Saturday, July 3, 2010

Household Magic: When Life Hands You Lemons...

 ...Get Cleaning!

Saturday is my cleaning day. I will pick up and tidy during the week but for the most part I like to spend my time with Allison when the work day is done and I'm tired by the time she goes to bed. So, I do the deep cleaning stuff on Saturday which leaves Sunday as a rest day before the work week starts again.

One of my favorite cleaning tools is a lemon or lemon juice. Lemons were used to clean for hundreds of years before commercial products came along with their "fresh lemon scent". There are so many ways you can use a lemon to clean your house without using toxic ingredients.

Juicing a Lemon without a Juicer
  • Make sure the lemon is room temperature before you start. You can do this by simply taking it out of the refrigerator until it warms up or you can stick it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
  • Use the palm of your hand to roll the lemon on your counter top - this will help you get more juice
  • Use a bowl or tupperware to collect the juice you can use a strainer over the bowl to collect the seeds
  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze
  • Use the back of a spoon to press inside the lemon and get more juice
  • Squeeze the other half of the lemon or wrap it up and stick it in the fridge to use another time
Uses for Lemons
There are a variety of ways that you can use lemons for cleaning. Here is a list of how I use it to freshen and clean my house.
  • Air Freshener (home made Febreeze!)
    • Add equal parts lemon juice and water to a spray bottle. Set the nozzle to "mist" and spray in the air of your home. The acid in the lemon juice will kill bacteria in the air and the lemon scent will leave your home smelling fresh.
  • General Cleaner
    • Use your spray bottle with equal parts water and lemon juice to clean kitchen and bathroom counters and sinks. It can also be used on walls (be sure to do a spot test first) and mirrors.
  • Degreaser
    • Straight lemon juice can work wonders on the grease on your stove or wherever it may be
  • Bleach Alternative
    • Add a half cup of lemon juice to your laundry during the rinse cycle for light bleaching purposes.
    • For tough stains, add lemon juice directly to the stain and lay it in the sun to dry then wash as normal
  • Lime Scale Remover
    • Use a slice of lemon directly on your faucets or shower head to remove lime scale build up.
    • You can also use it mixed with water to clean up lime scale buildup on your shower walls and shower curtain.
  • Microwave
    • Heat lemon slices and a bowl of water in the microwave for about 30 seconds then wipe the microwave down. Stains should come off easier and the lemon will help remove any odor. For tough stains, apply lemon juice directly to the problem area and then microwave as described above.
  • Furniture Polish
    • Mix one part lemon juice with two parts cooking oil to polish furniture. Spot test first.
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
    • For a tough toilet job mix 1/2 cup borax with a cup of lemon juice.
There are many more uses for lemons but the ones listed above are what I use the most. It takes a little extra time but it's very worth it in my opinion!

Do you use lemons for reasons other than lemonaid?e I'd love to hear more suggestions!


Jessica Anne said...

Love the tips! Thanks! I try to clean green also, but I use vingegar. Lemon would be such a nice smell. :)

Sarah said...

I use vinegar sometimes too!
You can add a little lemon juice to your vinegar based cleaner to give it a nice smell :)

Lourie said...

I never knew lemon had so many uses. I did know about the microwave one, just haven't tried it. I need to. haha.

Jessica Anne said...

Thanks again for the tips! I tried the lemon in the microwave and it worked great. I even used lemons I had already juiced and it still worked. Then I used the lemon water to clean the counters with. Love it!

Sarah said...

That's great Jessica Anne! I love 'em! :)

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