How to Clean with Lemon Juice

There’s nothing more refreshing and clean-smelling than a freshly-squeezed lemon. Instead of relying on the citrus fragrances found in harsh chemical cleaning products, you’ll be delighted to find that fresh lemons can be used to clean the kitchen, bathroom, and other surfaces around the house. Whether in combination with salt or baking soda, or simply mixed with hot water, a lemon’s acidic juices will eliminate a variety of stains and leave your home sparkling. Pick up an extra lemon at the grocery store and it might just become your go-to cleaning product.

EditCleaning Kitchen Surfaces with Lemon
Remove food stains from laminate kitchen countertops using a lemon. First, wipe away all crumbs and debris from the countertops using a paper towel. Cut a lemon in half crosswise. Then squeeze fresh lemon juice directly from one half of the lemon onto the laminate surface. Rub in the juices using either the remaining lemon half (with the cut-side down) or a cleaning cloth. Once the stains are gone, wipe down the whole area with a damp washcloth.[1]
Leave the lemon juice to soak on stubborn food stains for 5 to 10 minutes if necessary.

For a deep-clean, remove all items from the countertop before cleaning. This way, you can reach all the nooks and crannies.

Avoid using this method to clean porous stone countertops.

Scrub a wooden cutting board with salt and a lemon half. Sprinkle coarse salt over the surface of a wooden cutting board or chopping block. Then cut a lemon in half and place the cut-side down onto the board. Scrub over the salt and any food stains, using the lemon like a sponge. Leave this lemon-salt solution to soak in for 5 minutes or so, then scrub it with a bristle brush. Finally, rinse off the board under hot water, scrubbing it with the brush to remove any residue.[2]
Squeeze out some of the lemon juice as you scrub, and add more salt as it starts to dissolve. The acidity of the juice and the abrasive texture of the salt will work together to remove tough stains.

This approach can also work on plastic cutting boards. However, the lemon juice and baking soda process recommended for use on plastic food containers may produce better results.

Soak food-stained plastic containers with lemon juice and baking soda. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon directly into a stained plastic food container or lid. Sprinkle 1-2 tbsp (14-28 g) of baking soda onto the juice and scrub the resulting paste onto all stained sides of the container. Let it sit for a few hours, or overnight, before cleaning the container with hot water and dish soap.[3]
This method works especially well on tomato-based residue and spice stains.

Use steaming-hot lemon water to loosen food residue from a microwave. Pour of water into a microwavable bowl. Add the juice of 1 lemon into the water and then drop the remaining lemon pieces into the bowl. Put the bowl in the microwave and heat it on the high setting for 3 minutes to bring the water to a boil. Keep the microwave closed and leave the steamy lemon-water inside for another 5 minutes.[4]
Once the food residue has loosened up, remove the bowl and wipe down all of the microwave’s inside surfaces, including the door and turntable, with a cleaning cloth or sponge.

To dislodge any stuck-on pieces, dip a corner of the cleaning cloth or sponge into the lemon-water and use the damp corner to scrub away the food residue.

Be careful when removing the bowl and the turntable as they will be hot! Use oven mitts, a potholder, or a towel to protect your hands.

You can use a similar technique to clean your oven. Fill a baking dish with water and lemon juice, then leave it in the oven on for 30 minutes so that the steam can loosen up grimy buildup. Wipe the interior of the oven with a damp sponge after it cools.[5]

Polish tarnished copper pots using a lemon paste. Squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon into a small bowl. Sprinkle either coarse salt or baking soda into the bowl until a paste forms. Use a cleaning cloth to buff the paste onto the tarnished copper surface. Once the tarnished areas are clean, rinse off the copper with warm water to remove all the lemon paste. Lastly, dry the copper thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or paper towel.[6]
This works well for copper pots as well as decorative copper objects. It can also clean stainless steel pots and pans. However, you should refrain from using lemon to polish other types of fine metal.

Alternatively, you may sprinkle the salt or baking soda directly onto the sliced lemon. Scrub the lemon over the copper to remove the tarnish, adding more salt or baking soda to the lemon as it dissolves.

Freshen up a garbage disposal with lemon chunks. Slice 1 or 2 lemons into eighths. Squeeze some lemon juice into the garbage disposal and let it sit for a few minutes. Then run a stream of cold water down the drain, turn on the garbage disposal, and drop in 1 lemon piece at a time. The coarse rinds will clean off the blades and the acidic juices will break down food residue while leaving a pleasant, clean smell.[7]
You can toss in coarse salt and ice cubes with the lemon pieces as well. Alternate adding in the lemon, salt, and ice cubes continuously as you run the garbage disposal. Salt will work with the lemon juices to eliminate food residue, while ice will help clean off the blades.

You can also try freezing small lemon chunks directly into some ice cubes in an ice tray. Add the lemon ice cubes to your garbage disposal along with some coarse salt.

