The abundance of acids in lemon juice gives the citrus fruit its famous sour taste and acts as an economical cleaner for at-home projects. Lemon juice is especially helpful when removing stains and grime from one of the filthiest rooms in any home -- the dreaded bathroom.
There's a reason your husband jumps up to mow the lawn and the kids vow to give the dog a bath. No one wants get on their hands and knees to scrub the tub or (gasp!) the toilet. Avoid smelling like chemicals and lugging multiple bottles of surface cleaners around the house. Get a bottle of lemon juice out of the fridge and try these five ways to clean the bathroom with lemon juice.
5: Remove Soap Scum
Soap scum is a layer of white or gray film that covers itself on the bath tile, toilets, shower curtains, bathroom fixtures and bathroom floors. Minerals in the tap water combine with dirt and soap residue in the bathtub, shower or sink to form a film on top of tiled surfaces.
To remove soap scum from the bathtub and tiles, rub the surfaces with a cut lemon. The acid in the lemon breaks down bacteria and dirt found in soap scum. To keep these areas free of soap scum, rinse them thoroughly after each use so there's nowhere for bacteria to grow.
4: Remove Rust Stains
Rust is formed when iron begins to corrode and creates an ugly brown surface on bathroom fixtures. It is important to remove these stains at first sight, because if you accidentally rub up against them they will leave a tough stain on your clothes.
Rubbing with a cut lemon can remove many sink and tub rust stains. Just rub the half lemon directly on the stains and they should start to come off.
3: Lemon Juice and Laundry Paste
Rust stains can be accelerated by the presence of salt and the resulting stain will be much deeper and more stubborn to remove. Painting over a rust stain will stop it from growing because the iron is sealed off from its exposure to oxygen, but that isn't always an option.
For more stubborn rust stains, make a paste of lemon juice and laundry booster. Apply with a scrub sponge; scrub, then rinse. Toilet stains can be removed with this same paste. The laundry booster helps remove the stain and restore the sink or tub to its original appearance, just as it would remove a grass stain from a pair of jeans.
2: Mineral and Mildew Remover
Mildew loves dark, warm and damp environments to make a home in, which is why showers and bathtubs are susceptible to this common household problem. Too much exposure can be harmful to your family, and can cause problems to the respiratory system.
To remove mineral and mildew stains from a shower curtain, first soak it in salt water for 15 to 20 minutes. Hang to drain excess water. Rub the stains with lemon juice while the curtain is still damp. Finish cleaning the curtain as usual, be it wiping with a damp sponge, rinsing with clean water, or running through the washing machine.
1: Homemade Glass Cleaner
No matter what style your home is decorated in, be it Dutch Colonial, Cape Cod, or Mid-Century, there are probably glass surfaces throughout the furniture and accessories. And if you sweat on them, touch them or even look at them the wrong way, those glass surfaces will get dirty.
You can make your own glass cleaner. Take 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, and 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid. Add all ingredients to a spray bottle, fill the bottle the rest of the way with water, and shake well to mix. Use as you would any commercial window cleaner. Be sure to clearly label the bottle before storing.
Adapted from "Lemon Juice: Lighten Your Hair and Solve Household Problems," © 2009 Publications International, Ltd.