There’s nothing quite like the bright, fresh scent of a juicy lemon. Not only does it add a fantastic citrus note to your favorite recipes, it’s a handy tool for keeping your home sparkling clean. With it’s low pH and powerful antibacterial properties, lemons are a safe alternative to conventional grease-cutting, stain-fighting cleaners. Here’s a list of some of our favorite ways to utilize the small and mighty fruit.
1. Give Your Dishwasher a Boost
You can try this tip even on a wedge of lemon that has already been juiced! Skewer the wedge on a plate wire or place it in the cutlery basket before you run a normal cycle. It’ll help combat residue and water spots.
2. Scrub Dingy Grout
Grout is naturally porous, meaning it’s prone to absorbing dirt, mold, food and just about everything else. Whether it’s your kitchen or your bathroom that needs a scrub-down, you can tackle it with a little baking soda and lemon juice. Start with the baking soda in a dish and add lemon juice to form a paste. Dip a toothbrush in the mixture and get to scrubbing.
3. Make Your Whites Bright Again
Your favorite winter white sweater can turn a sad shade of gray after several washes. Keep whites fresh by adding ¼ cup of lemon juice plus 1 ½ cups of hydrogen peroxide to the washing machine. The citric acid in lemons works like bleach, but without the harmful chemicals.
4. Clean the Blender
The nooks and crannies of a blender can be tough (and dangerous) to reach. Instead, fill the blender halfway with warm water, add half a chopped lemon and a few drops of dish soap. Run it for 20 seconds. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.
5. Remove Rust Spots from Knives & Silverware
You left your favorite paring knife soaking in the sink, and now it’s speckled with rust spots. Lemon to the rescue! Fill a tall glass with warm water and add lemon juice. Let the knife soak for a few minutes. The acid will help loosen the rust and with a little elbow grease, you’ll be able to wipe them clean.
6. Loosen Cooked-On Food from Pots & Pans
The fried chicken you whipped up last night was mouthwatering, but you’re left with crispy debris that can be tough to remove from the pan. Use coarse salt and half a lemon to loosen debris. Buff with a soft cloth.
7. Sanitize Your Garbage Disposal
Cut a lemon in quarters. With the water on and garbage disposal running, add the pieces, one at a time, to the disposal. The fruit will help clean and deodorize your drain.
8. Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh
Instead of dangerous artificial air fresheners, simmer a few fragrant ingredients on the stove to fill your home with a natural, fresh aroma. Add 1 sliced lemon, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, 1 tsp of vanilla and 2 cups of water to a pot and simmer on low on the stovetop. Feel free to add more water as it evaporates.