As one of the most well-used (and well-loved!) areas of our home, the kitchen is often due for a good scrub. Instead of turning to harsher cleaning agents to sanitize our cooking space, it turns out we can rely on one of the most natural cleaning solutions of all: the humble lemon. From cleaning your microwave with lemon to unclogging the drain, here are the best ways to use the citrus fruit to make your kitchen shine and smell divine.
Clean the Oven
Cleaning an oven is one of those kitchen to-dos we tend to put off. Thankfully, a lemon can work wonders to tackle all that grease and grime (TikTokers swear by it, too).
Start by heating the oven to 250 degrees. Then add lemon juice and water to an oven-safe bowl and place it in the oven for 20 minutes. Once the oven has cooled, carefully remove the bowl and use a rag (dipped in the hot lemon solution) to wipe down every crevice.
Steam the Microwave
The microwave is often home to one too many coffee spills and food splatters. An easy solve? Lemon juice. Simply fill a microwave-safe bowl with water and a lemon half, squeezing all the juices into the bowl. Microwave for three minutes, then let it steam up for a few extra minutes before opening the door. Afterward, remove the bowl and scrub your microwave to a clean shine!
Freshen Up the Fridge
Does your fridge emit an odour that’s hard to ignore? Transform this hardworking appliance from grimy to gleaming by squeezing lemon juice onto a rag and scrubbing it down. For extra deodorizing power, fill a bowl with lemon juice (or a half-cut lemon) and let it sit in the fridge to soak up the stench.
Sanitize a Wooden Cutting Board
Wooden cutting boards can be a nuisance to clean thanks to their porous surfaces that can trap bacteria (which is why they require an extra-thorough scrub when dealing with raw meat).
How to clean a wooden cutting board with lemon? First, sprinkle the cutting board with a small handful of coarse salt. Then rub a lemon half (cut-side down) over top while squeezing to release its juice. Let the cutting board rest for a few minutes before scrubbing it clean with a cloth dipped in hot water.
Polish Kitchen Faucets
If your faucets tend to get a little spotty, chances are it’s due to hard water deposits. The mighty lemon comes to the rescue here too, as the fruit’s acidity can help break down the hard water minerals, leaving your faucet spot-free and sparkling.
Wash a Cheese Grater
Do you ever pick up a cheese grater, only to realize it wasn’t wiped down properly, and those previous cheddar remnants have now hardened like glue? Consider lemons your future fix. Wiping the grater down with a lemon (instead of a sponge or cloth) will more effectively free that cheesy debris.
Deep Clean the Dishwasher
While throwing a detergent pod into a dishwasher might be second nature, cleaning the kitchen appliance itself (in addition to the dishes!) is often overlooked. Give your dishwasher’s interior a solid steam clean by adding a few lemon wedges to the cutlery tray ahead of your next rinse cycle.
Degrease Pots and Pans
Pots, pans or even cookie sheets covered in caked-on grease can benefit from a lemon bath. The trick here is to pair lemon juice with baking soda. Just sprinkle baking soda on the pan in need and squeeze lemon juice on top. After 10 minutes, the grime should melt away with ease.
Unclog the Drain
We’re always in favour of natural DIY cleaners compared to their chemical-laden counterparts. All you need? One half cup of baking soda followed by a half cup of lemon juice. Pour each down the drain in the above order, then plug the drain and let it sit for one hour. Finally, use a pot of boiling water to finish the job.
Clean Spotty or Rusted Knives
If you have old kitchen knives with rust stains, don’t throw them away! Salt paired with lemon make for a super effective cleaning agent. Simply sprinkle half a lemon with salt and scrub the knife with the salt-dipped cut side. The rust should start to fade. For more stubborn stains, sprinkle the knives with salt, followed by lemon juice, and let sit for an hour or two before wiping clean.
Have extra citrus fruit on hand? Here are some of our favourite lemon recipes.