When life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. But what to do with finishes? Besides adding lemons to drinks there are a lot of ways to use lemons in your home. So don’t toss all those lemon peels and put them to work.
Here’s every single way you can use lemons:
Clean greasy messes
Have you got anything Greasy or splattered stove tops? If your kitchen has been the victim of some sloppy sautéing, try to use lemon halves before taking out possibly toxic chemical cleaners. Add some salt for abrasion on a juiced lemon half and rub on the greasy areas, wipe up with a towel. Be careful while using lemon on marble counter tops, or any kind of surface that may be sensitive to acid.
Clean coffee pot or tea kettle
For cleaning mineral deposit that is build up in the tea kettle, fill it with water, add a handful of thin slices of lemon peel and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and leave it for one hour, drain and rinse well. For coffee pots, add salt, ice and lemon rinds to the empty pot; swish and swirl for one or two minutes, dump and rinse.
Clean the microwave
All it needs is one exploding bowl of food to render the gunk interior of the microwave, sometimes with cement like properties. Instead of using strong chemical cleaners, try to add lemon rinds to a microwave safe bowl filled halfway with cold water. Cook on high for five minutes, in order to boil the water and the steam to condense on the walls and tops of the oven. Remove the hot bowl carefully and clean away the dirt with a towel.
Deodorize the garbage disposal
Use lemon peels to deodorize the garbage disposal and make your kitchen smell freshly at the same time. It is a quick way to finally dispose of spent lemon peels after you have used them for any of these reasons.
Polish chrome and copper
A halved lemon dipped in salt or baking powder can be used to brighten copper ware, as well as brass, stainless or chrome steel. Put a juiced lemon half in salt, you can also use cream of tartar or baking soda instead of the salt and rub on the affected area. Let it stay on for ten minutes. Then rinse in warm water and polish dry.
Keep insects out
Many pests hate the acid of lemon. You can chop of the peels and place them along thresholds, windowsills, and near any holes or cracks where ants or pests can be entering.
Make a scented humidifier
If your house suffers from dry heat in the winter, you should put lemon peels in a pot of water and simmer on the lowest stove top setting to humidify and scent the air.
Refresh cutting boards
Because of lemon’s low pH, it has antibacterial properties that makes lemon a good choice for refreshing cutting boards. After proper disinfecting rub the surface with a halved lemon, let it sit for a few seconds and then rinse.
Lighten age spots
A lot of folk remedies suggest using lemon peel to help lighten age spots. You should apply a small piece to the affected area and leave on for one hour.
Soften dry elbows
Take a half lemon sprinkled with baking soda on elbows, just place the elbow in the lemon and twist the lemon as if you are juicing it for more than ten minutes. Rinse and dry.
Use on the skin
Lemon peels can be very lightly rubbed on your face for a nice skin tonic, then rinse. Always be careful around your eyes.
Make a sugar scrub
Mix a half cup of sugar with finely chopped lemon peel and enough olive oil to get a paste. Wet your body in the shower, turn off the water and massage sugar mix all over your skin, rinse, but be soft.
27. While cleaning the bathroom, fill the tub up with a couple of inches of the hottest water you can draw from the tap.
Heating up the bathroom 10 degrees above the normal air temperature “doubles the effectiveness” of alkaline cleansers. It’s a trick hotel staffers use. Let disinfectants sit for at least 5-7 minutes, and always rinse off cleaners to prevent build-up.
28. Cut a hole in a cloth napkin to make dust covers for coats and vests.
29. Use foil in your George Foreman grill or panini maker to prevent mess.
Electrical appliances are a pain to clean, and you can’t just dunk the whole thing in soapy water. Prevent disgusting drips and messes by either covering the insides of the grill with foil, or wrapping the item you want to grill in foil.
30. Use WD-40 to erase scuff marks on floors.
31. Pour a packet of lemonade Kool-Aid into the detergent cup of your dishwasher.
It’ll remove lime deposits and iron stains.
Cream of tartar is another natural cleaning agent. Get more tips on how to use cream of tartar here.
You’ll prevent fires by cleaning out the dryer vent every six months. Get the full directions here.
33. Behold, the sanitizing vacuum cleaner.
It’s $120 from Verilux. They also sell a UV sanitizing wand that kills E. coli, dust mite eggs, and other germs and allergens.
34. Use a solution of 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 baking soda to remove sticky residues.
It’s the non-chemical equivalent of Goo Gone.
35. Wax your vents with car wax to keep the dust off all year.
36. Know your uses for vinegar and natural cleaning agents.
If you’re paranoid about chemicals, white vinegar is an ideal alternative. It kills 99% of bacterias, 82% of molds and more than 80% of viruses. You can use it with tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide, or baking soda to increase its antibacterial effectiveness. However, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar should be applied separately, not mixed together. Also, don’t use vinegar in your microwave or oven — your kitchen will smell like vinegar for days when using those appliances. And never mix bleach with vinegar in hopes of amplifying the cleaning power — it creates a dangerous chemical reaction.
37. The ultimate organization tip: anything and everything should have a place.
This seems to be the #1 organization tip from neat freaks: everything you own should have a place to be put away, and should always be put back to that place after use. Sounds simple, but it’s a practice that takes getting used to if you’re an inherently messy person.