Cross-posted from Katie’s A to Z Challenge post L is for Lemons.
Most people know that lemons have a lot of great uses, like keeping produce from turning brown and being a natural option for cleaning, deodorizing and sanitizing, but I was looking for some that people might not have heard before.
Lemons are relatively cheap, so load up! But if you find yourself with more lemons than you know what to do with, try one of these ideas.
1. Unsticking rice. For some reason, I just can’t get it right when it comes to making plain rice. Using too much water makes it mushy and not enough makes it sticky. I’m definitely going to try this trick: Add just a few drops of lemon juice (up to a tablespoon) to the pan while the rice is simmering to avoid sticky rice (unless you’re going for the Chinese sticky rice option) and make cleaning the pan a breeze.
2. Keeping bugs–including ants, roaches and fleas–out of the house. They can’t stand the smell, so place small slices of lemon peel in doorways and window sills, and anywhere you think the little buggers might come in, or squirt the juice directly on the floors.
3. Natural weed killer. This one’s a great idea! I don’t even like to think about the potentially toxic chemicals that our family might be walking through after using conventional products on our lawn. And the sidewalk weeds that keep appearing are the worst. Try spraying lemon juice directly on the weeds or mix it with water using the garden hose filter.
4. Treat insect bites and poison ivy. Although it stings at first, applying a slice of lemon or some juice acts as an astringent and can help soothe your skin
5. My favorite trick is the microwave cleaner from Cluebert.com: “Got hardened gunk of food in the microwave? Don’t reach for harsh chemicals, use lemons instead! Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to 1-1/2 cup of water and microwave on High for about 10 minutes. The water will boil and steam will condense inside the microwave. The gunk will easily wipe away with a paper towel or cleaning rag.”
Just a caution: I have seen several people warn against putting lemons slices or rinds down the garbage disposal to get rid of funky odors. Some models may be able to handle it without them causing a malfunction, but personally, I don’t think I would risk it.