It’s no secret that lemons are a boon to any kitchen or DIY beauty routine – but did you know they’re a handy sustainability tool as well? With Earth Day this month, I wanted to provide some tips on how to ditch the chemicals in favor of something more natural!
- No Pesticides: Keep ants out of your kitchen without putting harmful pesticides or chemicals near your food and appliances! Apply lemon juice to thresholds, windowsills, and any cracks where ants might get in – and then follow up with small bits of lemon peels scattered outside any outdoor entrances. Got roaches? Wash your floors with lemon water and watch them run in disgust.
- Cleaner Produce: You can use your lemons, which are a natural disinfectant, to clean any lurking pesticides from the skins of your other fruits and veggies. Plus, your produce will smell lovely.
- Garbage Freshener: If your garbage can is getting too rank before it’s full enough to justify changing the bag, there’s a way to fight back! Save leftover lemon peels and toss them in the base of every fresh bag. Repeat every couple of weeks for best results.
- DIY Humidifier Cleaner: You can easily clean your home humidifier! Simply pour 3 to 4 capfuls of fresh lemon juice in the water in your humidifier – plus, the air will smell like lemons!
- No More Dry Cleaning: Leave your pricy dry-cleaners and harsh chemicals in the past! Scrub the stained areas on your shirts with equal parts lemon juice and water for a fresh and easy fix. (Hint: You can also soak your delicates in lemon juice & baking soda for 30 minutes before washing as a natural alternative to chlorine bleach.)
- Revitalize Wilting Produce: Don’t toss that soggy lettuce! Add lemon juice to a bowl of cold water. Add the soggy lettuce and refrigerate for one hour. Dry the leaves completely and use as desired! Lemon juice can also be used to keep cauliflower white during cooking, and to keep guacamole from going brown.
- Fresher Fridge-Air: If your fridge is retaining too many smells, lemons can help. Simply dab lemon juice on a re-usable sponge and leave it in the fridge overnight. (Note: You may also want to ditch the food that’s causing the unpleasant odors to maximize effectiveness.)
- Weeds Be Gone: Banish weeds from your garden (sans pesticides) with simple lemon juice. Fill a spray bottle with 5 parts lemon, 2 parts water and douse the offending plants until they’re well-coated. The weeds should shrivel within days.
- Litter Box Woes: Don’t invest in pricey deodorizers for your cat’s litter box. Just put lemon halves in a bowl (flesh side up) and leave the bowl in the same box as your litter room (or bathroom)! Your guests will thank you and you’ll save a bundle on store-bought air fresheners.
- Household Cleaner: Don’t use harmful chemicals to clean your home. Create a useful all-purpose cleaner for your kitchen and bathroom by combining equal parts lemon juice and water in a spray bottle. Lemons are a natural disinfectant and your house will smell fresh for spring! (Note: do not use on wood. For wood polish, mix 1 cup olive oil and ½ a cup of lemon juice. Test spot first.)
Tips provided by Limoneira