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Lemon aid

slices of lemon close-up

Commercial cleaning products often have a lemon fragrance because this is associated with freshness and cleanliness. But many people don't realise that the acid in lemon juice is antibacterial and antiseptic and acts as a natural bleach.

Lemons make an efficient and harmless cleaner on their own and, in many cases, you can ditch the chemical product and just use a lemon instead!

Why not try some of these ideas for yourself?

Important: Always test on a small area first. Don't use on natural stone counter-tops, flooring etc as they may stain. Lemon juice should not be used to replace disinfectants.

Stained worktops - rub with a cut lemon, leave for a few minutes (no more) then sprinkle on some bicarbonate of soda and work in with a damp cloth to remove the stains. Clean off the lemon juice with a warm soapy cloth.

Glass shower doors/mirrors - wipe over with lemon juice on a sponge, then polish with crumpled newspaper.

Chrome - just rub with a cut lemon, rinse then buff with a soft cloth. For stubborn limescale on taps soak a paper towel in lemon juice and wrap round the tap.  Leave for up to an hour then scrub with an old toothbrush. Rinse off and polish with a soft dry cloth.

Brass/copper/stainless steel - make a paste of lemon juice and salt and spread over tarnished areas. Leave for 5 minutes (no more!) then wash off with warm soapy water and finish with a soft cloth.

Aluminium pans - rub with a cut lemon then rinse and buff with a soft cloth.

Laundry - to brighten whites add some lemon juice to the wash cycle.

Burnt pans - simmer lemon slices in water to soften and release the burnt-on food.

Grouting - scrub with a toothbrush soaked in lemon juice or a mix of lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda.

Fridge freshener - put a cut lemon in the fridge overnight to clear nasty smells.

To clean and deodorise your dishwasher - fill the soap dispenser with lemon juice then run a normal wash cycle with the dishwasher empty.

Air freshener - half a cut lemon in a small bowl makes a good air freshener for the bathroom. Simmer a pot of water with lemon peel, cloves, and a cinnamon stick to freshen up the kitchen.

Pet smells - a few drops of lemon essential oil mixed into bicarbonate of soda makes a good deodoriser for carpets. Put some into a sieve and sprinkle over the smelly area. Leave overnight then vacuum.

Freshen and clean the microwave - boil some water in a bowl with a few thick slices of lemon for 3 or 4 minutes. Wait for a few more minutes while the steam loosens grease and gunk, then wipe round the inside of the microwave while it's still warm.

Stained chopping boards - rub with a cut lemon. If badly stained sprinkle with salt or bicarbonate of soda, work in with the cut lemon and leave overnight.

Hands - rub with lemon peel then wash your hands in cold water to help remove the smell of onions or garlic.

Stainless steel sink cleaner - sprinkle salt into the damp sink then rub with a cut lemon to remove stains. Rinse.

Make an all purpose cleaner - put lemon peels into a jar, cover with white vinegar, put on the lid and leave for a couple of weeks to infuse. Pour the strained juice into a spray bottle, add an equal amount of water, and use as a general cleaner around the house for windows, worktops, doors etc (don't use for wax polished surfaces).

Garbage disposal units - when you've finished using the lemon peel for cleaning your house, run it through the garbage disposal unit to clean and deodorise it.

Windows/mirrors - clean with a few tablespoons of lemon juice in a spray bottle of water.

We are sure there are lots more so this list will probably just keep growing over time .....


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