Uses for lemon juice

Lemons are not just good for adding flavour to your food. Lemon juice has some serious cleaning and freshening powers. Here are a few clever uses for lemon juice that will make your home look and smell fresh, brighten your washing, and improve your hair, nails and skin.

Fingernail brightener

Nails looking dull and yellowed after wearing a dark polish? Squeeze lemon juice into a small dish and soak your nails for a minute or two.

Food preservative

Keep cut fruit and vegetables like apples, pears, avocados and potatoes from turning brown by squeezing on a little bit of lemon juice.

Emergency deodorant

Caught smelling less-than-fresh, with no deodorant around to save the day? Cut a lemon in half and rub it under your arms. It is said that the citric acid in lemon juice can kill odour-causing bacteria.

Odour destroyer

Garlic, fish, mothballs and the bottom of your garbage bin are no match for lemon juice’s odour-busting power. Use a cut lemon or fresh-squeezed lemon juice to remove bad smells from your refrigerator, cutting board, microwave and other surfaces. You can also simmer lemon peel in water on the stovetop as a natural air freshener.

Insect deterrent

Many insects are highly sensitive to smell, including spiders, ants, fleas and cockroaches. Squirt lemon juice in windowsills, the thresholds of doors, along the base of cupboards and into any cracks where insects might get into the house. Also add lemon juice to your floor wash.

Window cleaner

Use straight lemon juice on a sponge for tough stains, or dilute a few tablespoons in a cup of water and spray it on. Wipe it off with newspaper for clear windows.

Stain remover

Sweat, berries, wine, oil – pretty much anything that leaves a stain on fabric can be removed with lemon juice. Rub durable fabrics with a paste of lemon juice and salt. On more delicate fabrics, moisten the stain with lemon juice and then wash it out.

Sore throat soother

Mix a teaspoon of lemon juice in 1/8 cup of warm water and gargle to help sooth a sore throat and kill bacteria. Frequent cups of hot tea made with a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of lemon juice will also work.

Dandruff treatment

Massage lemon juice into your scalp, leave it on for ten minutes and shampoo as usual. Lemon juice cannot cure dandruff or prevent it from occurring, but it can remove flakes so you don’t have to worry about them falling on your clothing.

Washing brightener

Lemon juice can act as a natural, non-toxic alternative to bleach. Add a quarter cup of juice to the washing machine to brighten whites. Get even better results by hanging the washing up to dry in the sun.

Facial treatment

Put a little lemon juice on a cotton ball and as a toner to eliminate oil and tighten pores for a smoother look. For a natural exfoliator, mix salt and lemon juice into a paste.

Clever tip Roll a lemon under your palm on a table or countertop to soften it up. This will make juicing easier.

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