It feels like springtime may be right around the corner – I cannot say arrived for I am a Washingtonian and our spring just broke the record for the most rainfall ever recorded. And with that spring sunshine comes spring cleaning desires. When that happens there’s simply nothing that smells fresher than citrus; while these little babies undoubtedly look the part for all things spring, lemons are great for more than just brightening up a class of ice water or bringing out the flavor in your salmon. You can also use their acidic properties to clean your home without the nasty chemicals that many traditional cleaning agents rely upon. See below for six of my favorite ways to use lemons when cleaning and keep dreaming of spring sunshine, my fellow Washingtonians. It’s coming! It has to be!
- Clean the microwave. All you need is a lemon and a bowl of water to do a deep clean on the inside and outside of the microwave. Once it’s clean you’ll be amazed at how much grime buildup had snuck in. Click here for instructions.
- Freshen up your garbage disposal. Most people don’t run their garbage disposal long enough – stopping when they no longer hear the food being chopped up rather than letting it run an additional ten seconds, with the water running. This means that food bits get stuck and can start to smell. It only takes three easy steps to clean everything out. First, sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal then add one cup of white vinegar. Allow this fizzy mixture to do its work for 5-7 minutes, then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain. Next, fill the drain with 2-4 cups of ice. Pour one cup of kosher salt over the ice cubes and run cold water with the garbage disposal on until the ice is gone to loosen the grime in the disposal. Finally, cut a lemon in half and (with the water on and disposal running) add each half to the disposal to deodorize the drain. Boom! Clean and fresh disposal is good as new again.
- Deodorize Tupperware. Rub a cut lemon over the insides of a plastic Tupperware container to remove both stains and odors. You can also rinse the containers in lemon juice. We use this one a fair amount when we allow leftovers to sit in the fridge too long. Oops!
- Freshen up cutting boards. Both wood and plastic cutting boards can be freshened by running half a lemon over the surface and rinsing clean.
- Remove water spots from the shower door. This is our first house with a shower door, rather than a shower curtain, and it’s a beast to keep clean! There are constant water spots that don’t scrub off well with other non-toxic cleaners but lemons, man, magic. I just cut a lemon in half and rub it over the glass doors to remove the buildup. Close the doors and turn on the warm water to rinse and your shower will look and smell great!
- Shine the faucets. While still in the bathroom, you can take the other lemon half from cleaning the shower door and get the faucets nice and shiny! Simply rub the cut lemon directly onto the faucets and handles until the spots and stains come off. Bright and shiny faucets will result. Yay!