Cleaning with Lemons: Three Frugal Cleaning Ideas!

Living in Southern California, everyone knows someone who has a lemon tree. Maybe you have one, and while you enjoy a cool glass of lemonade and maybe a slice of lemon meringue pie, you aren’t really sure what to do with the rest? Here are a few of my favorite ways to clean with lemons.

The oil found in the lemon rind (the little “sacs” or circles on the exterior of the peel) are the same oil in the bottle of Lemon essential oil you will find in any health food shop. This oil is purported to have anti-microbial properties. So in addition to smelling good, it will chase away germs!

1-Banish nasty garbage disposal smells. You all know the smell I’m talking about. Quarter a lemon (or cut into smaller pieces if the lemon is large), turn on the disposal and drop the pieces in one at a time, giving the disposal 20-30 seconds to pulverize the lemon piece before adding the next one.

2-Slice up a lemon, toss the slices into a microwave safe bowl, add about 1/2 cup water and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Afterwards, CAREFULLY remove the bowl of water (It will be hot!!) and wipe down the inside of the microwave with a damn cloth or sponge. The steam from the heating water will loosen up the icky crud built up inside your microwave.

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 11.30.50 AM3-Household cleaner. Now this is my favorite homemade cleaning solution. Most of you have everything you or do you need to create this. To get started zest 2 to 3 lemons into a mason jar. Realistically, you can use any glass screw top container it doesn’t have to specifically be a mason jar. After you have zested the lemons, place them into the glass jar and pour enough vodka in to cover the lemon zest pieces completely. You do not want the lemon zest pieces to be exposed to the air. Next, screw the lid on, and store in a warm, dark place. You’re going to shake the mason jar once every week or so for 6 to 8 weeks.

After that time has elapsed you are going to strain off of the lemon zest solids and discard them. You can run them down the garbage disposal if you’d like and it will help your garbage disposal so nice and fresh. I don’t recommend eating them or cooking with them.

The remaining liquid will be a yellowish brown and that will be just fine. This liquid will not stain.

Pour this solution into a spray top bottle, like this one available on Amazon, and use it where you would use any household cleaner such as Spic and Span or Windex. The alcohol is great for cleaning the bathroom mirrors, as it does not leave streaks on the glass. It is also great for cleaning stinky toilets, bathroom sinks, and your bathroom countertops.

In the kitchen the alcohol is great for helping and cut the grease on the stove top, and it’s great for cleaning countertops as well.  However, because this solution contains alcohol keep it out of reach of children. It does not taste good, however it does smell good and it might be an attractive nuisance to children.

You can also mix a little bit of this liquid with salt or baking soda to form a paste to get the baked on gunk off of the outside of your tea kettle or pots and pans. Simply spread the mixture on scrub it with a sponge and rinse off. The abrasive nature of the salt or baking soda mixed with the liquid is great for removing baked on masses, or years of cooking accumulation.

I keep a spray bottle of this lemon liquid as I like to call it under the sink at all times. I use it to clean my countertops in the kitchen to wipe down the inside of the refrigerator. I even use it to clean the kitchen sink.

Overall it’s very inexpensive and it’s a very effective cleaner.

 

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