Lemons, a useful household cleaner

2016-02-10 06:00

IT is probably the most versatile of all fruits – so next time you squeeze, slice or grate a lemon to add to food or drinks remember it can also:

• Clean the microwave. This is an easy way to clean the inside of the microwave. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice in 1½ cups of water. Microwave on high for five to 10 minutes. The steam will loosen grease and dried-on bits of food. Wipe with a cloth.

• Refresh wooden utensils and bowls. You've cleaned your wooden rolling pin, but it still smells like the onion biscuits you made for dinner. No problem. Rub it with a piece of lemon and don't rinse. The lemon will remove the odor as it dries. (Note: lemon juice is not antibacterial so make sure the rolling pin or wooden bowl has been cleaned before rubbing it with lemon.)

• Freshen a vapouriser and/or humidifier. To prevent the sour smell that comes with repeated usage, pour a few tablespoons of strained lemon juice into the water. Repeat weekly, especially if the humidifier is used every day.

• Polish the furniture. Mix one part strained lemon juice to two parts olive oil. Apply to furniture with a soft cloth, rubbing gently in the direction of the grain. Allow to dry.

• Freshen the fridge. To remove strong smells, pour lemon juice on a sponge and set in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

• For a DIY air freshener spray, mix the strained juice of one lemon, a few drops of lemon essential oil and water in a spray bottle.

• Freshen up your fireplace. Next time you use your fireplace, toss a few lemon peels in the fire for a pleasant fragrance.

• Clean metal. To clean solid brass (not brass-plated items), apply a paste of lemon juice and salt or baking soda. Let it sit for five minutes then rinse in warm water and dry and buff to a shine with a soft cloth.

• Clean copper pots in a jiffy by rubbing them with a half lemon and some salt. Rinse and dry. This works best if done regularly.

• Restore the shine to aluminum pots by rubbing them with a cut lemon, inside and out. Rinse and buff with a soft cloth.

• Make chrome taps gleam by rubbing them with the rind of a lemon. Rinse and dry to a sparkling shine.

• Clean cheese graters. To remove gummy cheese residue from a grater, grate a half lemon over the build-up. To remove dried-on cheese, wet the grater then grate a lemon dipped in salt. Rinse and dry.

• Freshen your hands. After chopping onion or garlic, remove the smell from your hands by first washing them with soap and water. Then rub them with lemon juice.
To get under your fingernails, scrape your nails across the outside of the lemon peel to release the oils. Wash again with soap and water.

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