This post originally appeared as a guest post by me on Going Home to Roost. It's been over two years now, and I've been on a real cleaning kick since I decided to closet my shop temporarily. If you've ever wondered about cleaning with lemons - which tips work, and which tricks don't - then this post is for you!
I put several lemon-cleaning methods to the test - here are my results:
Garbage Disposal Freshener
Place lemon slices into a garbage disposal. Run the faucet, and turn on the disposal. No more stinky drain: the sink will now smell clean and fresh.
This really works! I actually love using clementine peels, but the lemon scent greatly improved the smell of our garbage disposal, naturally.
Using a sponge, apply lemon juice to windows or shower door. Rub and dry with crumpled newspapers.
I usually use vinegar to clean my windows, but lemons really do smell nicer. I noticed a remarkable difference in the clarity of my windows after cleaning with lemon juice. I would say it cleaned as well as vinegar window cleaner. I think drying with newspaper is the key.
Sprinkle a cut lemon half with course salt. This supposedly will remove stains even from laminate counter tops.
This did not work for me. It removed stains on my counter top only as well as regular water does - nothing special here. Perhaps there is another secret ingredient to combine it with? I'll look into it.
Place a few lemon slices in a bowl of water, microwaving on high for one minute.
This works great if you really scrub the inside of the microwave afterward. Using chemical cleaners in the microwave is really not a good idea since we cook our food in it. The steam from the water loosens grime, while the lemon gives the microwave a fresh scent. This was really good for getting rid of that burnt popcorn smell. (Tip: if even the lemon juice doesn't get rid of bad smells, try microwaving a bowl of vinegar on high for 2-3 minutes.)
Clean a Stainless Steel Sink
Rub with the cut side of half a lemon. Rinse, and buff with a cloth.
This method was also so-so for me. While it did remove much of the grime in my sink, I don't think it did a better job than hot water and sponge. This is not the method I would do for my big Spring Cleaning, but maybe I'll use it again for touch-ups.
There are many more uses for lemons out there - here are a few more ideas:
DIY furniture polish: mix juice from one lemon, 1 tsp olive oil, and 1 tsp water. Rub a thin coat onto wood furniture, and buff to shine.
Remove tea kettle mineral deposits: thinly slice a lemon peel, place into kettle. Fill with water, and bring to a boil; remove from heat. Let set for one hour, drain, and rinse.
Freshen a cutting board: After washing a cutting board with soap and hot water, rub with half a lemon, let set in juice, and rinse.
Keep your brown sugar soft: wash and scrub wax off lemon peel, and try to remove as much pith from the peel as possible. Add to brown sugar supply - it helps retain moisture.
Have you tried any of these methods? How did they work for you? Do you have any other clever uses for lemons?