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Everyday Cheapskate: 8 Surprising Ways Lemons Can Make Your Life Easier

Mary Hunt on

Several years ago, my son gave me the bounty from the two fruit trees that pretty much rule his backyard. My Mother's Day gift of Meyer lemons weighed in at 124 pounds. I know, lucky me!

I had to figure out ways to use, share and preserve lemons in a big hurry. I juiced, cooked and baked all kinds of lemon things. And I learned so many ways to use lemons around the house, too! Who knew lemons could be so useful?

ZAP STRONG ODORS

To remove odors from garbage disposals, you can drop in leftover lemon peels (cut them small so they don't jam the blade). Or rub lemon juice onto cutting boards that have retained strong odors or stains. Follow with hot, soapy water. Clean the walls and shelves of the refrigerator with straight lemon juice. Rinse well, and then wipe dry.

SKIN CARE

Treat dry skin with a lemon-sugar scrub. Mix lemon juice with sugar until you reach a slushy snow consistency, and massage it into your dry skin. Or cut a lemon in half; dip the cut side into sugar or sea salt; and use this as a scrubber on particularly dry areas, such as knees, elbows or heels. Be careful when applying to cracked skin because the lemon juice is going to burn.

 

LAUNDRY TREATMENT

You don't need bleach or chemicals to brighten your white laundry. Add lemon juice to the wash cycle to get cleaner and naturally scented clothes. Lemon juice is also good for removing stains. You can directly apply lemon juice to the spot before washing the garment, or for bigger stains, soak the clothing in a bucket of hot water with 1/4 cup each baking soda and lemon juice.

SORE THROAT

There's nothing like a Hot Toddy for a sore throat, but you don't have to include the whiskey. Juice from 1 lemon in a cup of hot water will also do the trick, as lemons have antibiotic properties. Add honey for sweetness and you'll have added one more germ killer.

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