If you are looking for an all-round household cleaning product which does an efficient job but does not cost the earth you may be pleasantly surprised by the versatility and effectiveness of a simple item typically found in a fruit bowl rather than under the sink – the lemon.
The citric acid in lemons, or C6H8O7 to quote its molecular name, is a weak organic acid and can also be found in other citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and limes. The juice of a lemon is a natural anti-bacterial and is safe to use where babies or pets may come into contact.
Starting in the kitchen, lemon juice has many uses:
- It can remove strong odors from wooden or plastic chopping boards by rubbing half a lemon into the surface or the board, leaving for a couple of minutes and then rinsing in water and allowing to dry naturally.
- Stains can easily be removed from cutlery by rubbing half a lemon over the stain followed by a good buffing with a cloth.
- Copper pans and dishes will sparkle if you give them a regular clean with half a lemon and salt rubbed over the surface to remove tarnishing. Afterwards, rinse the copperware well with water to remove all traces.
- Keep half a lemon in your fridge to keep unpleasant smells at bay.
- Lemon juice is wonderful for removing grease and soap deposits and even lime scale from taps and plug holes.
- Use one part lemon juice to five parts hot water to wipe down your bathroom tiles and glass shower screen.
- Try a mixture of borax powder and lemon juice to clean your toilet and keep it smelling fresh.
- For an effective furniture polish try mixing one part lemon to two parts olive oil and use a soft cloth to apply to wooden furniture.
- Lemon juice mixed with water can be decanted into a plant spray bottle and used to clean your windows and mirrors throughout the home.
- Bring back the sparkle to glass ornaments by dipping the ornament in warm water and rubbing with half a lemon.
To get the best results:
• Choose a large lemon which has been kept at room temperature
• Microwave your lemon for 20-30 seconds and roll the lemon across a surface will help to ensure you get as much juice out of it as possible