Saturday, 23 January 2010
Skip the toxic chemicals found in the majority of store-bought products and get straight to the power of Mother Nature?
Using lemons to help with your cleaning is easy and effective. As we learn more about the devastating effects of toxic chemicals on our health and the environment, cleaning with kitchen ingredients is becoming fashionable and earns you some green points!
Lemons have antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making them ideal for cleaning your home. They also help to remove stains with their mild bleaching power.
A Stain Remover
Many of us will remember trying to get streaks in our hair by putting lemon juice on it and sitting in the sun! You can do the same on white clothing. Dab a little lemon juice on stains, leave to work for a few moments, and then wash as usual. Hang the clothes outdoors to dry on a sunny day to allow the sun to add its bleaching effect too.
If the stains are well soaked in, make a paste from fresh lemon juice and crème of tartar. Apply the paste to the fabric and leave in the sun for an hour. Then wash as usual. Keep an eye on the clothing, as lemon juice can be very powerful!
You can pre-soak white clothing in lemon juice if it needs to be brightened. Slice up a lemon and place in a large container. Pour boiling water over the lemon, cover and leave to reach the desired temperature. When cool enough add your clothes and soak them for an hour before washing as usual.
Alternatively, put ½ a cup of lemon juice in the rinse cycle of your washing machine and hang your clothes in the sunshine to dry.
Clean Kitchen Surfaces
If your kitchen work surfaces have marks on them, put a few drops of fresh lemon juice on, leave for a few minutes, and then rinse and dry.
If your dishwasher starts to smell musty, run the machine empty, apart from 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice in the soap dispenser. This will freshen up the machine, help kill bacteria and remove musty odours.
Grimy Chopping Boards
The antibacterial effect of lemons make them perfect for disinfecting chopping boards. Apply fresh lemon juice to the board, allow it to soak overnight and rinse off in the morning. This will remove any odours from chopping garlic and onions as well as removing bacteria.
To clean bathroom and kitchen sinks, make a paste from fresh lemon juice and salt. Dip a sponge into the paste and rub around the sink to remove stains. Porcelain sinks in particular will love this treatment and sparkle beautifully! Rub your taps with Lemon peel to make them really twinkle.
Lime scale Build Up
Lemons can help dissolve hard water deposits and soap scum. Rub a cut lemon around your taps or around your sink, leave to work for a few minutes, and then rinse.
Keep a plant mister in the shower room with a mixture of the juice of two fresh lemons and water in it. Wipe around the shower panel and tiles with this mix after showering to prevent lime scale building up.
To prevent lime scale in your kettle, put some fresh lemon peel in the bottom, top up with water, bring to a boil and then leave overnight. Rinse well in the morning and your kettle will be lime scale-free.
A Furniture Polish
Combine one part lemon juice with two parts olive oil for a nourishing wooden furniture polish. This will add shine and bring out the natural beauty of your furniture.
Make a paste from fresh lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). Apply this paste to any brass fixtures or fittings in your home, such as door handles and light switches. Rub gently with a soft cloth and buff until it shines.
Give your copper pans a brilliant shine with lemon. Cut a fresh lemon in half, dip it in some salt and use it like a scouring pad. If you have copper pipes in your bathroom or other copper materials in your home, these will benefit from the same treatment.
Lemon leaves a fresh, uplifting scent in your home. Either chop up some fresh lemons and boil them in a saucepan of water with the lid off for half an hour, or put half a fresh lemon in the oven after you have finished using it. The residual heat from the oven will release the aroma into your kitchen and get rid of stale cooking smells.
Alternatively, make up a spray bottle of the juice of a fresh lemon topped up with water. Keep in the fridge and spray liberally around your home for a zesty scent.
• To get more juice out of a lemon, make sure they are at room temperature, or warmer. (Warm in the sun or a microwave for a few seconds)
• Remember that lemon juice is a mild acid - don't get lemon juice in your eyes!
• Lemon juice goes off surprisingly quickly. Keep any fresh juice in the fridge and use within 4 days.
• To remove the smell of fish from knives and chopping boards, rub them with lemon peel.
• To remove odours from plastic containers, fill with luke warm water, pop in a few slices of lemon, and leave to soak.
• To make your wok shine and prevent it oxidising, boil some lemon peel in it.