Fruits are known to be good for health, but do you know just how great they can be for the home too? Put away those chemical cleaners and look to your kitchen instead for some of Nature’s best cleaners.
1. Polish to a Shine
Rub the inside of a banana peel over your dinnerware. The potassium in the banana can restore the sheen. It can also minimise scuff marks on your leather furniture and leather shoes when absorbed into the material.
Instead of wiping away dust on your large house plants with a wash cloth, use a banana peel. Its texture and oils act as a mild abrasive and polish. This miracle polish extends to wood as well. Smear a little over-ripe banana on wood that has lost its lustre. Then, wipe it off. The wood will be restored to its former glory.
To polish copper, lemons and salt can produce surprising results. Cut a lemon in half, add a sprinkle of salt, and buff away. The citric acid in the lemon and the chloride from the salt work together to dissolve the copper oxide which is what tarnishes copper. The same recipe works for polishing brass, chrome, stainless steel and porcelain.
2. Break Down Oils
Kitchenware, sinks, and countertops can get super oily. To make them easier to clean, rub them over with an orange peel. This is because 95% of the oil in the peel is limonene, a key ingredient in cleaning products. The solvent breaks down the oil, making it easier to remove.
3. Rub Off Stubborn Stains
Grapefruit can be made into a paste and used to clean those chalky stains in your sink, tub, toilet bowl, and kettle left by lime scale. Apply the paste to the affected areas and leave it to work its magic. Because lime scale is alkaline, the acid in the grapefruit neutralises it.
Add salt to the paste to make an abrasive mix that can be used to get rid of stubborn dirt and grime in kitchen appliances. The lovely citrus fragrance is a bonus.
If you are looking to remove ink or sweat stains, apply lots of lemon juice to the affected area before washing. The citric acid in the juice will eat away unwanted splotches.
4. Make It Whiter Than White
Lemon juice contains acidic enzymes that break down stains. It can be used to bleach anything, from hair, to teeth, sports shoes, and clothes. The advantage is that it will not make your coloured clothes dull.
For laundry, add a cup of lemon juice to the load. For sports shoes, spray lemon juice on them, leave them out in the sun, and you will have clean, fragrant footwear in no time. Exposure to sunlight or any UV source speeds up the whitening process.
5. Eat Up All the Odour
Citrus fruits have oil in their peels, which when evaporated, release a tangy aroma. Leave a bowl of oranges with cinnamon, or a jar of citrus peels in the room. Alternatively, mix lemon juice with water in a spray bottle and spritz your way to natural lemony freshness. Some dried lemon and orange peels can freshen up your drawers and cupboards. To get rid of the odour of cooked food, warm a bowl of lemon juice in your microwave
6. Deal with Germs and Pests
To make your own disinfectant spray, fill a glass jar with orange, lemon, or grapefruit peels. Then pour in enough vinegar to cover them. Tighten the lid and leave it at room temperature for about two weeks so the oils can be released. Once ready, mix one part of the citrus oil-infused vinegar to three parts water, and the mix is ready to be used.
Citrus fruits can repel insects as well. Stud an orange with cloves and hang it in your closet to banish moths. To get rid of ants, spray the pest-prone areas with lemon juice and water (again, one part juice to three parts water).
The next time you hit the supermarket, make sure you stop by the fruit section and load up your trolley. Your grocery haul will not only keep you hale and hearty, it will help you maintain a clean and sweet-smelling home.
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