Although Lemons are a kitchen staple for many of us, they do much more than add a pop of color to our favorite dishes. They are natural little housekeepers that serve a multitude of purposes in our daily lives. From combating bacteria to eliminating mold and mildew, and even tackling rust, the oils found in lemon peels effectively cut through grease and stains, leaving household items impeccably clean and gleaming.
Conventional household cleaning products, often laden with harsh chemicals, have the potential to trigger skin allergies and exacerbate conditions like eczema. In contrast, lemons provide a natural and less abrasive alternative that minimizes the risk of skin irritation and promotes a healthier home environment.
Keep insects away
No need to use chemical-laden insecticides or ant traps to discourage insects from entering your kitchen – the lemon treatment is just as effective.You can squeeze some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills, as well as into any holes or cracks where ants or other bugs seem to be getting in. If you are having trouble getting rid of more persistent species, such as roaches and fleas: just mix the juice of 4 lemons along with the rinds and 2 litres of water and mop your floors with it.
Create an All-Purpose Cleaner
Don’t let those lemon peels go to waste. Reuse an old cleaning spray bottle to cut down on single-use plastic waste. Fill a large jar with the peels of about five lemons and white distilled vinegar, then store it in a cupboard out of direct sunlight for approximately two weeks. Afterward, strain out the peels and transfer the solution into a spray bottle. This eco-friendly cleaner is perfect for freshening up kitchen countertops, bathrooms, and any grimy surfaces.
Clean Your Microwave and Stovetop
After squeezing out lemon juice, repurpose the lemon halves for a quick cleaning hack. Place them in the microwave for about 20 seconds, carefully remove them (they can be hot), and use them to rub the dirty surfaces of your microwave or stovetop. Wipe the area clean with a wet dishcloth.
Make your whites whiter
Adding half a cup of lemon juice to your next white laundry wash cycle, alongside your natural detergent, will work wonders. The credit for this whitening magic goes to the citric acid found in lemons.
Lemons are not only great at brightening whites but are also effective at tackling stubborn stains, like blood stains. For more delicate garments that can’t endure hot wash cycles, consider soaking your white clothes in a large basin filled with water and lemon juice overnight. However, exercise caution and avoid using this method with colored items, as it may lead to bleach marks. Lemon’s natural whitening properties make it a versatile and environmentally friendly addition to your laundry routine.
Remove Scum and Grime from Your Bathtub or Sink
Baking soda is a household hero, and it pairs perfectly with lemon. When you notice scum buildup in your bathroom, sprinkle the affected area with baking soda and use lemon quarters to scrub it away. The lemon acts as a bleaching agent, leaving your surfaces squeaky clean.
Dealing with unwanted smells in the fridge and chopping board
When it comes to dealing with stubborn food odors on your wooden cutting board, a lemon can be your rescuer. Simply take half a lemon and rub it over the cutting board. This not only eliminates odors but also helps to combat bacteria, leaving your cutting board fresh and clean.
The power of lemons doesn’t stop there; they can also help keep your refrigerator smelling clean and pleasant. Dab some lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge and place it in the fridge for several hours to freshen up the interior and eliminate any lingering food odors.
Tackle Underarm Stains
For discolored shirt underarms or tough grease stains, take a squeezed lemon half and rub it vigorously on the stain. If the stain is particularly stubborn, sprinkle some baking soda on top. Let it sit overnight, then wash as usual.
Freshen your house with the aroma of lemon
For a natural way to infuse your home with pleasant aromas, do the following:
Fill a pot with water and add lemon rinds along with your favorite combination of herbs, spices, or extracts. Bring the mixture to a boil and once it is boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer on the stove for about an hour. As the concoction simmers, it will release a wonderful fragrance that will waft through your home, leaving it smelling fresh and inviting. This is an effective way to create a welcoming atmosphere without relying on synthetic air fresheners.
Deodorize Your Garbage Bin
To combat unpleasant odors in your trash can, place lemon peels (make sure to remove as much pith as possible) underneath the plastic bag. This natural lemon scent is far superior to artificial alternatives. Remember to replace the peels weekly.
Clean Coffee and Teapots
Coffee and teapots often accumulate sediment over time. Instead of using abrasive cleaners, add the rinds of two lemons, two tablespoons of salt, and a cup or two of ice to a cool pot. Swirl the mixture for a few minutes or until everything dissolves, leaving your pot clean as a whistle.
And lastly, here’s a tip for the environmentally conscious: contrary to popular belief, you can compost citrus peels. To expedite the decomposition process, cut the peels into small pieces before adding them to your compost pile. By doing so, you can close the sustainability loop in your kitchen and make the most of every part of this versatile fruit.
Heather Clores is an avid gardener and lover of the outdoors. She is a passionate and dedicated writer of DIY and help articles.