Greenies Like Us: The Lemony Triple Threat

I first wanted the title of this post to be “Lemons: A Triple Treat” but for some reason I hit the ‘h’ key and typed ‘threat’ instead. Well, I decided it was quite appropriate and I immediately knew it should be part of the ‘Greenies’ section. Lemons have had big businesses so scared for decades that they actually claim to add it to certain products just so you’ll keep buying it. These little yellow guys are so versatile and do so much it ain’t even funny.

So just what can they do? Take a look at what we did with our last bucket of lemons.

First, the hubby juiced them. All of them. 2 cups of the juice made a gallon of lemonade. The remaining lemon juice filled up two 1/2 gallon mason jars for future lemonade or to use for cooking. It’s so much better than “ReaLemon Lemon Juice” and at no cost if you have access to a lemon tree or if you’re into gleaning like we are. Nice.

Next, I tossed the skins into a stock pot and covered them with water. The goal? Homemade pectin. I cooked them for about 15 minutes (once it started to boil).

I didn’t worry about doubling up on cheesecloth since you don’t really have to strain the pectin. I just did it because I felt like it.

The color is amazing and it makes the house smell wonderful. Stick this in the fridge if you plan to use it right away, or freeze it for future canning.

Finally, I put the lemon skins back in for a second round of boiling. Yep, I like to get every bit of goodness out of them! I boiled them for another 15 minutes.

The one thing I did different is to strain the liquid well since it needs to be pulp-free. Why? We’re using this lemony goodness for cleaning, and it will go into several spray bottles for the many different ways I use it. FAB!

This scrumptious liquid is actually a bit oily since it was cooked for so long; it allowed the oils in the rinds to be released. Perfect for all your cleaning needs, especially for the following:

Furniture

Mix 1 part lemon (cleaning) juice to 1-2 parts olive or vegetable oil. Mix well and use as you would a regular furniture polish. According to other DIYers, you should spray it onto a cloth first, then your furniture, and then wipe the furniture again with a clean cloth.

Kitchen and bathroom sinks

Mix (a tablespoon at a time) into a 1/2 cup salt to make a thick, scrubbing cleaner for the kitchen and bathroom sinks. For tough stains, sprinkle baking soda over the area and drizzle the juice right on top of it. Let it do its bubbling action for one minute and wipe clean. This works really great on faucets too.

All-purpose

Equal amounts of water and juice make a great cleaner for many types of surfaces. Add to a spray bottle and give it a shake. Works well on shower doors, counter tops and cutting boards. Spray the inside of your microwave and heat for 30 seconds. It’ll wipe clean.

Remove stains

Use the juice to take stains out of plastic containers. Mix 1/2 cup with 1 gallon of hot water and soak your stained laundry just prior to washing it. (no silks or delicates) Or to naturally bleach your laundry add 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle and hang clothes out to air dry. (no silks or delicates)

As a stand-alone

Add 1 cup to the toilet bowl and swish (good for the daily cleaning schedule). Use the juice to perk up grout – scrubbing it with a toothbrush.

Banish bugs

Spray wherever ants are getting in and they will stay away.

Freshener

Drizzle 1 cup down your drain to get rid of odors. Wait an hour then rinse with hot water.

Personal

Highlight your hair by wetting your hair with the juice and sitting out in the sun for an hour. Also use it to remove smells from your hands after handling stinky foods like fish and onions.

Tip: A great place to buy your spray bottles is here. They want to sell to you, but only once. What they really want is for everyone to learn to use chemical-free cleaning solutions for the environment. These cool bottles come with recipes printed on the side that use everyday household ingredients. Way cool!