At SaveOnEnergy.com®, we've long been a fan of using lemon juice as a natural cleaner around the house. But you don't need a squirt bottle full of a concoction to glean the cleaning benefits of this fruit. There are plenty of ways to use a lemon once it's simply cut in half or even had all the juice squeezed out. In honor of Lemon Juice Day today, try out these tricks for getting clean with lemons.

In the kitchen

  • To get your microwave clean without all the elbow grease, place a few lemon rinds in a medium bowl and add a cup or two of water. Cook in the microwave for five minutes on High. The steam will cover the inside of the microwave, making it easy to wipe down with a sponge.
  • The quick way to clean a grater with dried-on bits of food? Start grating the pulp side of a squeezed lemon rind over the dirty holes. The dried food should come off easily.
  • I've heard of throwing lemons rinds in the garbage disposal to cut any smells emanating from the sink, but this combination makes sense to really clean the disposal. In addition to lemon peels, throw a handful of ice cubes and kosher salt into the disposal, then grind it all up.
  • If you want to use lemons to freshen the garbage can, too, use only the peel, not the whole rind. Any pulp included on the rind will start to mold and defeat the purpose!
  • Take advantage of lemons' antibacterial properties to sanitize your wood cutting boards. Simply sprinkle some kosher or sea salt on your cutting board and rub a squeezed lemon over it very quickly to get into all the grooves. Between the friction and the juice, your boards will smell refreshed.

For laundry

  • Get rid of sweat stains on your t-shirts with lemons. Rub the stains with lemon juice or the fleshy side of a lemon rind. Next, throw the shirts in the laundry on their regular setting.
  • Similarly, rust stains on fabric can be removed using a cut lemon or lemon juice. Squeeze juice on the stain, then carefully hold the stain in the steam of a pan or kettle of boiling water for a few minutes. Wash the fabric as you normally would.

In your beauty routine

  • If your fingernails are stained or dirty, soak them in a mixture of 1 cup warm water and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice, or half a squeezed lemon. After they've soaked for a few minutes, you can run lemon peel on them to further clean and brighten them.
  • Make a simple, cheap and effective face scrub. Add a few drops of lemon juice to a spoonful of sugar for a cleanser that will leave your skin soft.
  • Clean off dry skin from your elbows using lemon rinds. The easiest way to do this is by setting two squeezed lemon rinds on the table with some salt inside. Sit down and put your elbows into the rinds and move them around in tiny circles for a few minutes. The combination of citric acid and salt will rub off that dead skin, leaving you with soft elbows.

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