When life gives you lemons, screw lemonade. Get off your ass and clean!
Lemons are not only great for cooking and to flavour beverages, but also for cleaning. Cleaning is much more fun with a Lemon Drop Martini or two. Or five. Here’s a quick list of things you can use lemons for:
1. Cleaning the microwave. Quarter a lemon or two, throw into a large microwaveable bowl and cover with water. Boil the water in the microwave for about 5 minutes or so. Let the bowl sit in the microwave for about 10 minutes. Remove the bowl carefully (the water is REALLY hot) and wipe down the sides, top, bottom and turntable. The crusted on gunk will wipe right off. If you want to use some of the lemon water to clean the outside of the microwave, dip a little bit of the cloth into the water (again, it’s still really hot) and wipe the outside of the microwave.
2. Freshen the garbage disposal. After you’ve juiced lemons for a recipe, throw them into the garbage disposal and turn it on to grind up the lemon rinds. This will freshen the disposal.
3. Polish copper and brass. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle salt on it. Rub this into the copper or brass (solid brass, not brass plating). Rinse with water and let dry.
4. Cleaning wooden cutting boards. Again, cut a lemon in half and sprinkle salt on it. Rub into a wood cutting board and scrub until stains come out. Let the juice sit for a bit, it will “bleach” stubborn stains out.
5. If you have stained tupperware, mix lemon juice and baking soda into a paste. Let it sit on the stain overnight and rinse in the morning. You can also use the lemon half as a little scrubber. This also deodorizes the tupperware.
6. Use lemon juice and baking soda on stainless steel sinks and cookware. Make a paste, let it sit and then scrub with the lemon half. Rinse with water and let dry.
These are just a few of the things I use lemons for. I’ve also used limes that I’ve had leftover from margaritas. Arriba! Both work really well and smell much better than vinegar. And you probably shouldn’t drink vinegar, so where’s the fun in that? A sober afternoon spent making your house smell like a salad? Forget it.
And here’s a recipe for a Lemondrop Martini:
1 1/2 ounce Vodka
1/2 ounce Triple Sec
1 tsp fine sugar, plus more for the rim
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus a wedge for the rim
Add vodka, triple sec, sugar, lemon juice and ice to a martini shaker and shake. Rub a lemon wedge around the edge of a glass and dip into sugar to rim the glass. Strain the martini into the glass and serve with a slice of lemon on the edge of the glass or a curl of lemon zest in the bottom if you’re being really fancy.