At BLANC Home we're quite fond of lemons as a precious nutritional ally (a glass of lemon water a day helps digestion, the immune system, energy, weight loss - and also keeps your skin looking younger, among many benefits)... but did you know that lemons were just as useful in the home? Here are 10 practical uses for lemons around the house.
#1 Rinse Aid
Lemon juice is one of the best, most natural and cheapest rinse aids there is! Add the juice of just half a lemon in the dishwasher before running it and your tableware will come out whiter, cleaner and stain-free. Be careful not to add the seeds though - they get stuck everywhere and they're your dishwasher's worst enemy...
#2 Brighten your whites
Add half a cup of lemon juice to your next wash cycle of white laundry (along with your natural detergent), run it on a hot setting and soon bleach will be a distant memory - lemon is a great whitening agent, thanks to the citric acid it contains. It works wonders with blood stains for instance. For better results or for finer garments which cannot bear the hotter wash cycles, you might try soaking your white clothes in a large basin filled with water and lemon juice overnight. Do not use with coloured items though - it will likely leave bleach marks!
#3 Furniture polish
One part lemon juice, two parts olive oil - mix well and you'll get a natural, cheap and chemical-free furniture polish you won't be able to do without. It usually works well to remove scratches, for instance. Also works on hardwood floors.
#4 Rejuvenate your chopping board
Having a hard time ridding your wooden chopping board of garlic or onion smells? rub half a lemon over it, and it will get rid of smells and bacteria.
#5 Air freshener
Many household products add an artificial lemon smell to impart a ‘clean’ scent - why not do the same? Chuck used lemons halves into your garbage disposal to help keep it clean and smelling fresh. You can add a handful of bicarbonate of soda to make the mixture more efficient. You can remove nasty refrigerator smells just as easily. Dab lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge and leave it in the fridge for several hours to help to help freshen the smell.
#6 Add sparkle to your faucets... and pots
Rub kitchen and bathroom faucets with lemon peel or the cut side of half a lemon. Wash and dry with a soft cloth to shine and remove spots. This works on dull pots and pans too, by the way, inside and out.
#7 Vacuum a fresh smell
Before you start to vacuum, put a few drops of lemon juice in the dust bag. It will make the house smell fresh. Of course we're quite biased but we also like the smell of our natural fig scented candle to help fight unpleasant smells in the house ...
#8 Remove rust
Squeeze the juice of half lemon over the rust area. Let it stay for a while to help break down the rust.
#9 Hand sanitiser
Fish or onion odours on your hands can be removed by rubbing them with fresh lemons.
#10 Keep insects out of the kitchen
No need to use chemicals-ladden insecticides or ant traps to discourage insects from entering your kitchen - the lemon treatment is just as effective. You can squeeze some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills, as well as into any holes or cracks where ants or other bugs seem to be getting in. If you are having trouble getting rid of more persistent species, such as roaches and fleas: just mix the juice of 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 2 litres of water and wash your floors with it - most insects hate the smell (we can't understand why...)