Got a few lemons hanging around in that fridge of yours? Nothing to do with them? Here’s a few ideas that give that lonely lemon something to do and can save your some time, money, and grief in the mean time.
General Kitchen Clean-up – Lemon can be used to clean up the mess you made all over the counter and that stuff that’s stuck to the stove top. Take half a lemon, sprinkle some salt onto it (as an abrasive) and rub onto the offending stain. Don’t use it on marble or anything else that might be sensitive to acid. We’ll both me unhappy with the results.
Clean Your Teapot or Kettle – To remove mineral deposits and unkindly stuff from your teapot, add thinly sliced lemon slices to some water in your teapot. Set this a boil. Let it cool off and sit for about an hour. Drain and rinse and it’ll be nice clean. For your coffee pot, fill your coffee pot with water, ice, salt, and some slices of lemon rind. Swish and swirl around for several minutes, rinse, and behold….cleanliness.
Clean Your Cheese-Grater – Ever use your cheese grater and wonder how the hell do you get all that cheese unstuck from it? Lemon juice it turns out. Rub half a lemon or douse your grater with some lemon juice and let it sit a few minutes. The acid from the lemons will loosen the most stubborn cheese residue from the grater and make a crappy cleaning job much easier.
Clean Your Microwave, Then The Garbage Disposal – Nothing’s worse than the residue from exploding food all over the inside your microwave. Or a stinking garbage disposal. One half a lemon can cure both. Talk about two birds with one stone. Pop half the lemon into the microwave, run it on high for a minute to a minute in a half. In that time the moisture from the lemon will steam and loosen the wost stains, making it easy to wipe the inside clean with a sponge. For your garbage disposal take that screaming hot half a lemon and throw it down the disposal. Make sure you’re running lots of water and run the disposal. While lemons aren’t usually easy for your disposal to digest, the heat makes it soft and that will make it go down the drain. Done and lemon-y clean!
Polish Some Chrome – How nasty do your faucets get? Like around the edges, the handles, all that. Take half a lemon, rub it over the chrome bits you want cleaned. Rinse with water. Polish out with a soft clean cloth. Enjoy your reflection in the mirror clean finish.
Clean Your Stainless Sink – The same way you just washed your faucets, you can get that hard to clean crap off your stainless sink and out of the drain. Cut up a lemon, sprinkle with some salt, and rub to your heart’s content. Rinse and be happy.
Help Sanitize and Clean Your Funky Cutting Board – Cutting board smelling a little weird? Same gig, cut a lemon, get some salt on it, and rub out the funk. Give your board a good rinse and you’re ready to cut up your favorite foods again without fear.
Insect Repellent – Roaches, fleas, and ants can’t stand lemon. Juice squirted along windowsills, sinks, thresholds, and entry-ways can stop ants from coming in. Lemon rinds spread along the same areas have a similar effect. Make a mix of a gallon of water, the juice of 4 lemons, and some lemon rind. Wash your floors, cabinets, and doorways with this mix. Fleas, roaches and ants will take the hint. It’s a very effective way to keep out pests without getting in insecticide territory. If you’re out camping and you run out of inspect repellent, some lemon juice or rinds spread around you tent can effectively keep mosquitoes and pests away for quite a while.
Keep Brown Sugar Soft – Brown sugar like a brick? Better for breaking a car window rather than cooking? Lemon rind (just the rind – no pith, no pulp) can be put into the bag with brown sugar and it will keep it from becoming a golden brick.
Make a Mild Bleach – Got some delicates that need a good cleaning? Worried about dunking them in real bleach or have concerns about toxicity? Soaking your clothes in a solution of water, lemon juice, and baking soda for about a half hour or more before you put them in the washing machine is a great and safe alternative.
Keep Your Taters From Going Brown – Potatoes like to turn brown once they get in boiling water. Cauliflower too. Unfortunate but true. A teaspoon of lemon juice in the boiling water will keep that from happening.
Metabolic Aide – Want to boost your metabolism? Drinking a hot cup of water with some lemon juice dissolved in it give you a little Vitamin C boost and the acid gets all that broken up food in your digestive tract moving.
Soothe a Sore Throat – Lemon rind and a little bit of lemon juice mixed with hot water, add a little bit of honey and you’ve got a great cure-all for a sore throat. Aside from the Vitamin C boost, the lemon will soothe your sore throat. Depending on how sore your throat is, it may take a cup or two. But it will work magic on that sore spot. (I just am getting over a sore throat and I can attest to its effectiveness.)