When Life Hands You Lemons

“Bitter, sharp, packed so neat
Whose for a lemon treat?
Suck it slow, your mouth contorts
Eat it quick, you might feel sick
But add it little to a drink
or whip it in some cream and sink
your spoon into the lemon-goo
I bet , like me, you like lemons too
Poem By Sammy Stein

I love lemons, for more than just cooking and baking (or writing poems)
Lemons are useful in so many other ways.

DSC09466_ANot just for lemonade or lemon meringue pie, lemons are also one of nature’s best cleaning agents.  Combined with Vinegar or Baking Soda, it makes an All-Purpose Cleaner without all the harsh VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds).  These nasty chemicals are in all those mass produced cleaning agents, which can make the indoor air quality of your home more polluted than the outside air (and some are suspected carcinogens).

Here at the Homestead, we are mindful of what we put down the drain as everything heads into our septic tank, and from there to the leaching field and ultimately, back into the earth.

How to get a Homestead clean without harsh chemicals? Easy, all you need are a few, average, everyday ingredients that will not poison the air or the soil…or you…

DSC09471_AThese 4 ingredients along with some elbow grease, are tough on stubborn stains throughout the home.  Not to mention you will save oodles of money on toxic cleaning supplies as well as REDUCE the amount of garbage and recycling going out the front door.

**Word of Caution Though ~ NEVER mix Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide Together**
It is BAD, BAD, BAD!

Basic All-Purpose Cleaner/Disinfectant

1 Cup Vinegar*
4 Cups Water
Juice from half a Lemon

Combine into a spray bottle and use as a disinfectant spray on hard surfaces.

*Do Not use Vinegar on marble or granite surfaces as it will eat away at the stone.

Wood Surface Cleaner/Polisher

1/4 Cup Olive Oil
4 Tbsp Vinegar
2 tsp Lemon Juice

Store in a spray bottle in the fridge and shake well before using.  Olive oil replenishes and nourishes wood surfaces and makes them shine.

Baking Soda Scrub

1 Cup Baking Soda
2 Tbsp Coarse Salt
Enough water to make a paste

Use to scour pots and pans, kitchen and bathroom sinks, bathtubs and it also makes a great stain pre-treat on greasy clothes.  Store in a lidded jar.

Want to ditch the Swiffer Solution and save money?  Here is a wood floor cleaner that will do the same job for pennies a gallon.

Wood Floor Cleaner

1 Cup White Vinegar or Lemon Juice
1 Gallon Hot Water
1 to 2 Tbsp Pine or Lemon Oil

Mix the ingredients in a large bucket and mop away.  This cleaner is for real wood floors, for laminate flooring, omit the Pine and/or Lemon Oil.

Are your whites dingy? Brighten your clothes with this bleaching substitute…

Laundry Whitener

1 Cup Hydrogen Peroxide
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
12 Cups Water

Mix and store in a labelled jug, add 2 cups per load along with your clothes washing detergent.

To get the grout in your bathroom clean (pre-treat mold spots with a Vinegar/Water solution of 2 tsp vinegar to one cup water and let stand for 30 minutes), then follow up with the grout cleaning solution below.

Grout Cleaner

Baking Soda
Hydrogen Peroxide

Combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and mix to a paste, wipe on grout and let stand at least 30 minutes (longer if heavily soiled); then use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub stains.  Do not use a wire brush as this will damage the grout.  Rinse well and dry.

By using the above cleaning solutions, you will be doing yourself, your family, your home, and Mother Nature a favour.

I much prefer the smell of lemons than toxic chemicals in in my Homestead.

Shouldn’t You?

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