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22 Uses for Lemon Peels

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22 Uses for Lemon Peels

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But what to do with all those lemon peels? Don’t toss them; put them to work.  Lemon juice is about 5 to 6 percent citric acid and has a pH level of between 2 and 3. This low pH acidity makes lemon juice a great ally in breaking down rust and mineral stains, but gentle enough to not dull finishes. There is generally sufficient juice left in used lemon halves to tackle small tasks, and it all comes with its own applicator (the rind itself). Plus, the oil in the peel is perfect for clever culinary applications, and not bad in the beauty department either. Here’s what you can do:

Around the House

1. Clean greasy messes
Greasy pans? Splattered stove tops? Messy counters? If your kitchen has been the victim of some sloppy sauteing, try using lemon halves before bringing out possibly toxic chemical cleaners. Sprinkle some salt (for abrasion) on a juiced lemon half and rub on the greasy areas, wipe up with a towel. (Be careful using lemon on marble counter tops, or any other surface which may be sensitive to acid).

2. Clean your tea kettle or coffee pot
For mineral deposit build up in your tea kettle, fill the kettle with water, add a handful of thin slices of lemon peel and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for an hour, drain, and rinse well. For coffee pots, add ice, salt and lemon rinds to the empty pot; swish and swirl for a minute or two, dump, and rinse. Hello, sparkly.

3. Clean your microwave
All it takes is one exploding bowl of food to render the interior of your microwave officially gunked, sometimes gunked with cement-like properties. Rather than using strong chemical cleaners, try this: Add lemon rinds to a microwave-safe bowl filled halfway with water. Cook on high for 5 minutes, allowing the water to boil and the steam to condense on the walls and tops of the oven. Carefully remove the hot bowl and wipe away the mess with a towel.

4. Deodorize the garbage disposal
Use lemon peels to deodorize the garbage disposal (and make your kitchen smell awesome at the same time). It is a great way to finally dispose of spent lemon peels after you have used them for any of these applications.

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Read more: Basics, Green Kitchen Tips, Holistic Beauty, Home, Household Hints, Natural Pest Control, Non-Toxic Cleaning, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Skin Care, Surprising uses for ..., , , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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11:21AM PST on Dec 25, 2013

Great tips,thanks for sharing

6:42AM PST on Dec 21, 2013

Great info ! Thank you.

2:48PM PDT on Oct 18, 2013

Great ideas!

1:19AM PDT on Sep 27, 2013

Lemons rock! :)

5:08AM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

Love lemons!! :)

6:49AM PDT on Sep 20, 2013

Thank you. Good to know!

10:53PM PDT on Sep 19, 2013

We use a lot of Lemons! Thank You

8:28AM PDT on Sep 19, 2013

Thank you for the article

5:25AM PDT on Sep 19, 2013


1:32AM PDT on Sep 19, 2013

Thank you :)

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