Lemons add their own bright, cheery aroma and a kick of acid that heightens other flavors when used in cooking. Their cleansing scent and light acid have plenty of uses beyond cooking. Below are some great ways to use lemons around the house for all-natural, toxin-free cleaning, odor-removing, and decoration.
1. Clean CopperMake a paste with lemon juice and salt and rub all over copper item. Scrub with a rough cloth or cut lemon half until tarnish is completely removed. Rinse and dry.
2. Clean Cutting BoardsThe best way to clean cutting boards - plastic or wood - is to rub them with a cut lemon half. For stubborn stains (strawberries, beets) or caked-on bits, use some coarse salt to help scrub the board clean. Rinse well and dry.
3. Clean Garbage DisposalRunning juiced lemon shells or any peel through the garbage disposal will freshen and deodorize it.
4. Clean GlassRub glass with a cut lemon or soak in lemon juice and water to add sparkle back to dull glass. This is especially effective with cloudy coffee pots, pitchers, or decanters.
5. Clean HandsStinky hands from handling fish, onions, or chemicals? Greasy from meats or hands-on cooking tasks? Rub your hands with a lemon wedge to remove the odor. Bonus: Lemon juice will smooth and soften your skin in the process.
6. Deep Clean HairLemon juice can speed up the natural blond highlights blond hair gets from sunshine when left in, but it can also brighten and re-fresh all hair, removing product build-up. Mix 1 part lemon juice with 4 parts water, rinse hair with lemon water and then rinse clean with clear water.
7. Freshen RoomsA bowl of lemons adds a fresh scent to any room - and looks pretty in the process. Lemons can keep for up to two weeks at cool room temperature. (And you can always grab one for juice or zest for use in the kitchen.)
8. Improve SoilFix soil that needs more acidity by adding lemon shells to the ground.
9. Smooth SkinMake a skin scrub by whirling 3 almonds, the zest from 1 lemon, 1 tsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp. honey in a food processor or clean coffee or spice grinder. Massage into face (or anywhere else you need clean, smooth skin!) and rinse thoroughly with warm water.
10. Soften CuticlesMix 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp honey, and 1/2 cup warm water. Soak fingertips in this mixture for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse hands, dry, and push back cuticles.