Besides make lemonade, you can do lots more with lemons – lemon juice and peels included. The next time you make lemonade, don’t throw away the peels. Just thinking about a lemon brings the word “Fresh” to mind, doesn’t it? I love the smell of lemons.
A word about lemon juice first
Lemon juice contains five to six per cent citric acid and has a mild pH level, making it the ideal stain fighter and rust remover, yet retaining the shine on surfaces. So, even after you squeeze the juice out of a lemon, there’s enough left over to handle small cleaning jobs. Moreover it comes with its own applicator, the rind. The oil in the lemon peel also has its own uses. Let’s get on with the uses, then.
Lemon can get rid of greasy pans, messy stove tops and kitchen counters. As a first step, sprinkle a little salt on the cut surface of the lemon and rub on the greasy areas, then wipe it off, before you use any other cleaners. Watch out for surfaces that are sensitive to acid, though. This means marble and Cuddappah granite, which stain with lemon.
Teapot, coffeepot cleaner
Teapots and coffee pots tend to develop a deposit build up. When that happens, fill them with water, and add some slices of lemon peel and boil. Switch off the stove and leave it for about an hour. Then drain the pot and rinse it thoroughly.
Forgot to cover the food when you microwaved it? No worries. That gunk will come off when you add lemon rinds to a large microwave-safe container half-filled with water. Place this in the microwave and cook on high for about five minutes. Let the water boil. The steam will condense on the walls of the oven. Remove the hot bowl and use a cloth to wipe off the mess inside.
Most homes have chrome taps, fittings and faucets which get tarnished. Get the shine back on them by rubbing them with a lemon. Rinse and wipe. Need to shine copper? Halve a lemon and dip in salt or baking powder to brighten your copperware, chrome or stainless steel. Leave it on for five minutes, rinse and rub it dry with a cloth. This also works for your stainless steel sinks.
Say goodbye to insects with lemons. Cut the lemon peels and keep on window sills, cracks, holes and other places frequented by ants and pests.
Dry winters and dry summers can be pleasanter when you simmer lemon peels in a container of water. This will humidify the air and make it smell great.
Cutting board renewer
Lemon has antibacterial properties. Disinfect your cutting board and rub it with half a lemon. Leave on for five minutes and rinse.
’Tis the season to celebrate. So make strips of lemon peel without the white pith and freeze in a container or Ziploc bag. Great in cocktails, sparkling water or regular water!
- Lemon peel can help lighten age spots. Apply and leave on for an hour and rinse.
- Dry or rough elbows? Take half a lemon, sprinkle baking soda on the cut surface, place under elbow and twist lemon for a few minutes. Rinse and dry.
- Rub lemon peels on your face to tone your skin and rinse. Avoid the area around the eyes.
- Half cup sugar + chopped lemon peel + olive oil = paste. Use as a bath scrub on wet skin and enjoy the softness.
See? Next time, don’t throw away the lemon or its peel. Right now, lemons are expensive. Use them well. It is a great way to go green.
I would love to hear your “lemon” tips.
Wishing you all a healthy and happy New Year – and see you next Tuesday!
Vidya Sury gets her lemons, lemon juice and lemon peels as a Freelance Writer and Professional Blogger. She’s mom to a teenager who is crazy about lemon juice.