We are all familiar with the lovely, yellow fruit used to make the delicious drink lemonade as well as numerous other uses in adding a tasty zest to foods from desserts to sauces to salad dressings. But the sunny, little fruit doesn’t stop there. The juice, rind, and pulp of a lemon can be used in ways to clean and freshen our home and office. Using a natural product like lemon juice is environmentally friendly as even residue left from using a lemon as a cleaning product can be used in garden compost or to grind in a garbage disposal to help clean and freshen the disposal. And, for those of you who live in areas where you have your own lemon trees, you can have lemons just for the picking. Here are some ways a lemon can be used in cleaning and freshening a home or office:
- Lemons act as a natural bleach. To remove stains from white clothing and lines, soak the stained area in lemon juice and place the item in direct sunlight. The stain will disappear.
- The citrus smell is refreshing in a home or office. Place a sliced lemon in attractive containers in the areas you want to freshen. Squeeze out a little juice but keep the rind on as the odor from the rind adds a nice pungent smell along with the usual citrus smell. The scent of lemons is especially pleasant in Spring and Summer as a sense of good health and the outdoors goes with these seasons.
- Items made with copper, such as the bottom of pans, are easily cleaned with lemon juice. Dip a cut lemon in salt (any kind will do) and rub the lemon over the copper to remove stains. Lemon juice and salt can also effectively clean microwaves, thermoses, the inside of stained coffee cups, and coffee makers.
- Lemon juice can be used as a degreaser as it cuts through grease. Use lemon juice to clean stove tops and countertops.
- Lemon juice can be used to clean glass, such as glass table tops. It can be mixed with vinegar and water for bigger jobs like windows where the citrus smell will override the vinegar smell.
- The acid in lemons is antiseptic and antibacterial, so its use as a cleaning agent helps clean away harmful bacteria. However, lemon juice is not a disinfectant, so it cannot be used to remove harmful microbes from cooking surfaces.
- A good rubbing of lemon rind will remove rust stains from linoleum.
- When cleaning, should you get stains on or dirt under your fingernails cut a lemon in half and submerge your fingertips (nails) in the cut lemon. Wiggle your fingertips firmly into the cut lemon for several minutes. The lemon juice will act as the cleaner while the pulp inside the lemon acts as the scrubber. Not only will your nails become nice and white, but your hands will also smell fresh and clean as well.
Lemons, as you can see, are much more useful in the home and office than for making lemonade. It is so vital in today’s world where the environment is constantly threatened with harsh chemicals, many of them used for cleaning, that people, whenever possible, use natural cleaners such as lemons to accomplish their cleaning tasks. We will be looking at two more natural cleaning helpers, vinegar Part 2, baking soda in Part 3, and other environmentally safe cleaning ideas in Part 4. This series is designed to give you many ideas to help you do your part in keeping our environment clean while at the same time keeping it safe for today and future generations.