(WellnessNova.com) - The lemon is one powerful fruit. Sure it is tasty splashed on a meal, but this fragrant fruit can serve a multitude of other uses in your home outside of cooking – and it always smells fantastic! Lemon can be used as an inexpensive, natural household helper as well as contribute to vibrant health and wellbeing. Explore the many ways the freshness of lemon can be incorporated into your daily life.
1. Neutralize Odours
Lemon juice is excellent in neutralizing a multitude of odours around your home. Eliminate refrigerator odours by soaking a sponge in lemon juice and let it sit for several hours. The sponge can easily be rinsed out and the process repeated for stronger smells. Forget the chemicals when needing to freshen up the garbage disposal. Make a point of throwing lemon scraps in regularly (oranges and limes are also extremely beneficial) making sure to include the peels to release the citrus fragrance.
If you want to add a fresh scent to your entire home, add cut lemons to water and slowly simmer on the stove for several hours making sure to check regularly. The fresh smell will permeate your home. And if you have any wooden kitchen items like cutting boards, bowls or utensils which are still retaining strong smells like onions, fish or garlic, rub them with fresh lemon to eliminate the odour allowing the juice to sit for some time. Make sure to wash thoroughly with soap and water after.
If your humidifier isn’t completely doing the trick diffusing strong odours, add a couple teaspoons of lemon juice to the water for more freshness in the room. Want to add a fresh scent to a cozy fire and your house? Toss a few dry lemon peels into your fireplace. The combination of lemon and burning wood will smell wonderful. And if your cat’s litter box is creating a noticeable odour, place a couple lemons, cut side up, in the room near it. This will cut down on the nearby smell. If your microwave has smells that linger, cut a lemon in half and put in a microwave-safe dish filled with a cup of water and microwave for 30 seconds. This will neutralize your microwave making it smell fresh.
2. Buff and Polish Surfaces
Mineral deposits and soap scum can be found on several surfaces around our homes. Rub a cut lemon directly over chrome surfaces like taps and faucets to eliminate mineral deposits and soap scum bringing the surfaces back to a shine. You can also squeeze the lemon juice in a container beforehand if you prefer, mixing it with a bit of water before applying. Make sure to rinse thoroughly after to remove any stickiness and buff with a cloth.
3. Keep Your Kitchen Insect-free
Keep those harsh chemical bug sprays and traps out of your kitchen – especially if you have pets and young children in your home who are most likely going to be curious and want to investigate on or near the floor. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice around the spots where ants and other bugs are getting into your house like door, floor and window cracks. Place small pieces of lemon rind around the outside entrance as well.
Having a problem with fleas or roaches? Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons into a bucket of warm water and clean your kitchen tile floors with it. The bugs will be repelled by the smell and your house will not only smell fresh and clean, your floors will be safe for crawling children and curious pets.
4. Brighten Your Laundry Delicates
Substitute the strong chlorine bleach scent with lemons! It is much milder with a fresh scent that is equally effective. Soak delicate fabrics in lemon water and baking soda for a half hour to a full hour before washing. Another bonus of making the switch? Save yourself from those bleach stains ruining your darker laundry when drops of bleach accidentally don’t make it into your washing machine!
5. Preserve Food Longer
Lemon tastes fantastic in food and when used to enhance the flavour but it is also valuable in helping food stay fresh longer. The citric acid in lemons will help keep your foods from browning. Sprinkle a splash on guacamole to help it maintain its green hue and sliced apples to keep them fresh and white. Before you cook cauliflower, sprinkle lemon juice on to maintain its white colouring. Lemon juice can also help revive soggy lettuce leaves. Add the juice of half a lemon to a container of cold water (or in your sink) and add the leaves. In about an hour they should be revived and crispy again. Make sure to dry properly before eating!
6. Quick Salad Dressing & Vegetable Topping
One of the simplest salad dressings can be created with the juice of one lemon, a dollop of Dijon mustard and a splash of olive oil. If you find your creation too tart, add more olive oil until you achieve the perfect flavour for your taste buds. To add a bit more kick, add a finely chopped shallot to the mix. Not only is this delicious on salads, but is also excellent as a sauce on simple steamed vegetables like broccoli and carrots or simmered vegetables like asparagus, potatoes or Brussel sprouts.
7. Morning Wake Up Drink
Adding lemon to warm water is a morning routine that can provide a multitude of benefits. The citric acid can help with digestion while providing hydrating electrolytes through magnesium, potassium and calcium. It will also help your body maintain a higher pH level boosting your immune system and helping stave off illness and disease.
8. Soothe A Sore Throat
Lemon in hot tea or water is excellent for soothing a sore throat. Its antibacterial properties are also excellent if you find yourself developing a throat infection or have tonsil inflammation. Gargling with warm water and lemon can be beneficial (make sure it is not too hot) due to its anti-inflammatory factors.
9. Fingernail Help
If you’ve ever found your fingernails getting yellow or darkening due to overuse of dark nail polishes, soaking them in lemon juice might help! To whiten and clean your fingernails, mix the juice of half a lemon with a cup of warm water and soak your fingertips for 10 minutes. The acid in the lemon can help lighten nail beds. Make sure the water is warm and not too hot to protect your beautiful hands. Manicure as you would normally. Make sure your fingers have no cuts if soaking in the lemon juice because the sting could prove painful. If you do have any cuts, wait until they have healed.
As you can see, the mighty lemon is not only a delicious and nutritious fruit in your kitchen. It provides safe, inexpensive environmentally friendly help around your entire home! Experiment with its many uses and enjoy the fresh scent in all the rooms of your house.