This is a great way to use up and dispose of leftover lemons from cooking.

EditUsing Lemon to Clean Bathroom Surfaces
Scrub bathtubs with salted lemon halves to remove soap scum. Both porcelain and acrylic bathtubs can be cleaned with fresh lemons. Slice a lemon in half and sprinkle coarse salt onto the cut side. Scrub the surfaces of the tub with the salted lemon.[8] Let the juice sit on the tub for 5 minutes before rinsing out the tub with hot water.
Try scrubbing over the cleaning solution with a bristle brush to remove stubborn soap scum and hard water deposits.

Bleach dirty tile grout with lemon juice and baking soda. Mix up a paste with 1 part lemon juice and 2 parts baking soda. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the paste onto moldy, stained tile grout lines. Be careful not to get the mixture on the actual tile. Let the paste sit on the tile grout for 10 minutes or so and then wipe it away with a damp cloth. Finally, rinse off the tile and grout with hot water.[9]
Porous tile and stone will be damaged by exposure to acid, so avoid directly cleaning them with lemon juice. Keep a paper towel handy to quickly wipe any lemon paste off of the tile as you go.

If you are using this method to clean all of the grout within your floors or shower, you may need to juice upwards of 6 or 7 lemons to create enough bleaching paste. For small patches, the juice of 1 lemon will be sufficient.

Remove limescale buildup from taps with a lemon half. Cut a lemon in half crosswise. Press it directly onto the end of the tap so that the lemon flesh is “hugging” the tap and totally covering the calcified area. Place a plastic baggie over the lemon and tap, pulling it upwards to hold the lemon in place. Pull the open end of the bag closed around the tap and secure it in place with a rubber band. Leave the lemon in place overnight.[10]
The following day, remove the lemon and wipe away the loosened limescale buildup with a cleaning cloth. Finally, rinse the tap off with hot water.

This can be done on shower heads, bathtub faucets, and bathroom or kitchen faucets.

Eliminate hard water rings from a toilet bowl with a salted lemon. Hard water can leave a stubborn ring around the water line of a toilet bowl. To remove these stains, slice a lemon in half crosswise and sprinkle coarse salt onto the cut side. Scrub over the hard water stain with the salted lemon and watch as the acid and abrasion erase the stain. Finally, use a toilet brush or damp sponge to wash away the lemon pulp.[11]
Shutting off the water to the toilet before you start cleaning can be useful, especially if the stain is sitting at or just below the waterline.

EditWashing with Lemon Around the House
Spray glass and mirrors with a lemon-water solution. Mix of warm water with the juice of 1 medium-sized lemon, which is about .[12] Pour this solution into a clean spray bottle. Seal it up and shake it to mix the liquids. Spritz the lemon-water solution onto a dirty glass surface. Wipe away the grime using a microfiber cleaning cloth or paper towel.[13]
This solution works well for a variety of glass surfaces, including window panes, shower doors, glass mirrors, and even vases and stemware.

Multiply this recipe and soak glassware in a bowl filled with the solution.[14]

Mop and polish hardwood floors with hot water, lemon, and olive oil. First sweep or vacuum the floors to remove crumbs, dust, and other debris. In a bucket, mix a solution of of hot water, of olive oil, and of lemon juice. Submerge a mop into this solution and wring it out until it’s just damp. Then mop the floor with this solution and let the hardwood dry completely.[15]
The water and lemon juice will clean the floors, while the olive oil will condition the wood and leave your floors gleaming.

For engineered hardwood floors, consult the manufacturer’s maintenance directions and complete a spot-test before using this method. Avoid cleaning porous tile flooring in this manner, as it may get damaged.

Bleach white linens and garments with hot water and lemon juice. Fill a sink or basin with of hot water and add of fresh lemon juice. (This will require about 2 lemons.) Soak the linens or clothing items in the lemon-water. Depending on how discolored the items are, you can leave them to soak for just 1 hour or overnight. After they’ve soaked in the lemon bleach, launder the garments as usual.[16]
You can slice 2 whole lemons and add them to the water instead of extracting the juice.

You may also pour the lemon-water into the laundry machine to continue the bleaching process.

Avoid using this method for cleaning silk. It works best on cotton and polyester.

Scrub rust stains out of clothing using lemon juice and cream of tartar. Squeeze approximately of fresh lemon juice directly onto the rust stain. (A lemon half should yield more than enough juice.) Then, sprinkle about of cream of tartar over the stain and scrub it in with your fingers. Let the stain-removing paste soak into the garment for 15 minutes and scrub the stain again until it disappears. Finally, rinse off the paste and launder the item as usual.[17]
Reduce or increase the amount of lemon juice and cream of tartar depending on the size of the stain.

You may need to repeat the process 2 or more times for stubborn stains.

