The lemon's pleasant fragrance is enough to evoke feelings of freshness instantly. Don't you just love adding that dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice to your salad or gulping down an ice-cold glass of fresh lemonade? Apart from adding a whole lot of vitamin C and citrus flavour to your meals, this wonder fruit is quite the multi-tasker. You will be surprised to find out the number of alternative uses the humble lemon can be put to. Here are 6 ways the lemon can come in handy around the house, beyond just cooking.
Clean chopping boardEver wondered why most dishwashing soaps boast their lemony quality? That's because you can easily rely on a lemon to leave your kitchen utensils and equipment squeaky clean and smelling fresh! Its low pH and anti-bacterial properties are what make it so great with utensils, says New Delhi-based Mukesh Kumar, head chef at Hotel Samrat. "High in citric acid, it also smells great and helps in removing foul odour from different surfaces," he adds.
After long-time use, chopping boards often become vulnerable to unpleasant stains left behind by vegetables. Kumar recommends using lemon juice to get rid of these stains. "Rub the juice on the board's surface well and let it sit until the stain begins to fade," he says. In the case of tougher stains, you could leave the lemon juice on the board overnight. Rinse the board thoroughly before putting it to use again.
Prevent chopped fruits from browning
After being chopped, most fruits are likely to brown or discolour in no time. You could thank the exposure to oxygen for this phenomenon. To prevent freshly cut fruits from browning or discolouring, simply dab some fresh lemon juice on top of them. The lemon juice will work to keep them fresh for longer and will also prevent them from turning brown or discolouring.
Clean your hands
If you frequent the kitchen, be it for cooking or cleaning, but are not in the habit of using kitchen gloves, your hands are bound to be left with a strong and pungent smell every now and then. Don't be disheartened, the lemon will come to your rescue at times like these. Chef Kumar suggests a simple trick to neutralise the odour in a jiffy. "Scrub your hands well with a solution of water diluted with lemon juice. This will help you get rid of any the strong odours," he says.
Clean your kettle
Over a period of use, you will notice white, crusty scales forming inside your kettle. These are simply calcium deposits but can be a challenge to clean. To descale your kettle, fill it up with half a litre of water with about 30 mililitres of lemon juice. Let it stay for a few minutes and then empty the kettle. Then, wipe it clean with a cloth. Rinse well before using it again.
Lemon is a natural deodoriser so you can use it not just to clean any surface but also to get rid of strong odours. Chef Kumar suggests using lemon to clean and deodorise your microwave. If your microwave reeks of leftover food spillage, then you can quickly fill half a cup of water with two tablespoons of lemon juice and toss it into the microwave. Boil the water in the cup and do not open the appliance for at least 10 minutes. The lemony steam trapped inside the microwave will loosen the food stains and leave a pleasant fragrance behind. After 10 minutes are up, wipe it clean with a dry cloth and your sparkling clean microwave will be ready to use again. Click here to read more about tips to get your microwave squeaky clean.
Clean your kitchen sink
Due to constant use, kitchen sinks are easy breeding grounds for bacteria. They tend to lose their shiny appearance as well. You can simply use lemon to sanitise and deodorise your kitchen sink. Mix equal portions of baking soda and lemon juice in a bowl. Scrub the surface of the sink using this mix. After a few minutes, rinse it with hot water and your sink will be clean and shiny once again.
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