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Lemons aren't just for eating, they're also useful for many cleaning applications.
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Good for More than Lemonade: 10 Creative Uses for Lemon Juice

May 18th, 2017

“I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.” – Hattie White, Jay Z’s grandmother

Lemonade, often invoked in trite motivational quotes and now evocative of Beyonce’s chart-topping album, is a drink we humans have enjoyed for some 1,000 years. But apart from making a refreshing drink on a hot day, lemon juice can be used for an array of different uses. From whitening your nails to sprucing up your glassware, lemonade is a DIY enthusiast’s dream. Here are ten creative ways you can reimagine lemonade (without the sugar and excess water) in your apartment.

1. Whiten your teeth

The citric acid in lemon acts like a bleach and will whiten your teeth. Just mix fresh lemon juice with several tablespoons of baking powder until you make a paste and brush your teeth with it. You should notice an improvement within a few weeks’ time.

2. Preserve fruit’s freshness

A few drops of lemon juice will keep cut fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, bananas, cauliflowers and potatoes from turning brown when exposed to the elements. You can also revive wilted lettuce leaves by soaking them in a mixture of cold water and lemon juice and refrigerating them.

3. Make stains disappear

Remove pesky stains from your clothes, especially those caused by underarm sweat. Rub a paste of lemon juice and salt onto your stained fabrics, rinse, and then dry them in the sun for spotless clothing.

4. Brighten your nails

Wearing dark nail polish can be fun, but can dull and yellow your fingernails. Brighten your nails by soaking them in a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. The olive oil will also help strengthen your nails.

5. Write hidden messages

The days of handcrafted secret letters are not gone for ever. Lemon juice doubles as invisible ink. Dip a cotton swab in some lemon juice before using it to write a message on white paper. Wait for it to dry. When you want your message to be viewed, instruct the recipient to hold the paper close to a lamp until a message is revealed.

6. Repel insects

Insects are particularly sensitive to smell, and cannot deal with the strong citric scent of lemons. Mop your floors with lemon juice and water to keep out roaches and fleas. You can also deter ants from venturing into your apartment when your window is open by spraying your windowsill with concentrated lemon juice.

7. Keep yourself smelling fresh

Lemon juice works rather effectively as a deodorant. Simply dab it under your arms to kill odor-causing bacteria and keep yourself smelling fresh. Drinking lemon juice also helps with bad breath. If you drink lemon juice, be sure to sip some water after because lemon can erode tooth enamel.

8. Make your hair shine

Lemon juice works wonders for hair. Applied to your scalp, the citric acid in lemon juice cleans your hair of dead cells, thereby fighting dandruff and hair loss. It also strengthens your hair follicles and promotes growth. Get that natural-looking sheen you’re after by washing your hair with lemon juice once a week.

9. Refresh cutting boards

Even frequently washed kitchen cutting boards are bound to start smelling eventually. Sanitize your cutting boards with undiluted lemon juice to eliminate odors of garlic and onion. Do this at least once a week to keep your cutting boards smelling clean and fresh.

10. Buff pots and pans

Juice from lemons can make your tarnished pots and pans sparkle again. Apply a paste made from lemon juice and salt coated onto copper, brass or stainless steel kitchenware. Leave on for five minutes before rinsing with warm water and polishing dry.

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