Lemons are great for so much more than making lemonade or to garnish your iced tea. This miracle citrus fruit is highly acidic, has antibacterial properties and has a low pH balance, all of which make lemons a great natural cleaner. They have a pleasant smell and can be safely used on a variety of household surfaces—even fabric and wood. Lemons are an affordable and natural ingredient to add to your apartment cleaning routine. Here are six uses for lemons in your household.
Clean your garbage disposal
Your sink may start so smell after food and liquid have been poured down the drain day after day. You can eliminate these smells and even prevent them by grinding lemon juice and a slice of the peel through your disposal. Here are a few other dos and don’ts to keep your garbage disposal in working order.
The acid in lemons can kill mold, bacteria and germs. While they’re not a 100 percent replacement for your household disinfectant, lemons are a fabulous deodorizer for cleaning up everyday messes. Keep your apartment smelling fresh with this all-purpose DIY cleaner recipe:
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 4 cups hot water
- 1/2 a lemon (with the rind)
Start by combining the vinegar, baking soda and hot water in a bucket. Squeeze the lemon juice into the mixture and drop the rind in for a stronger citrus scent. Stir the mixture and allow the solution to completely cool. Remove the rind and transfer the cleaning solution to a spray bottle.
Keep pests away
Many common insects such as ants, spiders and cockroaches are sensitive to smell, which is why lemons are so useful at deterring these and other insect pests. Mix a 50/50 solution of lemon juice and water in a spray bottle and use in your kitchen, baseboards and windowsills. This mixture is also great at keeping bugs away from your apartment herb garden all without harming the plants.
Refresh your fridge
The acid in lemons can work to freshen up your fridge and do away with old food smells. Empty out your fridge and discard what you haven’t used in recent memory and any food that’s past its prime. Soak a few cotton swabs or a washcloth in lemon juice and use it to wipe down the shelves and interior door of your fridge. To flush smells for good, place a few lemon slices on an open plate and leave them inside your fridge. This will soak up any unpleasant odors and ensure your fridge always smells fresh.
Have a white shirt, tablecloth, linens or towels that have been stained with wine, grease or other mildew? Get rid of these by squeezing the juice from a lemon directly on the stain, then pour salt over the lemon juice and rub the material together. The abrasion of the salt with help work the lemon juice into the stain and do its magic. Rinse with water, then run the material through the washing machine.
The acid in lemons can cut through calcium, soap scum buildup, rust and other mineral stains. Dip half of a lemon in baking soda and scrub your sink, chrome fixtures and your fancy silverware. This is an easy alternative to harsh cleaning chemicals and it’s safe on the environment.
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