15 Things You Can Clean With a Lemon Instead of Chemicals
From tough stains to clogged drains, lemons are the cleaners you didn’t know you needed. Take advantage of the surprising benefits of lemon.
Clean brass and copper
Sprinkle salt (any kind) on half of a lemon and start scrubbing. Antiques can be tricky though—test this method on a small portion first to make sure you’re not causing any damage.
Steam clean a microwave
Put ¾ cup of water and two tablespoons of lemon juice in your microwave. Heat for about three minutes, or until it boils, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then wipe down the inside and you’re done. No scrubbing necessary. Here are surprising items you should never microwave.
Remove gunk from a cheese grater
Cleaning graters can be a daunting—not to mention dangerous—task. Run half a lemon down the side of the grater to remove food particles, then rinse with warm, soapy water. The utensil gets cleaned and your fingers stay uncut. You can use a lemon to clean grills the same way.
Use lemons in lieu of bleach to brighten clothes
Soak cotton and polyester clothes in a lemon juice/water mixture (½ cup of juice per gallon of water) to bleach whites and brighten colors. Keep the clothes in for an hour or longer, depending on how much they need to be brightened, then dry them in the sun. You can also substitute a half cup of lemon juice for bleach when using a washing machine.
Keep your fridge smelling fresh
Leave a half lemon on a saucer in your fridge to keep foul odors at bay. And don’t store these foods in the refrigerator (it’s not good for them).
Sanitize earrings and other jewelry in 1½ cups of water and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Just don’t use this method with gold or pearls. Here are more tricks for cleaning jewelry at home.
Deal with a clogged drain
If you pour half a box of baking soda and 8-12 ounces of lemon juice down a drain, a chemical reaction will turn the ingredients into foam. Add boiling water to rinse out the foam, and your clog disappears.
Exfoliate your face for glowing skin
Make a homemade exfoliant with juice from half a lemon, one tablespoon of olive oil, a ½ cup of granulated sugar, and a tablespoon of honey. Lemon juice can also fight acne. After washing and drying your face, dip a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply it to the affected area. Rinse with cool water after 10 minutes. Do this in the morning and before bedtime. Here are nine other homemade facial masks for pretty skin that really work!
Freshen up plastic food containers
If your Tupperware smells, rub a lemon in it or rinse with lemon juice. For bad stains, add lemon juice and baking soda and let it sit overnight.
Make spotty knives shine like new
Lemon juice and a sponge are all you need to erase rust spots on knives.
De-grime your shower door
Scrub down glass shower doors with just half of a lemon. For a deeper cleanse, dip it in baking soda first.
Deodorize your dishwasher
Put a cup of lemon juice in a dishwasher-safe container on the bottom rack (with no other dirty dishes). Run the rinse cycle for a clean, deodorized finish. Tackle dried-on food or detergent by rubbing it with a piece of lemon. Here are surprising things you can clean in your sparkling dishwasher.
Freshen up the garbage disposal
Clean and deodorize your garbage disposal by grinding up ice cubes, a handful of kosher salt, and lemon peels. You can also fill ice cube slots with lemon pieces and vinegar. Once they’re frozen, put a couple down the disposal and let it run.
Quell kitchen odors
Boil a small pot of water with pieces of lemon rind and a teaspoon each of whole cloves and rosemary leaves. The aroma will get rid of odors and perfume your whole house. You can also try adding lemon peels, cloves, and cinnamon sticks for a sweeter scent.
Remove stains and germs from cutting boards
Squeeze lemon juice onto cutting board stains, then rub them with the lemon. Let the juice sit until the stains disappear and rinse. The citric acid removes stains and may help disinfect the board. Check out these 35 extraordinary uses for household staples you already own.
Sources: networx.com, thekitchn.com; diynetwork.com; businessinsider.com; quickanddirtytips.com; today.com; geeksonhome.com; beautybanter.com; livestrong.com; realsimple.com; bhg.com; howstuffworks.com; tipgarden.com; thefrugalgirl.com