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When life gives you lemons, skip the lemonade. Try one of these homekeeping tips instead. With a single lemon, you can banish odors, lighten the stains in your laundry, and clean your home from top to bottom!
Freshen the Air
Put down the spray can! Despite their convenience, many commercial air cleansers contain toxic chemicals that can have lasting, long-term consequences for your health. Here is a natural, not to mention inexpensive alternative: Simmer a half dozen lemon slices and a handful of cloves in a pan of water. This eliminates odors in your home, leaving the air lemony fresh!
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Dip half a lemon in a small dish of coarse salt, then rub it over tarnished copper. Voila! Like new.
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Make Your Whites Even Whiter
No bleach needed! Fill a large pot with water, add a few lemon slices, and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, add linens, and let soak for up to an hour. Remove, and then launder them as usual.
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Remove Stubborn Stains
Got a stain that just won't come out? Try this: Soak the soiled areas in lemon juice for about an hour. If some of the stain remains, then dampen the area, make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water, and scrub gently. This works especially well for berry, coffee, and tea stains.
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Prevent Fruit from Oxidizing
When the flesh of some fruits, such as apples, fennel, and avocados, are exposed to air, it turns an unattractive brown color. You can slow this natural oxidation process by squeezing some lemon juice over the fruit!
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Clean the Cutting Board
When slicing garlic or chopping onions on a board, tough stains and smells can be left behind. To clean naturally, take a cut lemon, rub on the surface, and allow to soak for 20 minutes before rinsing.
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Sanitize the Garbage Disposal
If the odor in your garbage disposal has you pinching your nose, try dropping half a lemon along with a tablespoon of baking soda. It eliminates odors quickly!
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Clean the Microwave
Grease stains and splatters make a mess in your microwave. Clean it by boiling four tablespoons of lemon juice with a cup of water -- this mixture will loosen dried food particles on the interior surfaces and allow you to easily wipe them away.
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Detox the Dishwasher
Place a lemon wedge in the top rack of dishwasher, and run it with dishes to freshen the major appliance.
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Clean Sharp Edges Safely
Here's a Good Thing: Instead of using a sponge to clean the sharp edges of a crusty pair of shears or a knife (which is dangerous), squeeze lemon juice over the blade. Then sprinkle with coarse salt, and rub with a cork. Rinse with water, and wipe dry to prevent rusting.
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Clean the Entire House
Mix half a cup of baking soda with enough liquid dish soap to make a paste. Spread on half a lemon, and use it to scrub basins, bathtubs, and stainless-steel sinks.
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Get a Manicure
Skip the spa; raid the kitchen pantry: Soak fingertips in a shallow bowl of lemon juice for two minutes or so to help whiten stained or discolored nails.
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Got a case of the hic-hic-hiccups? Try biting into a lemon: The tartness is said to interrupt the nerve impulses that cause diaphragm spasms.