Beyond lemonade

It’s summertime and if your house is like mine, you might have a few extra lemons around the house to use in your summer recipes. If you like the idea of homemade lemonade, I recommend this recipe, from the Simply Recipes website.

Image courtesy of Simply Recipes

However, we shouldn’t just think of lemons as cooking ingredients. Real lemons, their juice, peels and even their already squeezed halves can be a great non-toxic cleaning tools around our homes.

As part of our Greener Living Challenge, I’ve gathered together a list of many ways we can use lemons to clean responsibly (and cheaply!) around children, pets and adults. See if you can find a new use for this mighty citrus in your home:

  • Remove soap scum and mildew: Apply lemon juice onto the surface of any soap scum or mildew. Let it sit for up to 2 hours. Rinse the area throughly with warm water. (No room ventilation required.)
  • Clean your Tupperware: Mix lemon juice and baking soda into a simple paste and scrub those old food stains right our of your plastic food containers.
  • Save your paintbrushes: Boil lemon juice in a pot on your stove top. Soak hardened paintbrushes in the boiling juice for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, rinse the brushes and your pot in hot, soapy water. Allow the brushes to dry completely before putting them away.

    Image courtesy of Wikipedia

  • Protect your clothing: Dry lemon rinds in open air for 1-2 days. Fill sachet bags (like these) with the rinds and then hang them in your closets. The lemon rind will repel moths and keep your clothes smelling nicer than moth balls.
  • Wipe out your microwave: Place one slice of  lemon and 1 cup of water into a glass microwave-friendly bowl. Microwave for 30 second and then let the bowl sit in the microwave as the steam works its magic. Remove the bowl after a minute and wipe down the inside walls of the microwave.
  • Perk up your laundry:Add one cup of lemon juice to the washer while washing your white loads, along with your usual laundry soap. Wash as normal. Your whites will look brighter.

    Image courtesy of Wikipedia

  • Return the sparkle to your glassware: Soak cloudy coffee pitchers, glasses and other similar items in a mixture of lemon juice and water. rinse thoroughly and then wash and dry as usual.
  • Make your own metal polish: This solution works on stainless steel, brass and copper only. Make a simple paste of salt and lemon juice and scrub the tarnished surface. Allow the paste sit, untouched on the metal for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, rinse the metal surface, dry thoroughly and polish as needed.
  • Refresh the air in your home: Simmer 2-3 juiced lemons in 4 cups of water over low heat for a few hours to give your entire home a lemony clean scent. Citrus is also a powerful, energizing scent that can lift your mood.

Did you find a new way to use lemon around your home? What idea surprised you on this list? Do you a have another great way to use lemon that you’d like to share? Leave a comment!

Posted on July 20, 2011, in Food, Green Living, Other. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The metal polish is new to me. I knew about the microwave steaming. I use it at home all the the time and…ahem…sometimes at work.

    I also didn’t know about paint brushes. I try to wash it out at the end of the painting, but sometimes I’ve left it too long and soaking just won’t get it out. I’ll try the lemon juice. Thanks.

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