Being the traditional Southern belle that I am, there is always at least one gallon of sweet tea in my fridge…as well as lemons.

But there are many uses for lemons around the house other than their simply lounging in sweet tea glasses with their best friend, ice…or squishing them in the juicer to make fresh lemonade…

    
Lemons arenaturally antiseptic and energizing…and can be used around the house for…


1.  Un-Stinking Garbage Disposals: Toss leftover lemon and orange peels down the drain. The baking soda absorbs the odors in the air while the rinds release an energizing, citrusy smell.

Cut three or four lemons in half. Remove the pulp. Fill the empty rinds with a few tablespoons of baking soda each. 

Place the rinds in a bowl in an out-of-the way spot. Keep the lemon halves there for a few days or until you don’t notice the citrus smell anymore. Then, if you have a garbage disposal, send the rinds down it — they’ll clean and freshen your drain on the way.


2.  Un-Dulling Pots and Pans...Rub the cut side of half a lemon all over them, inside and out. Buff with a soft cloth.

3.  UnFunking Faucets...Rub lemon rind over mineral deposits on tarnished chrome faucets. Rinse well. Dry with a soft cloth.

4.  Un-Lazying Laundry Detergent...Add 1C lemon juice to the washing machine during the wash cycle.

5.  Un-Messying Microwaves…Combine 3Tbsp lemon juice with 1 1/2C water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High for 5-10 minutes. Wipe away the softened food with a dishrag.

6. Un-Obnoxiousing Odors…Place a couple of lemons, cut side up, in a dish in the room.

Simmer Pot…Simmer 2 sliced lemons, 2 sprigs rosemary, and 1Tbsp vanilla in pot filled with water to about 1″ below brim.


7.  Un-Smellying Cutting Boards…Rub cutting board with cut side of half a lemon. Keep insects out of the kitchen.

8.  Un-Stinkying Refrigerators…Dab lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge. Leave it in the fridge for several hours. 

Cut a few lemons into quarters. Put them in a pot of boiling water to release citrus-infused steam into the air.
9.  Un-Unsightlying Underarm Stains…Scrub the stained area on shirts and blouses with equal parts lemon juice and water. 

10. Un-Inviting Unwanted Ants, as if any ants are wanted…First squirt some 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. 

11.  Un-Inviting Unwanted Roaches and Fleas...Mop your floors with the juice and rinds of 4 lemons and 2 liters water.

12.  Un-Wearying Weary Whites…Soak delicates in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda for at least half an hour before washing, instead of  household chlorine bleach.

13.  All-Purpose Kitchen CleanerMake your own using real lemon-scented all-purpose cleaner by mixing together lemons and some white distilled vinegar. 

Vinegar is a potent cleaner that is useful around the kitchen for all sorts of tasks…such as removing stains, breaking down soap scum, cleaning wood cabinets, killing mold, inhibiting the growth of some strains of E. coli, and more. 

But vinegar smells like vinegar. 

Mask this harsh vinegar smell by soaking lemon rinds in a large Mason jar of white vinegar in a dark place for at least two weeks. The longer you let it sit, the more the lemon will infuse into the vinegar. After two weeks, strain the mixture using a fine-mesh sieve placed over a large bowl. Discard the peels.

Add the lemon cleaner to a spray bottle and use it as you would any other all-purpose cleaner.


14.  Un-Inviting MosquitosBreak block of  100% organic beeswax into pieces. Place in a glass bowl over a pan filled with simmering water. Melt over medium heat. Stir citronella oil into the melted wax. 

Slice lemons in half. Insert a knife carefully around the edge to separate the fruit from the peel. The inside should be dry and free of any pulp.

Once the wax begins to melt, cut wooden wicks.  Dip the ends of the wicks into the wax. Coat the base of the wick with enough wax to adhere it to the bottom of the lemons. 

Pour into each lemon. Hold the wick steady while you’re pouring and until the wax is hardened enough for the wick to stand on its own. Repeat with each of your lemons.

Set aside twelve hours to cool and harden.
15.  Un-Inviting-Clogging Tub and Shower Drains…Boil a big pot of water on the stove. Pour it down the drain. Wait for the water to drain. 

Slowly pour 1C baking soda down the drain, using a spoon or funnel. Add 1C lemon juice. Use your tub stopper or a rag to cover the drain. Wait 30min.

Uncover the drain. Pour more boiling water down the drain. Repeat until your drain is no longer clogged.

Do this once a quarter to prevent those big clogs from building up again.


And on those days when you don’t feel like cleaning, bake a lemon cake instead

   

Lemon Cake

  1. Preparing to Bake…Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 9″ round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the paper.
  2. Making the Batter…Cream together…4 eggs…1tsp vanilla… 2tsp lemon zest…1Tbsp lemon juice…1 1/2C sugar. Sift together 2 1/4C flour…1Tbsp baking powder…1tsp salt. Add to batter.
  3. Bb aking the Cake…Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.  Bake 30min. Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Place one cooled cake layer on a cake plate. Generously spread 1/3C lemon curd over the top. Add next layer of cake. 
  5. Make the Frosting: Whip 1 1/2C heavy whipping cream…3Tbsp sugar. Gently fold in 3Tbsp lemon curd.
  6. Frost the top and sides with the whipped lemon cream frosting. 
  7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  8. Dead skin cells, soap scum, random food scraps, human hair, pet hair, and just regular ol’ dirt — these are all the things you regularly wash down your sink or tub’s drain. And if they sound gross now, image how much worse they are once they’ve congealed into a stringy, slimy ball of gunk inside your pipes. Yuck!
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