Written by Anne Reagan
Lemons have been used in cleaning for ages. Lemon juice is acidic and works well to cut grease, remove stains, deodorize, and disinfect. It has also been used to whiten and brighten linens and remove spots. The essential oils of the lemon, found in the zest, are added to natural cleaning products and used in aromatherapy. The very scent of a fresh cut lemon is uplifting and cheerful. If you have lemons, there are plenty of ways to use it in your daily cleaning routine. Keep in mind that lemon juice shouldn’t be used on certain materials, like marble, as it can etch the surface. When in doubt, always test a small area.
1. Clean the microwave
Put lemon juice and water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until boiling (about 3-5 minutes). When the microwave beeps, keep the door closed and set it to sit for about 5 minutes. The steam will loosen stuck-on foods and the lemon juice will help to remove odors.
2. Room refresher
To a pot of water add lemon slices and spices like cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a simmer for an uplifting scent. Be sure to monitor the water level and if you’d like to keep the fresh scent going, just add more water when it gets low.
3. Cutting board cleaner
After using a cutting board for cutting strong-smelling foods like onions or garlic, you can remove the odor with lemon. Clear the board, sprinkle coarse salt on the board and rub the salt in with a half of a lemon.
4. Garbage disposal freshener
Use the zest (the outer part of the peel) of about 1/4 of a lemon and drop into your garbage disposal. Turn on the faucet and turn on the disposal for an instant lemon scent. Don’t use large chunks of lemon or the fibers (and seeds) can damage the disposal.
5. Refrigerator freshener
Fill a small bowl with cotton balls and squeeze lemon juice onto the cotton. Place in the refrigerator to help reduce odors.
6. Coffee pot cleaner
Regular washing of your coffee pot with soap and water should keep your carafe clean. But to give it a thorough cleaning (and remove coffee oils), pour water and lemon juice into the reservoir. Run a normal cycle and let it sit until it cools. Repeat this if necessary. Run a final cycle with clean water.
7. Grease remover
Hands covered in grease from your latest home improvement project? Rub half a lemon on your hands, dip your hands in a bowl of water and keep rubbing with the lemon until the grease disappears.
8. Chrome polisher
Rub half a lemon over hard water spots and debris. A used lemon is more flexible and may be easier to rub around tight corners. Rinse with clean water and dry with a cloth.