12 ways to clean with a lemon that you probably don't know about

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Lemons are great for a variety of tasks in the kitchen. They can enhance the flavor of a boring meal, add a little extra something to a glass of tea or even just make everything smell a little better. But did you know that you can use lemons for more than just food?
Like vinegar, lemons can be used to clean and disinfect a whole bunch of stuff around your house. And the best part is that you can use every part of the lemon and take care of more than one chore. So grab as many lemons as you can carry and get ready to tackle every inch of your house.
1. Garbage disposal
The smell of lemons is a great way to combat most odors, including the ones that come up from your garbage disposal. Fill an ice tray with an 8:1 mixture of water and vinegar and add a small piece of lemon rind to each slot. Freeze until needed. Then all you have to do is drop the frozen cubes down the disposal, turn on the blades and run some water down after them.
2. Hard-water stains
While there are several ways to scrub away hard-water stains, using a lemon is probably the easiest solution. Just cut a lemon in half and rub the cut side over the stains. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water.
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3. Wooden cutting boards
Since you can't just toss a wooden cutting board into the dishwasher and call it good, you need a really great way to clean and disinfect the board. Grab a lemon and some coarse salt and you're ready to go. Sprinkle the salt all over the board and then use the cut side of your lemon to scrub the board. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then scrape the board with a bench scraper. Rinse the board with warm water and let it air dry.
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4. Stained Tupperware
Instead of sending your kids to school with lunches packed in stained Tupperware, use a lemon to scrub away those especially stubborn stains. Start by squeezing lemon juice into the container and sprinkling in some baking soda. Use the cut side of the lemon to work the juice and soda in and finish by rinsing out the container with water.
5. Microwave
While not terribly difficult, cleaning your microwave is kind of a pain. A quicker way to complete this task is to cut a lemon in half and put the halves in a microwave-safe bowl filled with water. Put the bowl in the microwave and set it for 5 minutes. When the time is up, remove the bowl and wipe down the inside of the microwave. Any stuck-on gunk should easily wipe out.
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6. Carpet deodorizer
If you have pets, kids or just a lot of people walking across your carpet, then you've probably dealt with carpet odor. You can take care of that odor in less than half an hour if you have some dried lemon peel on hand. Combine baking soda and dried, crushed lemon peel into a jar with a shaker top. Sprinkle it over your carpet, leave it for 20 minutes and then run the vacuum over it.
7. Scented vinegar
Vinegar can be used to clean just about anything. Most people don't want the smell of vinegar lingering around their house, though. Fortunately, there's a way to get the cleaning power of vinegar without the less-than-appealing smell. Fill half of a quart-sized jar with chunks of lemon peel and then pour heated vinegar over the peels. Put on the jar's lid and let it sit for 24 hours. Finish by pouring the mixture through a colander to strain out the peels. You now have a vinegar spray for cleaning that instead smells like lemons.
8. Laundry
Keeping your white clothes white can seem like an unwinnable battle. You can always use bleach, but do you want to constantly use all of those harsh chemicals on your clothes? Next time you throw in a load of whites, add a cup of lemon juice during the rinse cycle. Dry your clothes in the sun and they should end up as bright as the day you bought them.
9. Stainless steel
Instead of buying expensive cleaners for your stainless steel appliances, just cut a lemon in half. Rub the cut half over the stainless steel to remove fingerprints and other smudges. If this doesn't give you enough of a clean, you can use the lemon to scrub baking soda across the appliance which will both clean and polish your stainless steel.
10. Mirrors and windows
Mirrors and windows are a pain to clean because it's way too easy to leave streaks on the glass. Instead of spending money on store-bought glass cleaners, try mixing 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 quart water in a spray bottle. Spray this combination onto your mirrors or windows and wipe them dry with a coffee filter to avoid streaks.
11. Furniture polish
If you want a cheap furniture polish that gets the job done without all of the chemicals, buy some lemons (or lemon juice). Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup distilled water and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice into a squeeze bottle with a squirt top. When your ingredients are combined well, squirt a little polish onto a microfiber cloth and rub it onto the furniture that needs polished.
12. Linen spray
Even if you wash them regularly, towels, sheets and cloth furniture can smell a little musty after awhile. To get rid of this smell, combine 30 drops of lemon and lavender essential oils, 3 ounces of rubbing alcohol and 1.5 cups of distilled water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle before each use and spray it onto the material that's starting to smell to get rid of bad odors.
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