As I was sipping my lemon water this morning it occurred to me that lemons are kind of a citrus rock star. We cook with them, juice them, zest them and even (I know, this sounds terrible) but watch as our little ones try them for the first time and make that cute little “scrunchy” face. They really are handy in many different ways. The next time you are at the store, grab a bag of lemons and continue reading on for 5 great ways to utilize theses little yellow beauties.
· Freshen and clean those pesky microwaves – I’m not sure what happens to the inside of the microwave at my house but once a week I find that it needs a little freshening up. Directions: Put a microwavable bowl with a ½ cup of water along with a lemon that’s been cut in half in the microwave. Microwave on high for 3 minutes and then let the steamy, citrus bowl sit for another 5 minutes longer. Fight the urge to peek inside! Once the 5 minutes is up you will be able to wipe out all of the stuck on, nasty food bits and splatters that have accumulated over the last week, quickly and easily. It smells amazing and the microwave looks brand new!
· Create your own multi-purpose citrus cleaner – If you have kids and pets like I do, then you probably are concerned about what cleaning items are people and pooch friendly. I LOVE this homemade cleaner. It works great, smells amazing and I don’t have to worry about little hands coming into contact with it. Directions: Put a few lemon peels in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid. You will want to fill it about half way up. Then fill the jar the rest of the way with white vinegar. Let the lemon/vinegar concoction sit for a few weeks. After the third week, drain the mixture into a bowl with a mesh sieve. What you are left with is a lovely, citrus smelling liquid that you can fill an old spray bottle up with and use like you would with any other all-purpose cleaner!
· Get rid of that stinky garbage disposal smell – This seriously takes no more than 2 minutes and you are left with a fresh clean disposal. Directions: Take a couple lemon peels, 3-4 ice cubes and a handful of kosher salt and add them to the inside of your disposal. Turn on the disposal and voila! No more smell!
· Remove not-so-pretty underarm stains – The next time you go to throw out those t-shirts or blouses with tough to clean underarm stains, STOP!!! I have a super easy and fast way to get rid of the stain. Directions: Take equal parts of lemon juice and water and scrub the stained area vigorously. The lemon juice will lift the stain and you can avoid costly dry cleaning bills and marvel at your “pretty pits”!
· Remove seafood smells from counters or fingertips – If you have ever been to a crab feed or craw-fish boil, you know that smells often like to stick around. Directions: Simply bring along a bag of lemons and rub the cut up lemons on the counter-tops, hands or whatever else you are looking to substitute the seafood scent for a citrus one.
This list is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the different uses for lemons. Get creative and come up with your own ways to “citrify” your home!