10 Useful Things You Can Clean with Lemon: Lemons contain both acidity found in the juice, along with the grease-cutting oil contained within its skin, to create a superb cleaning sidekick. This beautiful, acidic, multi-purpose, yellow gem can be used to clean countless things around the house and has so many other great uses outside of cleaning as well. But this week we’ve got great uses for cleaning with lemons lined up, and, as I like to say, when life hands you lemons, you start cleaning. We all know, I hope at least by now, that leaving a box of baking soda in the fridge will help manage unpleasant odors. But did you know you can do the same thing with a lemon? That’s right, and there are a few ways to accomplish this.
You can either soak a cotton ball in lemon juice and put that in a little bowl in the fridge, you can leave a small bowl of fresh-squeezed lemon juice in the fridge, or you can even cut a lemon in half and leave it in a small bowl flesh up. You’re going to want to change it out every week or so, or else you’ll replace that funky smell in your fridge with the smell of rotting lemons, which is not hot. You’d be surprised just how easy it is to tackle even the most stubborn stains inside your microwave using nothing more than a lemon and a bowl of water. Simply cut the lemon in half and squeeze each half of the lemon into a bowl, which is filled halfway with water, then place the rest of the lemon, skins and everything, into the bowl and place it inside your microwave. Set the timer for about three to five minutes and cook it on the highest setting available. Once it beeps, let the microwave cool down for five minutes or so and prepare for a very easy cleanup. The lemon will eliminate nasty odors, and the steam will mix with all of the lemon oils and loosen all of that buildup on the inside of the chamber. Now you can just wipe everything away using a paper towel or a clean, damp cloth.
Cheese graters are excellent for grating cheese and horrible at staying clean. Bits of cheese get stuck inside that cheese grater, and even after you pull it out of the dishwasher you still might see some of that cheese remaining. So for an easy way to clean your grater, just cut a lemon in half and then grate the fleshy side of the lemon on both sides of your cheese grater. The lemon oil and juice will help cut the dairy fat and break up any of those stubborn proteins. After a quick rinse, you should find that the lemon does an excellent job and it also saves you from ripping apart your sponges. We made a video about this a while back, but the trick is so good I had to share it again. All you need is a little bit of coarse salt and, you guessed it, a lemon. Sprinkle the salt all over the entire surface of your wood cutting board and use half a lemon, juicy side down, and as much elbow grease as you can give her. Scrub as thoroughly as you can and you’ll discover that food stains will start to disappear. You’ll also be deodorizing your cutting board at the same time. Once you’ve rinsed and dried everything, consider finishing this up with a hit of mineral oil to protect your board. If you are a heavy duty kettle user like I am, here’s a handy tip to easily descale your kettle. Simply mix one ounce of lemon juice to two cups of water and pour that into your kettle. Bring it to a boil and then let it cool. Empty out the kettle and give it a few good rinses and voila, your kettle should be shiny and clean once again. For those that just can’t stand the smell of vinegar, and I know there are many of you, do I have a glass and mirror cleaner for you. Squeeze about three tablespoons of lemon juice into a spray bottle and then add about a cup of water. Next, you’ll shake up the bottle and spray your mirror or glass down. Then, just wipe away using a clean microfiber cloth, and there you go, that easy.
But this time for good reason because I’m here to show you a great way to use lemon juice and salt to rid yourself of ring around the toilet bowl. All you need is a half lemon, which you will squeeze into the bowl, and then sprinkle in some coarse salt and finally use your toilet bowl brush to give the bowl a good scrub. Now for added scrubbing power, you can throw some baking soda or Borax into that mix, and for the less squeamish, you can avoid the first thing we talked about and simply add your salt directly to the half of the lemon, glove up, and use that instead of a brush or a sponge to scrub away the ring. Since I’m so comfortably perched on the tiny ledge of my bathtub here, we might as well talk about soap scum, and yes there is more than one way to conquer soap scum in your shower and one of my favorites involves nothing more than simple lemon juice. Just apply the lemon juice directly to the area using a sponge or, better yet, a spray bottle. Allow it to sit for a minute and then wipe clean using a clean, damp cloth. Thanks to the acidity contained within the lemon, soap scum actually struggles to stick around under Lord Lemon’s mighty power. This also works great on glass shower doors and even in the bathtub. What’s one more awkward bathtub angle? There’s nothing quite like the appeal of a shiny, streak-free faucet. So whether yours are made of chrome, brass, or even copper, here’s a hassle-free way to make them sparkle with lemon power. All you have to do is cut a lemon in half and that’s it, seriously. Just work the fleshy part of the lemon directly onto the faucet, making sure you get into all of those little nooks and crannies where the acidic juices will cut through grease and loosen mineral deposits. Finish up by wiping everything away using a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
Finally, when you’re done using the lemon for all of the other great cleaning tasks we just talked about, you can use the peels and any other remains to clean out your garbage disposal. Now, I don’t have a garbage disposal to demonstrate on, but if you did have one, all you have to do is drop the lemon remains in the sink and turn on the garbage disposal, which would probably sound something like this [garbage disposal sound] and you’re good to go. The lemon bits will freshen the garbage disposal parts and even deodorize it. So it’s a true two-in-one solution. Oftentimes when I finish cooking with a lemon, I’ll try to use it to do a secondary cleaning task like one of the ones we just covered, cleaning the cutting board, the microwave, shining up some chrome, or if I had a garbage disposal, I’d be cleaning that. But now you’ll always find a way to get a second life out of that lemon. I recommend using a fresh lemon whenever possible to do these tasks. You can use the bottled stuff if you need to, but I believe that a lot of the value comes from the skin where the lemon oil is contained.
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