This method is suitable for cotton and polyester, but should not be used on silk.

Use a salted lemon half to clean grill and barbecue grates. Prepare by slicing a lemon in half crosswise and dipping the cut end in coarse salt. Then turn the grill to a high heat setting and allow the grates to warm up. Once they’re hot, turn the heat off (or to a low setting) and put on heat-protective gloves. Take the lemon and roughly scrub the salted side over the grates. The acid and abrasion will remove baked-on food residue.[18]

If you like to clean with white vinegar, you can use lemon juice to help neutralize the scent. Just mix in a little lemon juice with the vinegar, and adjust the amount if you’d like a little extra lemony freshness.[19]
Always test lemon juice (alone or mixed with any other cleaning agents) on a small inconspicuous area before cleaning.

Select fresh lemons instead of store-bought lemon juice for best results. Older lemons or already-used lemons can also be used as long as they still retain some flesh and juice.

Use a citrus juicer or citrus reamer to extract the fresh lemon juice. Or simply squeeze the juice through a strainer into a small bowl.

Place a cut-up lemon or a bowl of lemon juice in your fridge to mask unpleasant odors and keep it smelling fresh.

Add of lemon juice to your dish soap when you wash the dishes. This will enhance the scent of the soap and increase its grease-fighting power.[20]
Never mix lemon juice and bleach, since doing so can produce toxic chlorine gas.[21]
While lemon juice is wonderful at removing food stains, if the surface you’re cleaning (such as a food storage container, a cutting board, or a countertop) has come into contact with raw meat, you should clean it with a more powerful disinfectant before its next use.[22]
Lemon juice will go off after a few weeks. Use up your homemade cleaning solutions quickly and prepare fresh batches the next time you need them.[23]
EditRelated wikiHows
Clean a Microwave With a Lemon

Use Lemon Rinds to Clean the Bathtub

Make Lemon Vinegar Ice Cubes to Clean Garbage Disposal

Clean Ceramic Tiles With Lemon

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Today in History for 27th May 2019

Historical Events

1689 – Anthonie Heinsius succeeds G Fagel as Grand Pensionary of Holland
1903 – 37th Belmont: John Bullman aboard Africander wins in 2:21.75
1906 – 1st outlining of Gustav Mahler’s 6th symphony, in Essen
1937 – Carl Hubbell wins his 24th consecutive game (since July 17, 1936)
1964 – 9th European Cup: Internazionale beats Real Madrid 3-1 at Vienna
2018 – IPL Cricket Final, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai: Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 8 wickets; Shane Watson top scores, 117 no (57); SK’s 3rd IPL title

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1595 – Benedictus Carpzovius, [Benedikt Carpzov], German lawyer
1756 – Maximilian I Jozef, King of Bavaria
1902 – Celius Dougherty, composer
1939 – Donald “Don” Williams, American country singer (I Believe in You), born in Floydada Texas (d. 2017)
1962 – Meg Parsont, personality (David Letterman Show)
1968 – Cedric Smith, NFL running back (Wash Redskins, Arizona Cardinals)

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1708 – Jacques Danican Philidor, French composer, dies at 51
1949 – Ropert L Ripley, cartoonist (Believe It or Not), dies at 55 in NY
1958 – Ainslie Pryor, actor (Adventures of Hiram Holiday), dies at 46
1993 – Roger MacDougall, Scottish playwright and screenwriter (The Man in the White Suit), dies at 82
2001 – Ramon Bieri, American actor (Badlands, The Andromeda Strain), dies at 71
2008 – Franz Künstler, Last remaining Austro-Hungarian Empire World War I veteran (b. 1900)

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How to Camp Without a Tent

Camping is already fun, but sleeping without a tent can make it even more exciting and adventurous. It also saves you from lugging around as much heavy gear! If you’d like to try tent-free camping, look into tent alternatives to keep you safe and cozy while you sleep. You’ll also need to take extra measures to protect yourself from bugs and the elements.

EditUsing Tent Alternatives
Get a bivy sack for warmth and protection. A bivy sack or bivy bag is like a cross between a tent and a sleeping bag. A bivy is made of waterproof, breathable material—just like a tent—so it will protect you from bugs and the elements. It’s just large enough for one person to sleep in, but won’t give you space to change clothes or store your gear.[1]
If you choose a bivy bag, you can give yourself extra warmth and comfort by stuffing a sleeping bag inside.

Bivy bags are a great alternative to tents, since they offer the same protection but are much more lightweight.

Use a tarp if you want to sleep in the open but expect rain. If you find bivy bags too constricting but don’t want the hassle of carrying and setting up a full tent, a tarp is a good option. If you’re camping in a spot with trees, you can secure at least one corner of the tarp to a tree and then fasten the rest of the tarp to the ground to create a quick and easy shelter.[2]
You’ll need to bring twine or rope and tent pegs to secure the tarp in place.

