Normally when I shop, I don't fill my cart with bright yellow lemons. Until recently, that is. Now, after reading about the versatility of lemons in a grocery store flyer, lemons are at home in my fridge. Lemons are a reasonably priced replacement for some products, and they recoup their costs easily throughout the house.
It's not surprising to know that everything about lemons smells fresh and clean. "Waste not; want not" with lemons and use not only the fruit but their peels as well. Purchase lemons for whatever their intended purpose, but don't throw the rinds in the garbage afterwards. Instead, throw them into your garbage disposal and grind them. The fresh smell will eliminate stale garbage disposal odors and replace them with the fresh smell of lemon.
Another cleaning option to spread the lemony smell around your kitchen is to clean cutting boards with the fruit. Not only does the fruit and its juice freshen but it sanitizes as well. Rub lemons on wooden spoons and other porous surfaces that may retain germs and odors.
Lemons can serve as scouring pads if they're dipped in coarse salt and used to clean pots. Cut them in half or in quarters and dip the juicy inside of the fruit in the salt. Any metal in the home that shows a few spots of rust can be cleaned with your new natural scouring pad. The lemon and salt eliminates the rust dots on bathroom fixtures, utensils, and other metal surfaces. This combination also works wonders cleaning copper bottom pots. It's more efficient and cheaper than copper cleaner.
Lemons are useful as beauty aides as well. Instead of spending money on heavy moisturizers and the heel buffers, spend it on lemons. Cut a lemon in half and dip that half in sugar. Then, rub the lemon half on your elbows and heels. The fruit will soften and heal the tough skin.
Use lemon juice to keep food beautiful, too. Adding a bit of lemon juice to fruits that normally brown will stop the browning and keep apples and bananas fresh and white. The little bit needed won't alter the taste, and lemon juice can be added to dips and sauces that naturally brown in the air as well.
I like lemons, because ants don't like lemons. Some lemon juice squirted outside by windowsills and across thresholds will work as a barrier to ants and some other pests. The commercial pest barriers are expensive; lemons are less than a dollar a piece.
About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at http://www.kellybutterbaugh.com
Oh I do so agree with you. Lemons are wonderful! I live in the Gamtoos Valley, Eastern Cape, South Africa and am fortunate to have a lemon tree in my yard which is never without fruit throughout the year. I have made myself a file which I use purely for saving all the lemon tips and recipes I come across, which is neverending. Don't forget the lemon leaves - they are just as useful in everyday living.
I love lemons too, but had to note that any acid will keep fruit from browning, and white vinegar is a darned sight cheaper than lemons. So here's my lemon-loving frugal advice: zest a lemon before slicing or juicing, and freeze the zest in "one lemon' parcels in a freezer bag, for use when a recipe calls for "zest of one lemon". But for keeping fruit from browning, for scrubbing pots, and for most other purposes other than scent and nutrition, plain white distilled vinegar (at a few bucks a gallon) deodorizes, sanitizes, softens callouses, keeps fruit from browning, and does most anything a lemon will do, for a savings.
Yes, the lovely scent of lemon leaves should not be overlooked. They are especially nice added to any seafood stock or soup. Great in long simmered chicken dishes and as a pickling spice ingredient. They can be dried and tucked away for future use much like bay leaves. My Meyer lemon tree is ultra-productive, so I gather a basketful, juice them, then store the juice in a glass bottle in the fridge. You'd be surprised how often you'll use the fresh juice if you don't have to stop and squeeze it first. It's already there, just waiting for you! Hardly a day goes by that I don't use it. Just be sure to shake before using.
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