Lemons are a natural and eco-friendly alternative to harsh cleansers. Plus, lemons will leave a refreshing and citrusy aroma, too. For most of these cleaning remedies you can choose fresh lemons or stock up on bottled lemon juice, whatever is more convenient for your household.
1. Add a few lemon wedges to the dishwasher
Even the dishwasher can use a little help in keeping your plates, silverware, and other utensils sparkling clean. Let lemons work their magic here. Place a few lemon slices on the top rack or fill a small container, placed on the top rack, with about a cup of lemon juice and then run the dishwasher on the normal cycle. You'll notice everything is a bit brighter and shinier.
2. Clean the blender
If you use your blender frequently you may notice stains or hard water build up on the glass pitcher. Consider mixing lemon juice, a tiny bit of dishwashing liquid (or opt for 2 tablespoons of baking soda), and some hot water. Then, hit the high speed button for about half a minute. Disconnect the power cord before scrubbing the pitcher with a sponge.
3. Clean the microwave
The microwave may be an area that requires continuous cleaning. Maybe sauce has splattered against the walls or there are unsightly stuck-on food pieces. Cut half a lemon, or just use leftover juiced lemon rinds, and place in a mug or bowl with water. (Alternatively, you can add lemon juice to the water.) Heat in the microwave for a few minutes or until water is boiling.
Now, this part is crucial: Don’t immediately open the microwave door, instead let the lemon water sit for another few minutes so that the steam can perform its magic. Then, remove the water and wipe down all of the microwave’s interior surfaces with a cloth; the grime will melt away with ease.
By Lauren David. From MyRecipes.com
4. Deodorize the fridge
If you're noticing strange smells every time you open the fridge, it's time to freshen things up. Cut a lemon in half and place directly in the fridge or put in a container, flesh side up. Let the lemon sit in your refrigerator for about half an hour, or longer if needed. The odors should be absorbed by the lemon and you'll notice a nice, citrusy aroma.
5. Remove stains from plastic containers
What you stored in your Tupperware or plastic containers last week may still show signs in the form of stains. Oftentimes, they don't easily disappear even after a good scrub or run through the dishwasher. Squeeze or pour some lemon juice into the container and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Or take a piece of lemon and rub it, flesh side down, over the stains and then leave it to sit for a few minutes before wiping down.
6. Scrub a cheese grater
Sometimes, no matter how much you clean the grater, there are still small pieces of food stuck in the crevices. Next time, before you even reach for the sponge, take a slice or half-piece of lemon and "grate" it. Do so on the inside as well. This will help loosen any stuck-on pieces of food before you wash it.
7. Freshen up the garbage disposal
Plop a used lemon or a couple pieces of lemon rind into the disposal. Turn it on while letting the faucet run a little bit for about 10-30 seconds and you'll notice lemon's pleasant scent erasing any foul odors almost instantly.
8. Freshen wooden cutting boards
Every now and again, your wooden cutting boards need some extra care. If you're noticing stains or strange smells, then it's time to give them a lemon cleanse.
Sprinkle a bit of coarse salt over the board and take half a lemon, and use it (flesh side down) to scrub away at the surface. Leave the lemony, salted board to sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing with water or wiping it down with a wet sponge.
9. Help elimiate tough stains and grease from pots & pans
Removing tough stains and grease from cookware can be labor intensive and time-consuming, but using lemon juice will aid the cleaning process, thanks to lemon's acidic properties. Mix equal parts lemon juice with dishwashing soap (a teaspoon or less, each) and go straight to scrubbing and cleaning.
Alternatively, you can let pots soak with this mixture for about 15-30 minutes and you'll notice it's much easier to cut through the grease and eliminate the tough stains.
10. Wipe down the counter
If you like to wipe down your countertops daily, but want a more natural cleaner, lemon juice may be just the thing you're looking for. You can squeeze lemon juice directly onto the countertop and then quickly wipe clean. Because the citric acid is quite potent, you don't want the juice to sit for too long.
Note: Although lemon juice is safe for the majority of surfaces, it's always a good idea to test out a small section before using it on the entire area, just to be certain.