Pucker Power: 5 Clever Uses For Lemons Katie Glenn

Life is always giving me lemons (mostly because I keep buying them) and I couldn’t be happier about it. I love the way lemons look sitting in a bowl on my counter, I love the way they smell and I love the way they taste. From time to time, I’ll end up with a bit of leftover lemon that ends up just beyond its prime, and since I hate to waste food, I’ve got a few great uses for these leftover bits. Give one (or two…or three) of these a try and let me know what you think!

Kitchen Cleanin’ – Go natural and non-toxic with this quick and easy kitchen scrub. To mix this powerful cleanser: combine 1/2 c. of baking soda with enough liquid soap to form a paste. Spread the paste onto the cut side of half a lemon. The lemon is now your scrubber! You can use it on tough countertop stains and spills (if you have stone countertops, only use on sealed surfaces), stainless steel and it works great for getting grime and stains out of the sink.

Stink Stopper – Ever notice a mystery smell coming from the garbage disposal? Sometimes it can get pretty bad but it’s easy enough to clean without sticking your hand down there (because I’ve seen one too many horror movies with that exact scenario and it never ends well). To maintain your garbage disposal or freshen it up, slice leftover lemon into large chunks and toss them into the disposal. Turn your sink on with a full, steady stream of hot water flowing into the garbage disposal, then turn the disposal on. Once the loud sounds of lemons being pulverized stops, turn the disposal off and allow the hot water to continue to run for another 15-20 seconds. Viola! Fresh as a daisy…or lemon, in this case.

Copper Cleaner – Years ago, I inherited a set of lovely mismatched pots with copper bottoms. After a while the bottom starts to get a bit tarnished and while it doesn’t seem to affect the cooking surface, it does start to look a bit old and worn. So, any time that I have a bit of leftover lemon, I’ll sprinkle it with salt then pull one of the pots out and rub the copper with it. The lemon juice and salt get it looking shiny and new in no time. Rinse with warm water and you’re good to go!

Microwave Cleaner – Whether you’re moving out of your apartment or expecting a surprise visit from mum, at some point you’re going to need to clean the microwave and if it’s been a while…it might be quite the chore. This quick solution will help loosen and remove any cooked-on food or stains. Squeeze some lemon juice into a cup of water and cook it into the microwave until it boils. Allow the water to boil for a minute, then stop the microwave but leave the door closed, so that the steam can penetrate the stuck on food and stains. Carefully remove the water bowl and wipe the microwave down with a soapy rag.

Facial Toner – I couldn’t possibly be expected to get through an entire post without mentioning some kind of body care remedy, so here you go! Make a quick and easy toner with leftover lemons. This is for the gals with oily skin, those with sensitive skin or open acne sores should skip this one. Squeeze the juice of half of a lemon into 1 cup of (preferably distilled) water. Store un-refrigerated for up to one week, or in the fridge for up to two weeks. This makes a wonderful and invigorating morning toner. Shake the mixture and use a cotton ball or pad to apply a thin layer to your skin after cleansing and before your moisturizer.

If you have any other clever uses, leave them in the comments…I’m always looking for new tips!

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