Think lemons are only good for making lemonade? You'll be happy to learn lemons are one of the most versatile tools (yes, tools!) you can have in your kitchen.
Here are 11 tried-and-true lemon hacks you can use for everything from week killer to breath freshener!
No. 1: Use Lemon Juice to Naturally Lighten Your Hair
Did you know that lemon juice can be used as a natural bleach agent because of its citric acid? Using lemon juice to lighten hair is a natural, safe, and cost-effective alternative to using hair dye.
Although some claim this method doesn't work, many have used it with good results.
You'll need a spray bottle, warm water, and a couple lemons to get started.
Next, mix two parts of warm water with one part squeezed lemon juice. First, wet your hair with water, then spray the lemon juice mixture over your entire head of hair. If you are only doing certain areas, spray just those sections.
To activate the lemon juice and lighten your hair, sit in the sun for 1-2 hours.
Afterward, gently wash the juice out of your hair.
Bonus tip: wear sunscreen to prevent your skin from burning in the sun while you wait.
No. 2: Use Lemon Rinds as an Odor Eliminator
Lemon (and other citrus) peels can absorb random household odors. Toss a few peels into your fridge or put a few of them in the bottom of your trash can to get rid of any lingering odors. This hack is so easy! You can use your fingers to peel the rind or slice them off with a knife.
No. 3: Clothes Whitener
Did you know lemons have the power to make your clothes cleaner and brighter as a bleach alternative and even act like a stain fighter? The citric acid in lemon can break down stains and return color and life to shirts that have been washed many times.
The next time you have a stain that needs removed or have whites that need brightening, reach for a lemon and try this hack.
Step 1: Soak the stain with lemon juice.
Step 2: Sprinkle it with salt and then rub the solution into the stain until it's gone.
Voila! Your clothes will be whiter and brighter!
No. 4: Use Lemons To Infuse Your Water
Want to start drinking more water? Infusing your drinking water with lemon is a great way to get started. Lemon-infused water is not the same as lemonade as it does not have any sugar added.
What are the benefits of this drink? For starters, it's a great source of vitamin C and helps keep you hydrated. It's also a natural breath freshener (what's not to love about that?), and it helps with digestion.
Set a timer for your lemons, so they don't soak for more than four hours, and don't forget to remove the seeds! That keeps the water from getting bitter.
Bonus: For a little extra fun, use sparkling water instead of plain water to make your infused lemon water.
No. 5: Repel Mosquitos With a Homemade Lemon Spray
This simple recipe may be worth a shot!
Combine three freshly squeezed lemons and two cups of water in a saucepan, bringing it to a boil. Let it steep for about an hour.
Once the mixture is completely cool, add it to a spray bottle, and it's ready to use! While applying the spray, make sure to avoid spraying or rubbing the solution in your eyes and any open cuts or scratches.
No. 6: Lemon Juice Kills Weeds
Lemon juice can kill weeds with the high amount of citric acid it contains. When you apply it directly, citric acid has a burning effect on weeds.
For the most effective use of lemon juice herbicide, pick a dry, hot day to douse the unwanted weeds in lemon juice. This isn't a foolproof method as it is not 100% effective, but a couple of applications will take care of most weeds.
It's important to note that lemon juice will kill grass and wanted plants, too. Be sure you only spray it on the weeds you wish to remove. If you use this method, you want to only use it in small amounts since it can be cost-prohibitive.
No. 7: Use Lemons as a Microwave Freshener
Freshening up and deodorizing your microwave with lemons is easy. Simply add lemon slices to a bowl of water and heat it on high until the microwave window is steamy.
Leave the bowl in the microwave for around 15 minutes before opening the door.
Then, take a paper towel and easily clean away any grease or leftover grime!
No. 8: Lemon Slices Can Polish Metal
Did you know you can polish brass, chrome, aluminum, bronze, copper, stainless steel, and more with a lemon?
Slice a lemon in half, dip it in salt, and gently rub each item to eliminate grime and create a nice, natural shine.
You'll want to avoid using this on gold or silver as it can damage the surface.
No. 9: Shine Bathroom Fixtures With Lemon Juice
Cut a lemon and run the inside over drains, taps, and anywhere mineral deposits and scum buildup appears. This will make your fixtures sparkle! Rinse with water and thoroughly dry when finished. Avoid this treatment on gold-plated taps because the acidity could cause damage.
To clean hard water stains and grime from glass shower doors, spray straight lemon juice on a sponge to really scrub and wipe it off.
No. 10: Make Homemade Lemonade
We can't forget one of the best uses for lemons. Who doesn't love lemonade on a hot, sunny day?
Here's a recipe for the best homemade lemonade ever!
- 6 cups cold water
- 2 cups lemon juice (8 to 10 lemons)
- 1 cup sugar
- Ice cubes
- Lemon slices (optional)
Mix water, lemon juice and sugar in large pitcher until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate 2 – 3 hours or until chilled for best results.
Serve lemonade over ice. Garnish each serving with a lemon slice.
No. 11: Freshen up the Garbage Disposal
Is your garbage disposal starting to stink? Lemons can help with that, too!
It's easy to do. Simply grind some leftover lemon rinds in your disposal while running cold water to eliminate any stinky buildup.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Karee Blunt is the founder of OurWovenJourney.com, a travel blog focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.