the kitchen? You’ll probably give me a lot of your fabulous recipes. But these wonder fruits can do more than refreshing drinks and tangy desserts. Do you have a cutting board to disinfect? How about a smelly bin to deodorise? Well then, grab a few lemons. I’ll show you how you can use them all up for cleaning, from juice to peel!
Commercial air fresheners contain chemicals that can potentially put our family’s health at risk. So, forget the spray can and use lemons instead! Here are various ways how:
- Air. Add some cloves and lemon slices to a pot of water. Then simmer your natural potpourri for about an hour to eliminate unpleasant odours of cooked food, smoke or paint fumes.
- Waste bin. If your trash can is anything but fresh, lemons might help. After washing your waste bin and replacing the liner, throw in half a lemon or some lemon peel with a tablespoon of baking soda for a clean scent.
- Fridge. You can do the same waste bin technique for your refrigerator, too. For a more potent lemon smell, use a damp cloth with lemon juice to wipe your fridge interior.
- Plastic container. Try rubbing lemon inside or rinsing your food containers with lemon juice to remove stains or lingering odours. You can do this trick for lunchboxes, too.
- Closet. Pierce a few cloves around a whole lemon then place it inside your closet or drawer. The fruit can keep bugs away plus fill your cabinet with lemony fragrance as it dries out.
- Hands. After handling fish, onions or bleach, rub lemon juice on your hands to remove unwanted smells.
2. Insect Repellent
While we love to use lemons for cooking and cleaning, insects and bugs are not fans of the citrus smell. So, to keep spiders, ants or fleas away, squirt fresh lemon juice or lay a few lemon peels along baseboards, door thresholds or windowsills. This natural repellent is perfect for your kitchen, where you don’t want to use chemical sprays on food prep surfaces.
There’s no need to buy new pots or pans when you can keep them looking shiny and new by cleaning them with lemons. You can use lemons for your polishing furniture, too.
Copper and stainless-steel cookware
Have lemon, table salt and a dishcloth ready. Then cut the lemon in half and dip it into a bowl of salt. Rub the lemon directly to your tarnished cooking pot. Continue scrubbing and adding more salt as needed.
You can also make a paste by combining salt and lemon juice to clean corners and hard-to-reach areas. Wash and rinse the pot afterwards then buff it with a dishcloth for extra sheen. The paste works for cleaning kitchen shears and stainless-steel knives, too.
Cut a lemon in half then rub it all over your dull aluminium pot or pan. Afterwards, rinse it and use a soft dishcloth to buff it. You can do this technique for chrome cabinet handles and faucets, too. For tougher stains, combine lemon juice with some baking soda to make a polishing paste.
Mix two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice to make your homemade polish. Shake or whisk the two together. Then dip a soft cloth to your DIY cleaner and apply to your wooden chairs or table, going with the grain. Use a dry, clean cloth for buffing.
4. Natural Bleach
Did you know that you can use lemons to whiten clothes? It’s less harmful and better-smelling than chlorine bleach, too. Here’s how to do it. Fill your washer with hot water then add about a cup of lemon juice. Throw in your whites and let them soak overnight before laundering.
Sometimes, white shirts get yellow stains from antiperspirants. Solve them with a natural stain remover! To do this, combine one part each of lemon juice, water and baking soda. Then use a soft brush to apply and rub it on the stained area. Leave it for about 30 minutes before washing. You can check out this article, too, for more stain-removing methods.
5. Glass Cleaner
Dingy glass windows? Clean them up with your homemade glass cleaner spray! Just combine water (1 cup) and lemon juice (3 tablespoons) in a spray bottle then start spritzing and wiping. For hard-to-clean water stains, dip your cleaning sponge to pure lemon juice.
6. All-Purpose Cleaner
Lemons outshine store-bought cleaners 100%. Aside from being non-toxic, they are antibacterial and less likely to damage surfaces or appliances. Here’s how ultra-versatile lemon can be.
Wooden cutting board and utensils
Wooden boards and spoons can smell and stain when not cleaned properly. Residue can also build up and result in bacterial growth. So, deep clean it by rubbing the surface with half a lemon dipped in salt.
Squeeze the lemon to release the juice as you rub. Add more salt if needed then set it aside for 5 to 10 minutes. After which, use a bench scraper to scrape dirt away from the board. Wash and rinse it then dry thoroughly. Read this article to learn more tips on cleaning and disinfecting your home.
Timber and marble benchtops
The lemon and salt combo works on stained benchtops, too. All you have to do is to rub the surface with lemon dipped in salt. Alternatively, sprinkle coarse salt over the spot, then scrub the stain away with lemon. Rinse the area thoroughly then wipe dry.
Microwave and dishwasher
Combine ¼ cup lemon juice and half lemon with two cups water in a glass container. Microwave your lemon water with enough power to make it boil and fill the inside with steam. Once done, don’t open the microwave door just yet.
After 5 minutes, carefully remove the glass container. Then use the lemon water and dishcloth to wipe softened food particles off the microwave interior, turntable and door. The process is even quicker with your dishwasher. All you have to do is put your dirty dishes in, add a lemon wedge on the top shelf then run your dishwasher as usual.
Stainless sink, bathtub and toilet
Clean and disinfect your kitchen sink or bathtub by making a paste out of liquid dish soap and baking soda. Apply this paste on half a lemon and scrub away! For toilet bowls with water or rust stains, mix enough lemon juice to laundry borax to make a paste. Apply the paste and leave it on for about 2 hours before cleaning and rinsing your bathroom.
7. Descaling Agent
Mineral deposits or limescale can build up when you’re using hard water for your blenders, coffeemakers or kettle. Without proper descaling, they can transfer off-flavours to your beverages, too.
So, for a sparkling clean blender, throw in some lemon, water and dish soap into the jug then blend. Rinse and dry thoroughly after. For kettles and coffeemakers, pour in half a cup of lemon juice with some boiling water before running a complete cycle. To rinse, repeat the process with plain water this time.