10 things you’ve probably never thought of using a lemon for….

10 things you’ve probably never thought of using a lemon for….

Have you ever noticed that so many cleaning products have a lemony fresh scent?
This may not just be because its sharp citrus-y notes feel fresh and clean, but because lemons actually have some ‘super’ powers – they can be a secret weapon in your cleaning arsenal, and help to massively reduce the amount of 10 things you've probably never thought of using a lemon for....chemicals in your home.

Not only are they antibacterial and acidic – so great for tackling limescale they’re also great at cutting through grease,

And that fresh scent of their helps too, because it’s nice when things smell clean as well as actually being clean.

Here are just a few of the ways that lemons can help you out around the house.

  1. Chopping boards – Lemons are naturally antibacterial and great at getting stains out, either cut the lemon and rub it all over the board or you can juice the lemon and just rub the juice straight into the board. If you want a little extra scrubbing power you can sprinkle some salt over the board too. Then leave for a while to give the stains time to fade, or even over night before rising well and drying.
  2. Wipe a cut lemon over shower screens, draining boards and taps to keep limescale at bay, wipe with a damp cloth and gently buff to a shine.
  3. Descale your kettle by adding some lemon slices to it, and boiling. Allow the lemons to stay in there for an hour and then rinse well.
  4. Window and Mirror Cleaner. Simply sqeeze about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice into a srpay bottle and add about 150ml of water. Shake the bottle spray onto mirrors or windows and wipe using a clean cloth. Works just as well as vinegar and smells better! (you can keep this solution for around a week, but it will go bad after that.)
  5. To freshen your fridge. We’ve talked before about how bicarbonate of soda can keep your fridge smelling sweet. The humble lemon can too. Simply cut in half and leave in your fridge, or squeeze and have a small bowl of lemon juice in the fridge. (The lemon or juice will need replacing about once a week, whereas bicarb lasts about a month)
  6. Remove stains from clothing. Rub lemon juice on the spot ,and leave for a while or overnight before washing as normal. Works even better if you can leave clothes to dry in the sun. (don’t use on silk or delicate fabrics)
  7. Can also brighten whites. Soak white fabrics in a dilute lemon and hot water (100ml to 3L) mix and then wash as normal, again works best if fabric can then dry in the sun. (don’t use on silk or delicate fabrics)
  8. Use lemon Juice and an old toothbrush to clean grout.
  9. Lemon is great at cutting through grease so is great for cleaning cooker hoods, hobs and also BBQ’s.
  10. Can be used to clean the toilet too. You can use lemon juice and salt to scrub the toilet bowl or if you want some fizz, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda.

On top of that, lemons are great with honey if you have a cold, makes great desserts (my other half makes a mean lemon cheesecake) and look lovely in your fruit bowl!

Who says it has to cost more to be a little more eco friendly?

Caution – Please do not use lemon to clean natural stone and anything that is brass plated. These things do not get on with lemon.
Also please always do a patch test on any area or clothing first, just to be safe.

Cleaner Laundry – Part 3 – Stains

Stains are big business in the laundry world, especially if you ever wear white, own a carpet or live within 5 miles of a child. Most washing detergents advertising is based around how good they are at removing stains, but there are also a plethora of stain removers on the market, suggesting that even the most chemical leaden commercial brands need an extra boost from time to time.

So it stands to reason that even the best of the eco alternatives will also come across a stain that requires a little more oomph. But do not fear it is perfectly possible to tackle those stains using earth/waterway/skin friendly methods.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • The first piece of sage advice is, no matter what method of stain removal you are using, treat the stain asap (if not even sooner than that!) The longer you wait the cosier that pesky stain gets, and the harder it is to evict.
  • Any stain treatment you are using should be pretested on an inconspicuous area of the fabric first
  • Do not rub at the stain before you treat it, this just works the stain further into the cloth fibres
  • Stains have a type, and therefore will be suited to different types/methods of stain removals. Is the stain oil based, protein based, fruit based?
  • Avoid heat, apply heat to the stain can set it further and make it almost impossible to remove.

As with our previous laundry blogs, we will start with some suggestions that are more conventional for a first step outside the comfort zone.

Ecostain

From Ecozone this is an ‘Out of the tube’ spot on treatment. It is free from toxic chemicals, it is biodegradable, certified vegan and cruelty free, doesn’t contain phosphates or nasty fragrances. Just apply to the stain, work in, leave for 10 mins and wash as usual.

For those of you willing to explore a little further then take a trip back in time with us as many of these are actually traditional solutions that would have been widely used a couple of generations back.

Laundry Bleach,

I know this has the word bleach in its name but it is not the same as the very toxic chlorine bleach that people are generally most familiar with. It is made from Soda crystals and hydrogen peroxide. It is usually found in a powder form and when mixed with water it produces… oxygen! The oxygen then gets busy being bubbles and lifting the stain out of the fabric as it passes through. Great for treating inks, dyes, fruits, drinks. Not generally recommended for use on delicate fabrics.

 

White vinegar

We mentioned this in the Fabric Conditioners section, but it is a laundry hero as it is also great for many stains too. Super for removing plant based stains so fruit juices, teas, coffee, wine, also great for mould and mildew stains but also useful for the more icky stains, blood, sick, sweat, urine…

 

Soda Crystals

Soda Crystals. A scoop of these added to your wash will boost the stain removal power of your detergent of choice. They are also great for tea and coffee stains, mud, cooking fat, blood. For spot on treatment make the soda crystals into a paste with equal parts water and spread over the stain. Leave for a while, up to 30 mins bad then wash as usual.

Bicarbonate of soda

 Especially good for deodorising and cleaning large stains on things like carpets or upholstery. Simply shake on dry to mop up liquids before vacuuming up or make into a paste, and rinse out.

 

 

 

Lemons

What about keeping your whites white and not fading to grey? This can be helped by adding some lemon juice to your wash about 120ml to a load of washing should be ok. And for this – and fading out any stains, drying in the sun (when available!) also helps.

Some other interesting tips we have come across include –

Candle wax – Pop some brown paper over the wax and iron the paper with a warm iron.

To remove lipstick from fabric, cut off the crusts from a slice of white bread, roll bread into a ball and then blot the lipstick stain, this should lift the lipstick stain from the fabric. (Havent tried this one personally…maybe my husband has?? 😉 )

If you have chewing gum on your favourite trousers, pop them in the freezer! After a few hours the gum should be brittle enough to scrape off quite easily with a knife, carefully of course!

Milk is great for ink stains, just soak the item in milk – it may take a while – but the stain should then wash out.

 

So there you have it! Your washing from start to finish, in an more eco friendly and in most cases a more pocket friendly, clothes friendly and health friendly way.

Whats not to love? I really hope that you will give some of these a fair go. Not everything is going to be a great fit for everyone (or else there wouldn’t be powder, liquids, tabs etc available from the commercial brands), so have a play with it, experiment and see what works for you. And whilst they might not help with making doing the laundry less of a chore, at least you can feel good about doing it, knowing you are helping your home environment as well as the environment at large.

If there is anything you think we have missed out of this series or a tip or product you would like to share with us, we would live to hear from you, just get in touch with us via the contact page. Thanks for reading!