Monday, March 7, 2016

Lemon Week: Cleaning with Lemons

Remember a while back I started a series of posts and called them Lemon Week? And remember how that last post I promised just never showed up (but Ione did!). Well today I finally get the chance to finish the Lemon Week series with the final post: Cleaning with Lemons! 

At the lemon night I attended we were given a printout of Cris Carl's fabulous list of "24 Things you Can Clean with Lemon". The teacher of that segment of the night had gone through and tested as many of the tips on the list as she could and reported back on them. Everything she tried worked for her! 

According to Cris Carl's article, lemons and lemon juice are some of the best natural cleaners to use with the high levels of citric acid, low pH, and the natural antibacterial properties. And they smell great! 

There were three main ways that were suggested to us that night for using/prepping the lemons and juice for cleaning.  
  • First: Cut the lemon in half and rub the lemon/lemon juice on the surface of whatever you are cleaning. 
  • Second: Juice the lemon (fresh or frozen) and slightly dilute the juice with water. 
  • Third: Cut lemons in half and juice them. Use or freeze the juice. Cut the rinds into quarters and place in a large glass jar. Pour white vinegar over the top. Let sit for 1 week. Pour the solution through a strainer into a spray bottle. You can then pour new vinegar over the rinds and let sit for 2 weeks to get remaining oils and juices out for a second pouring. 

I found that the first method didn't do a whole lot for me with what I tested, but the 2nd two methods work great! 

I didn't test all 24 items on the list (I don't have brass or copper items to try cleaning, and didn't get to scrubbing my grout, lol), but I did test a good handful of the tips on the list and wanted to report those to you. For the full list, click here! 

Here are the tips on the list that I did test:
  • "You can also shine up your chrome faucets or the chrome on older model cars with lemon and salt."
    • Works! I cleaned all the faucets in my house with diluted lemon juice and they sparkled afterwards with very little scrubbing! The house was remodeled right before we moved in so there weren't hard water stains yet, so I don't know how it would do with that, but for general cleaning and shining, this works fabulous!
  • "Diluted lemon juice not only cleans stains from cutting boards, but helps kill germs as well. Rub the juice full strength onto the stain and let sit until the stain fades. Can be left overnight, then rinsed well and dried."
    • Works great! Our cutting boards were looking pretty nasty, but this got out most of the stains. Not all, but most. They look much better!
  • "Clean your microwave and remove odors. Place a cup ¾ full of water with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice in the microwave. Heat to boiling. Don’t open the door for another 10 minutes. Then just wipe away food particles with a clean cloth and dry."
    • I'd done something similar to this with vinegar, and that made my whole house smell like vinegar and I still had to scrub the microwave to get gunk off. With this method I literally (and I'm literally using literally correctly here) just had to wipe the gunk off. No scrubbing! And my house didn't smell like vinegar and my eyes didn't burn when I went in the kitchen. Win!! 
  • "Scrub grills and grates with lemon juice and salt."
    • Works! It does take some scrubbing, but the residue and gunk does come off easier than with just regular cleaner. It still probably isn't as easy to scrub the gunk off as oven cleaner, but if you want less chemicals this definitely works better than dish soap at getting your grills and grates looking better!
  • "Soak plastic food storage containers in dilute lemon juice to remove stains and odors. Add baking soda and scrub, rinse and dry."
    • Works! Now our food storage containers don't smell like enchiladas all the time! 
  • "Brighten your clothing by soaking clothes in a hot water and lemon juice mix (about a ½ cup per gallon of water) and then wash as normal. Works best if laundry is then dried in the sun. Lemon juice should not be used on silks or other delicate fabrics. If you are uncertain, test a tiny area first."
    • Okay, I haven't tried this one out personally yet, but the lady that gave the demonstration showed us an example of this and it was amazing! She tested this one some of her whites and the difference was pretty stark. 
  • Add a few drops of lemon juice to your dish soap to boost degreasing ability.
    • Works! Not much more to say here.
  • Clean food preparation smells from your hands with a dilute solution of water and lemon juice.
    • Works! Garlic and onion smells that linger on your hands are gone with this! \
  • Clean windows and mirrors. Put a few tablespoons of lemon juice and water into a spray bottle. Works as well as a vinegar solution and smells better.
    • Works great and smells better than Windex!
  • A dilute lemon juice rinse for your hair cuts soap residue and leaves hair softer and shinier.
    • This is one I haven't tried yet either, but there was a lady at the lemon night that said she has been using dilute lemon juice on her hair for years and it keeps it shiny and soft. Just be sure to dilute and if you spend a lot of time in the sun your hair will lighten some. 
Anyone else clean with lemon? Anything you do that isn't on Cris Carl's list? Share them in the comments, I'd love to try them out! 

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