It’s unjust to this legendary fruit that when we call
something (usually a car) a “lemon” we mean it’s a dud, and that life “giving
you lemons” is another way of saying you’ve had bad luck.
Any cook will tell
you they’d be seriously handicapped without these little vitamin C bombs, and lemons have splendid non-culinary
You can use straight lemon juice as a cleaner and
de-odoriser, but diluted also works well. And it’s non-toxic of course, so you
can literally eat off surfaces cleaned with it.
After squeezing a lemon for cooking, why not put the
halves or wedges to work again before you throw them away. The peel is acidic (i.e. disinfecting) and aromatic too, so don’t
let it go to waste. You can wield a half-lemon as a scrubber, but it makes for a more user-friendly
cleaning product if you place the halves in a jar and cover them with hot, even boiling,
water. Let them steep for a while, then use the liquid (you can strain it to
avoid lemon pulp if you wish) for various cleaning tasks around the house, for
- To disinfect cutting boards and counter-tops
- Added to the washing-up water for extra de-greasing
- To shine up metal (add a little salt or baking powder)
like kitchen and bathroom taps
- As an air freshener – decant some into a spray bottle for
ease of use.
You can re-fill your jar of lemon pieces with water a few
times before it’s time to discard them. After you’ve cleaned with lemon juice,
rinse the surfaces with water and dry them with a clean cloth. A note of
caution: do a patch test on surfaces first to make sure the lemon won’t
Lemon also acts as a gentle bleach/lightener. Reader Barbara Myburgh has another good tip:
"You can even use lemon as a facial
cleanser which also removes dark spots over a period of time.
Just put some brown sugar on cotton
wool, squirt a little lemon juice over and exfoliate your face over your
bathroom basin. Rinse with luke-warm water. Do this once a month and you'll
notice the dark spots clearing up.
Your face might burn a little. If it causes the skin to darken, stop
using the lemon as your acidic levels might be too high. Lemon cleansing is not
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