If the ground is wet, place a waterproof sheet or a second tarp on the ground underneath you to keep you dry during the night.

A tarp will protect you from the rain (if the rain isn’t too heavy or wind-driven) and from the sun, but it won’t keep out bugs or cold air.

Try a hammock if the weather is clear. If it’s a nice night and you’d like to sleep under the stars, a hammock is a fun and cozy option. You’ll need to find a spot where there are trees or posts that you can attach your hammock to, as well as enough shelter to protect you from nighttime wind chill. You can also hang up a tarp or tent fly above you for extra protection from the weather.[3]
To get a comfortable night’s sleep, you may need to line your hammock with a sleeping pad and sleeping bag. Lying diagonally in the hammock can also keep you from feeling uncomfortably scrunched up during the night.

Make sure there’s enough space between the trees or posts so that you can string up your hammock lead lines at a 30° angle. A sharper angle will put strain on the hammock and the trees.

Build a lean-to if you have access to branches and leaves. If you’d rather not bring a prefabricated shelter, you can also try making your own. There are various ways to build a lean-to, but one of the simplest is to prop a sturdy branch against a tree and then lean sticks against it to create an angled shelter. Cover the sticks with a layer of leaf litter or small twigs for extra protection.[4]
If you have a tarp, you can lay it over the lean-to to add a water-proof layer, or put it on the ground beneath the lean-to to keep you warm, dry, and relatively protected from bugs.

If you’re really roughing it, you can also create a “bed” out of leaf litter beneath the lean-to.

You may need rope or twine to secure the branches in place.

Camp in a vehicle for extra security and comfort. If you’re looking for a more luxurious tent-free experience, you can always camp in an RV, a camper, or even your car. Just check ahead to make sure that vehicle camping is allowed at your chosen camp site.
If you have a pickup truck, you can lay out a sleeping pad and sleeping bag in the truck bed. If your truck has a luggage rack, you can throw a tarp over it for extra protection from wind and rain.

EditProtecting Yourself from the Elements
Check the weather conditions before you camp. Before you begin your tent-free adventure, look at the weather forecast for the time and location of your camping trip. If it will be cold, wet, or windy, you’ll need to prepare appropriately.[5]
If there’s a chance of bad weather, consider bringing a tent as a backup plan. Even if the forecast is good, it’s a good idea to bring a tarp in case of unexpected rain.

Choose an elevated area to avoid floods and dampness. Even if you’re not expecting rain, it’s a good idea to avoid sleeping in low-lying areas. Sleeping at the bottom of a slope can leave you exposed to unexpected flooding, dampness, and even rock or mudslides. Try to find relatively high, flat ground.[6]
If you do sleep on a slope, orient yourself so that your head faces uphill.

Select a spot where the ground isn’t too rocky. Even with a sleeping pad and soft sleeping bag, sleeping on rocky or bumpy ground is very uncomfortable. Look for a spot where the ground is flat and free of sharp rocks and sticks.[7]
If you can, clear away any sharp objects on the ground before you set up camp.

Apply bug spray to stave off pests. One of the biggest drawbacks to tent-free camping is that you’ll have to deal with bugs.[8] Before you bed down for the night, spray yourself and your equipment down with a powerful DEET-based bug spray, preferably with a concentration of at least 30%.[9]
You can also protect yourself from bugs (while still getting an open-air experience) with some mosquito netting or a small mosquito tent.

For extra protection from mosquitos and ticks, consider pre-treating your gear and clothing with permethrin spray. Follow the application instructions on the label carefully, and let all items dry completely before using them.[10]

Dress appropriately for the weather. Even if it’s relatively warm out, temperatures can drop at night. Pack comfortable clothes that protect your skin from the elements, and bring some extra layers you can wear while you sleep. If you expect cold temperatures, you can protect yourself by:[11]
Wearing wool or synthetic fabrics, such as polyester or polypropylene. These materials will keep you warm and wick away moisture more effectively than cotton.

Protecting your extremities with warm socks, gloves, and a cap.

Dressing lightly enough that you will not become overheated and start to sweat in your sleeping bag.

Bring a sleeping bag and sleeping pad for warmth and comfort. No matter what kind of camping you’re doing, you’ll be most comfortable if you have a soft pad to sleep on and a sleeping bag to keep you warm. Make sure to bring these essentials with you even if you plan to sleep directly under the stars.[12]
Having a sleeping bag or pad underneath you will not only provide extra padding, but can also help protect you from cold and moisture on the ground.

If you set up camp under a tree (e.g., if you are hammock camping), inspect the tree carefully to make sure there are no large, dead branches directly overhead. In general, it is safer not to set up camp under large trees.[13]
Many camp sites have strict regulations concerning where and when you can build a fire. Make sure to follow any safety rules carefully to protect yourself, your fellow campers, and the campground.

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