17 Surprising Uses Of Lemons


Photo: basykes via flickr

Lemons won’t take care of every chore on your to-do list, but they are practically nature’s cure for some of the most common household headaches.  Buy them by the bagful, give these tips a try and see if you miss those pricey cleaners gathering dust under your kitchen sink.



Keep rice from sticking

No need to invest in a rice cooker to get fluffy, sticky-free rice.

Just add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the pot while the water's boiling. Then kick it around with a fork after it's had a chance to cool before serving.

Give your dog a makeover

You know those gross little pinkish-red stains that form around dogs' eyes and mouths? Some call them tear stains and there are many reasons for them (allergies, skin irritants, etc).

You should consult a vet first, but lemon juice can be used to get rid of them in a pinch. Make it into a paste with equal parts baking soda and rub it onto the stains (keep it far away from their eyes). Give it 10 minutes to sink in and then rinse.

Get the gunk out of cutting boards

Water and soap won't work on wooden cutting boards.

Instead, sprinkle some coarse salt onto the board and scrub it down with the flesh side of one half of a lemon. It'll get into all the nooks and crannies.

Lemon juice is also a natural sanitizer, which is crucial for those who use cutting boards for raw meat.

Kick grease build-up

Lemon juice gives those toxic countertop cleaners a run for their money. Like cutting boards, treat pans and stovetops with a touch of salt and scrub them down with lemon juice.

Just be sure whatever surface you're cleaning can handle the acidity (marble is out).

Clean your cheese grater

Dishwashers don't always cut it and you might cut yourself trying to get the congealed queso off your grater.

Slice a lemon in half and use the fleshy side to give it a good scrub. The cheese should loosen for easy removal.

deodorise the litter box

You can almost always tell when you've walked into a cat-owner's home by the stench alone.

Do your guests a favour and throw a couple of lemon halves into a bowl (flesh side up) and set them in the room where you store the litter box. Use the same trick in your own bathroom and save cash on store-bought air fresheners.

Refresh your garbage disposal

If lemon juice can take care of your cat odor, it can certainly handle your rank garbage disposal.

Throw in some lemon peels (lime and orange will work, too), run a bit of water and let it run till you smell a difference.

Brighten your whites

There's a simple lemon juice recipe you can use to liven up white linens and clothing.

Soak the material in a vat of lemon juice and baking soda (a 50/50 ratio works best).

Let it marinate for about half an hour before throwing it into the wash. For bad stains, give them one-on-one attention by scrubbing them with a lemon wedge before washing.

Polish chrome

From faucets to fridges, it seems chrome is all over modern day kitchens. Use lemons to keep your appliances looking their best.

Just rub the down with lemon rinds and then rinse with water.

Scrub your tub

You'll need more elbow grease to get rid of soap and water stains in the bathroom using lemon juice, but it could be well worth the effort.

Everyday bathroom cleaners are riddled with harsh chemicals, horrible for the environment and can cost a pretty penny. It also works great against mould build-up.

Make food last longer

From guacamole to fresh lettuce, lemon juice is the key to keeping food green and lively.

You can even coax semi-wilted lettuce back to life by giving it a quick rinse with lemon juice. Soak the green stuff in a bowl of cold water and one lemon's worth of juice. Leave it for an hour.

Banish weeds for good

If you don't want harmful weedkillers tainting your yard, use lemon juice to ward off weeds instead.

Fill up a spray bottle or use a garden hose filter and douse the offending plants till they're well-coated. It should take a couple of days for them to shrivel.

Ward off unwanted visitors

Forget about hiring pest control to get rid of your ant problem.

Hone in on exactly where the little critters are entering the home and spray the area with a good dose of lemon juice. Sprinkle lemon peel for added protection around doorways.

Insects hate the acidic smell and will steer clear. Mop your floor with a mixture of lemon juice and water to ward off roaches and fleas, too.

Cure your B.O.

Nobody wants to be the smelly coworker at the office.

If you forgot your Old Spice at home, do your friends a solid and scrub on a little lemon juice for added odor protection.

It's not a long-term fix, but some people use lemon as a base for deodorant and then follow up with a sprinkle of baking soda.

Make a DIY humidifier

Throw a pot on the stove and toss in some lemon wedges.

Simmer the water every hour or so and let the scent fill the house. If you want to get extra fancy, toss in some orange peels, cinnamon and cloves as well.

Keep neighbourhood cats at bay

If you've got a problem with stray cats stinking up your garden, try grinding up some lemon peels and tossing them on the ground.

Felines really hate citrusy scents. This trick works in the home to keep cats off countertops and furniture.

If you think lemons are impressive...

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