How many different household cleaning products do you have in your home? The average modern home has dozens of different concoctions, marketed as specifically designed for each task – you probably have surface cleaner, oven cleaner, floor cleaner, and more.
But people are coming to a gradual realization that all these chemical cleaners may not be necessary, and more importantly, the effect on the Earth’s delicate eco-balance could be catastrophic.
Years ago, our resourceful grandparents used common household items to keep their homes clean and sparkling, saving money into the bargain. Nowadays, many of us are returning to their example and one of your best household friends is lemon juice. Used on its own, or combined with other common substances, lemon juice can be used in a multitude of ways.
Stainless steel sinks and taps
Mix a few tablespoons of lemon juice with a little salt and apply it to your sinks with a soft cloth. The acidic lemon juice cuts through grease and the abrasiveness of the salt grains remove any build-up of scum.
Use the same combination on your taps with a stiff brush (an old toothbrush is ideal), making sure to work the mixture well into all the nooks and crannies. Rinse thoroughly when you’ve finished.
Remove lime deposits
To remove limescale from taps and around sinks, apply neat lemon juice, leave for ten minutes then rinse well. You can also descale your kettle without resorting to harsh chemicals. Cut a large lemon into quarters and put them into your kettle. Fill the kettle and boil it, leave overnight for the limescale to loosen, then rinse out with several changes of clean water.
Clean and freshen your dishwasher
To clean your dishwasher, cut a large lemon in half and rub the cut surface over the inside surfaces – you might need to cut it into quarters to get into some of the harder-to-reach spots. Rinse the dishwasher afterwards and then run in a hot setting to make sure all the grime is completely removed. Not only will your dishwasher be sparkling clean but it will smell wonderful too!
Ovens and grills
Household cleaning your oven and grill the natural way beats using caustic chemicals every time. Combine lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and a little water to make a creamy paste, and apply to the interior of your oven, as well as your oven racks and the grill. Rub it in well, leave for about 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
Clean microwave with lemon
Household cleaning your microwave using lemon juice is quick and simple, and you don’t have to scrub away for hours. Put half a cup of water in a microwavable bowl. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze as much juice as possible into the water before dropping the halves into the water too.
Place the bowl in the microwave and run on high for three minutes. Leave inside for ten minutes without opening the door – the condensation will loosen all the hardened deposits inside your microwave, and you can then wipe the inside clean with a soft cloth.
Even if you keep your kitchen or bathroom tiles squeaky clean, over time the white grout between them can become old and discoloured, but lemon juice can brighten it up wonderfully. Use an old toothbrush to rub neat lemon juice on the grout and leave for around ten minutes. Make sure you rinse it off thoroughly. Repeat if necessary until your grout looks fresh and clean.
Limescale and soap scum can build up on the glass of your shower doors, leaving white deposits that spoil the look. Again, cut a lemon in half and rub the cut surfaces over the doors. Leave for around ten minutes before rinsing off well. If you have stubborn marks, try mixing lemon juice with a little borax to make a paste. Rub it in gently and leave a few minutes, then rinse away well.
Windows and glass doors
Getting streak-free sparkling windows couldn’t be simpler. Add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and half a cup of white vinegar to a quart of warm water. Clean your windows with a soft cloth, using an old toothbrush (yes, that again!), to get into any tricky corners. Once dry, buff your windows to a gleaming shine with scrunched up newspaper.