By Lowell & Kaye Christie, F47246
Since we don’t have a huge motorhome, we try to carry multiple-use products as much as possible. Lemon juice certainly fits our requirements. If you’re a purist, you can use the juice of fresh lemons, but we think bottled lemon juice works just as well.
1. Lowell likes lemon without the tea
Many people add lemon juice to their tea, but not Lowell. He leaves the tea in the package and drinks his lemon juice in hot water. He finds it more refreshing, and it doesn’t have an aftertaste.
2. Remove spots from clothing
Both perspiration and ink stains respond favorably to lemon juice. But don’t wait until laundry day. Soak the stained area in lemon juice as soon as possible. Let it sit for 15 minutes or so, and then wash the garment with regular detergent, preferably in cold water.
3. Make invisible ink for the children
Your kids or grandkids will love this one, and all you need is a couple of cotton swabs and a piece of paper. Have the child dip the swab in plain lemon juice, and then use it to write on a piece of white paper. Let the juice dry, and then hold the paper near a hot light bulb. The writing will turn brown. Inexpensive fun.
4. No shoe polish?
Lemon juice comes to the rescue again. Apply the juice to the shoes (black, brown, or tan only) and follow up with a good buffing.
5. Deodorize a cutting board
We certainly wouldn’t leave home without a cutting board in the motorhome. When you are finished cutting or chopping, wash the board with lemon juice to eliminate strong and/or unpleasant odors, such as garlic, onions, or fresh fish. Even if the board doesn’t have an odor, we like the fresh lemony scent it leaves behind.
6. Clean fruit or berry stains from your hands
When traveling in the summer we’re always on the lookout for wild blackberries. A summer without them would be horrible, so if we can’t pick them legally, we buy them. Either way, by the time we’re ready to eat, our hands are covered with blackberry stains. Fade those stains by applying straight lemon juice. Work the juice into your knuckles and under your nails. It does the job, and it won’t dry out your hands as much as other solutions we’ve tried.
7. Remove rust and mineral stains from your clothes
We have it on good authority that adding a cup of lemon juice to the laundry along with your regular detergent does the trick. Having thrown a favorite T-shirt in the rag bag because a very visible rust stain just wouldn’t disappear, we’re now ready for the next time it happens.
8. Window cleaner
Forget your window cleaner? Try this easy solution: Combine a tablespoon of lemon juice with a quart of water, apply it to the glass surface to be cleaned, and wipe dry with paper towels.
9. Freshen your microwave
Here’s a pleasant way to clean and freshen your microwave oven. Combine 1/4-cup of lemon juice with a cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Put the bowl in the microwave, set the timer for five minutes or longer, and let the lemon-water mixture boil. The steam will condense on the inside walls of the oven, which then can be wiped clean.
10. Stop minor bleeding
Here’s a lemon first-aid tip that was used during the writing of this column. While sitting at the computer, Kaye looked down to find blood oozing out of a scrape on the back of her hand. Lemon juice stops the bleeding and disinfects when poured directly on the cut or applied with a cotton ball. It stings a bit, but does double duty, just as the doctor said.
11. Clean your stainless-steel sinks
A paste made from lemon juice and salt deep cleans and abrades stains. Scrub gently, then rinse the sink with water.
12. Use lemon juice to warn off ants
It’s always nice to know of a poison-free way to eliminate invading ants. Squeeze or pour some lemon juice in the hole or crack where ants are entering the motorhome. Not only does it prevent you from using sprays with noxious odors, but it’s also safe around children and pets.
13. The Sheila Adams “singer’s sure cure for a scratchy voice”
If our friend Sheila recommends it, it ought to work. She’s been giving singing lessons and conducting choirs for decades. In her own words, “It’s important that you follow directions, because it’s so gosh-awful-tasting that it will make you gag. Put three empty cups on the kitchen counter. In the first cup, stir together one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and another tablespoon of hot water. In the second cup, combine hot water with table salt (maybe a teaspoon to a cup of water). In the third cup start with some hot tea, and lace it with lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey. Now, gargle with the first two “” but don’t swallow either! The first concoction kills all the germs and the second starts the healing process. The third is your reward for enduring the preceding ones.” Thanks, Sheila.