Looking for a great smelling, non-toxic cleaner for your home? Look no further than your fridge! Here are 10 quick tips on how to use lemons (instead of harsh chemicals) to clean your kitchen, bath, and everything in between.
jh_tan84 // Flickr
Clean living. Green cleaning. Non-toxic homes.
These topics have been gaining in popularity steadily over the past few years – and for good reason. People are realizing that using harsh, toxic chemicals to clean their homes is less than ideal.
Thankfully, sometimes the best choices for non-toxic cleaning are right in front of our noses…or in the refrigerator. While we usually look to lemons as something to juice for lemonade or spritz on our fish, the truth is that lemons are a powerful cleaning agent. You can replace almost all heavy-duty chemical cleaners with the average little lemon.
Here are my 10 Quick and Clean Tips on cleaning your home with lemons:
countrykitty // Flickr
Tip Substitute Lemon Juice for Bleach
Adding a cup of lemon juice to your laundry replaces chlorine bleach and does an even better job of whitening. It also leaves a refreshing, lemony scent on your clothing. Doesn’t that make you happy just thinking about it? Plus, which would you rather accidentally spill on yourself – lemon juice or bleach? Exactly!
It’s Great To Be Home // Flickr
Tip Clean Shower Doors
Cutting through hard water deposits is easy with lemon juice. Simply cut a lemon in half and rub it over your glass shower doors to remove gunk and build-up. If you prefer, you can also squeeze lemon juice directly on a sponge and then scrub the tough spots. Adding a bit of Borax to the sponge or surface of the cut lemon helps scrub away those really stubborn, hard water stains. Rinse with warm water and your doors will shine and smell wonderful!
Sarah Browning // Flickr
Tip Shine Your Faucets
You can use the other half of that cut lemon to clean and shine chrome faucets and knobs on your sink, shower, and tub. Rub the cut lemon directly onto the faucets until spots and stains are removed. Your fixtures will look bright and shiny!
Chalon Handmade // Flickr
Tip Deodorize and Clean the Dishwasher
Does your dishwasher have a funky smell to it? Lemon juice can take care of that. Add one cup of lemon juice to a coffee cup or other dishwasher safe container and put on the bottom rack in the dishwasher. Run the rinse cycle. Once finished, your dishwasher will not only be deodorized but clean, too! That lemon juice will do double duty on your dishwasher.
Nic Taylor // Flickr
Tip Boost Your Dishwashing Detergent
Not only can lemons clean your dishwasher, but simply adding a teaspoon of lemon juice to your dishwasher’s detergent compartment will boost its cleaning power. Try adding the lemon juice in the small dispenser reserved for additional detergent. Fill the larger dispenser with detergent as usual and run the cycle as you would normally.
The same idea applies to hand washing greasy dishes. Add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to your sink of sudsy water and the lemon will help cut through the grease and grime on even the toughest pots and pans.
Barb Crawford // Flickr
Tip Create Your Own Furniture Polish
Why not make homemade furniture polish for just pennies? Not only is this a money-saving choice but it’s a healthier option, too. Avoiding the chemicals in manufactured furniture polish is always a good idea.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for homemade furniture polish: Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 10 drops of lemon essential oil, cup olive oil (or vegetable oil). Mix well. Add this mixture to a spray bottle. Use the fine mist setting on the bottle to spritz on furniture. Wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Andy Fitzsimon // Flickr
Tip Clean Glass Surfaces
Just like the furniture polish, glass cleaner can also be made from lemons. This safe, non-toxic cleaner is a good alternative in any home but especially one with kids and pets.
Here’s the easy formula to follow: Mix 3 tablespoons of lemon juice with cup of rubbing alcohol. Pour into a 24-ounce spray bottle. Add water to fill. Use this mixture to clean glass and mirrors and to disinfect kitchen counters and other grimy surfaces.
marktristan // Flickr
Tip Clean Icky Toilets
Combining lemon juice with Borax creates a powerful scrub for a dirty toilet. Sprinkle about cup of Borax in the toilet bowl and then squeeze the juice from half a lemon right on top of it. Scrub as usual. The freshness of the lemon really deodorizes the bowl. You can even use that half a lemon to scrub around the rim and seat. Wipe clean with a paper towel or sponge. Flush when done cleaning completely and enjoy the fresh, clean scent!
Rudi Riet // Flickr
Tip Clean Copper, Brass, and Aluminum
Simply cut a lemon in half and sprinkle the sliced side with a generous amount of sea salt. Use this as a scouring pad to shine up copper, brass, or aluminum surfaces.
Alden Chadwick // Flickr
Tip Clean a Grater
Using a grater for cheese or other dense, sticky foods makes cleaning this kitchen utensil a nightmare. Lemons to the rescue! Use half a lemon, cut side on the grater, to scrub away any sticky residue. Wash with warm, soapy water as usual.
f1uffster (Jeanie) // Flickr
Bonus Lemon Cleaning Tips:
If you do decide to use a lemon to help with your household chores, here are a few more tips to remember:
– To get the most juice from a lemon, roll it on the counter under the palm of your hand. Then microwave it for 10 seconds. This releases the most juice.
– When using a lemon half as your scrubbing tool, remove the seeds first. Use a small, sharp paring knife to pry out the seeds so they don’t scratch your surfaces.
– The lemon rind makes a great scrubber. If you use the lemon to scrub a sink or shower stall, use both sides. When scrubbing with the skin side, the oils are released to give an even stronger lemon smell to the area.
– When you’re done cleaning, don’t just throw out the used lemons. Grind them up in your garbage disposal to freshen and deodorize it!
– Buy lemons in bulk. Most grocery stores have bags of lemons at a much lower price than buying them individually. You can typically get 8-10 lemons for under $5.