Friday, October 5, 2007

A Dozen (or more) Uses for Lemons

Lemon is an amazing fruit that is not only nutritious and delicious but also has a plethra of uses around the home! Here are a dozen or so tricks to try (in no particular order):

1) Freshen your refrigerator: Place half of a lemon on a saucer and set it in the back of your fridge for a day. The lemon will absorb the odors in your fridge while putting off a fresh clean scent.

2) Microwave Cleaner: Take half of a lemon, place it in a microwave safe bowl, and cover it with water (or use 4 tbsp of lemon juice to one cup of water). Place the bowl in the microwave oven and microwave it for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the bowl as it will be HOT! Wipe the inside of the microwave with a damp sponge, cloth, or paper towel. All food splatters should wipe off easily from the inside walls.

3) Soothing Sunburns: Mix one part lemon juice with one part water* in a bowl, jar, or bottle. Apply the solution liberally with a cotton ball using a gentle dabbing motion. The solution acts as an astringent, relieving the pain and heat. Abstain from direct sunlight after applying this solution.
*One part means one of whatever form of measurement you want to use - cup, tablespoon, ounce, milliliter.

4) Eliminate Lime Scale and Hard Water Deposits: Rub the lime scale with half of a lemon (peel side up), and the lime scale should come off easily. If a little more scrubbing power is desired, sprinkle the meaty side of the lemon half with salt before rubbing. For glass shower doors, apply lemon juice with a clean sponge, then dry with newspaper.

5) Brighten and Whiten Fingernails: If your fingernails have turned yellow and brittle from repeated manicures and polish, soak your nails in lemon juice for 10 minutes, then dip them in a mixture of one part vinegar to one part water. This should whiten, brighten, and strengthen your fingernails.

6) Blackhead Removal, Pimple Relief, and Blemish Reduction: Before turning in for the night, gently dab lemon juice on your face with a cotton ball or cotton pad. In the morning, wash your face with cool water, and the blackheads should be diminished if not gone completely (it may take several days of using this method for some to disappear). To eliminate pimples, dab with lemon juice several times a day until the pimple is gone, usually in only 24 hours if you can refrain from picking at it. For blemish reduction, make a mixture of 2 parts lemon juice to one part honey and apply to face. Honey has natural astringent properties as well as moisturizing.

7) Relieve Bloating and Sluggishness: Before breakfast, mix one teaspoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon of honey, and one cup of warm water. Drink. This helps kick-start your body's elimination processes.

8) Remove Smells and Stains from Hands: Rub hands with lemon juice or a piece of lemon to remove smells such as garlic, onion, or fish, or stains from berries and fruits. Rinse with water and the smells and stains should be gone.

9) Stop Bleeding and Disinfect Minor Wounds: Apply lemon juice, either directly or with a cotton ball, to the wound and the bleeding should stop (this is not to be used for puncture wounds). For canker sores or other sores in the mouth, either dab with lemon juice or gargle and swish with a solution of one part lemon juice to one part water.

10) Brighten Whites Without Bleach: Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice along with your normal detergent and wash as normal. This is especially great for cloth baby diapers because the lemon juice also acts as a disinfectant. Hang to dry in the sun for ultimate whitening and disinfecting.

11) Clean and Sanitize a Dishwasher: After removing all dishes, add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to the soap dispenser and run the dishwasher through a normal cycle. This will also help remove the mineral deposits that can make spots on your dishes.

12) Furniture Polish for Hardwood Furniture: Mix one part lemon juice to 2 parts olive oil. Apply a small amount at a time to the furniture surface and buff with a soft, lint-free cloth (like an old t-shirt).

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