10 Practical Uses for Lemons

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by Nancy Newcomer

Love lemons! I have a huge tree in my backyard, dropping lemons left and right~ it kills me to see them go to waste, so with a little experimentation and research, I’ve come with some simple, practical ways to put them to good use… fun ideas to try out and I guarantee you’ll  never tire of their fresh scent.

1) Keep rice from sticking
To keep your rice from sticking together in a gloppy mass, add a spoonful of lemon juice to the boiling water when cooking. When it’s done, let it cool for a few minutes, then fluff with a fork.

2) Make Soggy Lettuce Crisp
Don’t toss that soggy lettuce into the garbage. With the help of a little lemon juice you can toss it in a salad instead. Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl of cold water. Put the the lettuce and refrigerate for 1 hour. Make sure to dry the leaves completely before serving

3) Prevent Potatoes & Cauliflower from Turning Brown
Potatoes and cauliflower tend to turn brown when boiling. You can make sure the white vegetables stay white by squeezing a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice into the cooking water.

4) Freshen the Fridge
Dab lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge and leave it in the fridge for several hours. Make sure to toss out any items that might be causing the bad smell.

5) Brighten Dull Aluminum
Make those dull pots and pans sparkle, inside and out. Just rub the cut side of half a lemon all over them and buff with a soft cloth.

6) Refresh Cutting Boards
Get rid of odors that stick to your cutting board by rubbing a half a lemon with a about a tablespoon of coarse salt.

7) Keep Insects Out of the Kitchen
Spray  lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks where the ants are getting in. Finally, scatter small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance. Lemons are also effective against roaches and fleas: Simply mix the juice of 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water and wash your floors with it–they  hate the smell.

8) Clean your Microwave
Give your microwave a  good cleaning without scratching the surface with harsh cleansers or chemicals.  Mix 3 tablespoons lemon juice into 1 1/2 cups water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High for 5-10 minutes, allowing the steam to condense on the inside walls and ceiling of the oven. Wipe away the softened food with a dishrag.

9) Deodorize your Garbage Disposal
If your garbage disposal stinks, here’s an easy way to deodorize it: Save leftover lemon peels, grind, and rinse. To keep it smelling fresh, repeat once every month.

10) Freshen your Breath
Make an impromptu mouthwash by rinsing with straight lemon juice. Swallow for longer-lasting fresh breath. The citric acid in the juice alters the pH level in your mouth, killing bacteria that causes bad breath. Rinse after a few minutes with water because long-term exposure to the acid in lemons can harm tooth enamel.


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