Lemon As a Natural Household Cleaning Solution

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There's more to lemons than just lemonade.  With their fresh, clean scent, lemons are a natural for natural cleaning.  Whether you're in the kitchen, the bath, or the laundry room, lemons can scour, brighten, shine, and freshen without resorting to harsh chemicals.  That tart juice that adds zest to your recipes is an acid that can kill germs, mold, and bacteria, all while leaving a pleasant aroma.

In the kitchen

Disinfect your cutting boards and countertops with a lemon that's been cut in half.  (If you're been chopping onions, it will also eliminate the smell.)  Take a slice of lemon or a tablespoon of juice and clean your microwave.  Place the slice or juice in a small bowl of water and microwave on High for 30 seconds.  Now wipe down the inside with a dry cloth.  Clean your disposal by grinding up the lemon rinds when you're done.  Not only will the rind remove built residue on the blades, but the disposal will smell lemony fresh.

In the bathroom

Remove soap scum and mineral deposits.  With a lemon half, rub over the surface to be cleaned.  For a more abrasive cleaner, dip the cut lemon into  some baking soda or salt.  For mineral deposits, wrap a cleaning cloth soaked with lemon juice around the faucet or spigot.  Let the juice loosen up those crusty minerals (up to 3 hours), then scour the reminder away.

In the laundry room

Long before the advent of modern stain treatments, our grandmothers used lemons to remove stains from washable fabrics.  Mildew, scorch marks, and rust spots can ruin clothing.  Soak the stain in lemon juice, then rub with salt to remove.  Wash and dry as usual.  For brighter whites, try lemon juice combined with  sunshine.  Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the washing machine instead of bleach, then hang outside in the sunshine to dry.  Absolutely old-fashioned but modernly fresh!

All around the home

Polish your copper, brass, and chrome with cloth dampened with lemon juice.  The juice naturally cuts through tarnish, leaving a natural shine.  Rejuvenate your hardwood furniture with lemon juice mixed with olive oil.  Mix equal parts and rub on with a clean cloth to bring out that natural wood glow.  Clean the filmy residue inside glass or crystal vases.  Pour the lemon juice into the vase and let soak.  Add some salt if the residue is especially thick.  Let sit, then wash in warm soapy water for sparkingly clean glassware.

Add lemons to your shopping list for a cleaner, fresher lifestyle!

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Posted on May 22, 2009