Lemons get a bit of a bad wrap. If you buy a vehicle that gives you constant problems, they call it a lemon. If you get mad at someone, you might tell them to suck a lemon. And why is it so bad if life gives you lemons?
This Lemonade Day, we’re celebrating this misunderstood citrus by giving you 10 sometimes surprising ways to use lemons.
- Make cutting boards less stinky. You use your cutting board to slice up some not so pleasant smelling things. Fish, onions, garlic…you get the idea. Put your nose up to your favorite cutting board and you’ll pretty quickly get why we’re suggesting you use lemon to take the edge off. All it takes is slicing the lemon in half (might as well use that same cutting board) and rubbing the cut half all over the board. This works on both wooden and plastic surfaces. Or, hey, if you want a cutting board that smells brand new, you can pick up some at Gordmans.
- Clean fruits & veggies. Did you know you can use a lemon to wash a lemon? Mind blown. Slice a lemon on your newly sanitized cutting board and squeeze out some juice into a clean spray bottle. Spritz the juice onto the outsides of your fruits and veggies and then rinse to wash away pesticides and dirt.
- Rock your guac. So you make this beautiful batch of vibrantly green guacamole. It could seriously be featured on the cover of a food mag. And then you leave it out for approximately 2.3 minutes and your green guac has turned an incredibly unappetizing shade of brown. Lemon to the rescue! When you’re done with the guac, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over it and it’ll stay green longer. This also works for sliced apples!
- Deodorize your house. Before wax melts and probably even before scented candles, people would boil water and add things like lemon peels to freshen up their abodes. It’s still a pretty great idea. Just boil some water, add some slices of lemon or lemon peels to it and turn down the heat to let it simmer. It’s also a good way to put lemon peels to use instead of throwing them away.
- Mani time! Lemons act as a manicurist when you can’t get into the salon. Add ½ of a lemon into 1 cup of warm water and soak your fingertips for 5 minutes. Push back the cuticles and rub some lemon peel on your nailbeds. Voila! Cleaner, whiter nails!
- Have more fun. They say blondes have more fun and that’s probably why women have been lightening their hair with lemons for decades. For natural-looking highlights, add ¼ cup lemon juice to ¾ cup water and put it on the hairs you want to lighten. Then sit in the sun until your hair dries. For REALLY blonde hair or if you have super dark hair already, repeat daily for up to a week.
- Whiten your delicates. Bleach can be too harsh for delicate fabrics, but lemon is just right. Instead of bleach, soak your delicates in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda for at least a half hour before washing.
- Drink up, buttercup. Lemon water, which is literally just lemon squeezed in water, seems to be a remedy for just about everything. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but really…it’s been said that drinking it can improve mental health by brightening your mood, help respiratory issues by reducing phlegm, reduce inflammation, prevent kidney stones, delay aging, treat throat infections and purge your blood of toxins. Dang, lemons! You betta work!
- Speaking of drinking…It just so happens to be Cinco de Mayo AND Lemonade Day, so why not make Lemonade Margaritas! Arrrrriibba! It’s super easy. Just combine 1 cup of tequila, a ½ cup of triple sec and 4-6 cups of lemonade to a pitcher and serve as desired.
- Forget the mouthwash. If you just have a lemon and no water (which is weird, but it could happen) or if you need to freshen your breath and you have lemons and no gum or mints (also weird), you can rinse your mouth with lemon juice straight from the lemon or the bottle. Swish it around for about a minute and swallow it. The citric acid will alter the pH level in your mouth, killing bacteria that causes bad breath.
Bet you’re feeling a little differently about lemons now, eh? Pretty crafty little fellas, aren’t they? Now…who’s making the margaritas?