When life gives you lemons… start cleaning!
Here at Sweeping Dimensions, we’re all about making simple swaps that can add up to a significantly more sustainable lifestyle for you and yours. That includes spotlighting some of the powerful green cleaning products that are healthy for the environment, and for your home.
Did you know that one of nature’s most impactful cleaning agents is probably sitting in a bowl on your countertop or in your fridge right now? That’s right, I’m talking about lemons!
The Cleaning Power of Lemons
You zest them into salad dressings and squeeze them into lemonade — but if you’re not using lemons for cleaning your home top to bottom, you’re missing out.
One reason I love lemons is that they’re incredibly eco-friendly. It goes without saying that lemons are completely zero waste. They grow on trees — literally — and are thus completely biodegradable. And while there is some debate, many environmental experts agree that you can compost citrus peels — and, in fact, that doing so can help repel unwanted scavengers and foragers from your compost pile! (To help speed up the decomposition process, simply slice up the peels to make them a bit smaller, so that they break down more quickly.)
Beyond their benefits for the planet, lemons are secret powerhouses that you can put to work in just about every room in your house. For one thing, they emit a sweet and tangy scent that is just heavenly. Why opt for chemical products that mimic the smell of fresh lemons, when you can go for the real thing? You can buy all-natural lemon juice by the bottle (just make sure there’s no added sugar or chemicals), or stock up on lemons in bulk from the grocery store or farmer’s market.
Even more impressive, the naturally occurring acids found in lemon juice are antibacterial and antiseptic, meaning that they can help kill microorganisms and bacteria. With that being said, it is important to note that you shouldn’t get rid of your bleach and other disinfectants just yet; while lemon juice is potent, it is not the most powerful disinfectant, and you’ll definitely want to keep your favorite environmentally friendly disinfectants on hand for your most-used surfaces.
Green Cleaning With Lemons: 8 Easy Ideas to Try Around the House
Still, lemon is a versatile and incredibly useful cleanser that can be paired with your other pantry staples to get to work on a wide variety of tasks around the house — sparkling, shining, degreasing, and more.
Here are just a few ways to put lemon to work for green cleaning your household:
- Scrub dishes with lemon and salt. Half of a juiced lemon and coarse salt combine to form a killer scrubber, perfect for getting residue off of dishes and polishing copper cookware.
- Make a handy degreaser. The acids in lemon juice are a natural degreaser; just add a bit to the water next time you’re doing the dishes by hand.
- Combine with vinegar for an all-purpose cleaner. Lemon juice helps naturalize the potent smell of vinegar, making for a gentle yet effective cleanser you can use all over the kitchen and bathroom — perfect for floors, countertops, fixtures, and more.
- Clean glass in no time. Mixed with water and vinegar or on its own, lemon juice is a highly effective glass cleaner.
- Get the funk out of your drains and garbage disposal. Have a weird smell coming up from your drains and garbage disposal? Deodorize these stubborn spots with hot water and lemon. You can also run a lemon peel through the garbage disposal with ice and salt for a natural cleaning.
- Clean the inside of your microwave. Microwave a bowl with water and lemon juice to let it steam, then follow up with a clean cloth. Voila — no more messy microwave.
- Fight stains on wood cutting boards and countertops. Lemon juice is a great way to gently but efficiently remove stains from butcher block countertops, cutting boards, and even some wood furniture. Just make sure you test a small, out-of-the-way section before polishing the rest to make sure it doesn’t stain or leave an unwanted mark.
- Get rid of unwanted odors the natural way. Gently run half of a lemon through your storage containers to neutralize odors. Whip up a simmer pot on the stove with lemons and spices, or use lemon juice and essential oils to make an all-natural misting spray.
A few last notes? As with any cleaning product, it’s important to be safe and cautious. Never mix lemon juice with bleach, and avoid using lemons on surfaces that might mar or discolor easily, like marble countertops or colorful fabrics.
Sweeping Dimensions: A Cleaning With a Conscience
Here at Sweeping Dimensions, we focus on handling all sorts of cleaning and housekeeping projects, so you can focus on the other things that matter most to you.
A big part of that is making sure our clients’ wants and needs are met at all times. That’s why we make a point of always having sustainable and environmentally friendly cleaning solutions on hand and ready to use.
We also believe in passing along our green cleaning knowledge, whenever we can. We love to talk about all things cleaning and organizing, including the strategies that can make taking care of your home a more sustainable practice. The more people we can bring together in our mission for a greener world, the better off all of us will be!
So, if you ever have a question about comparing cleaning products, or making a green switch in your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch – I am always happy to talk shop! At SDCS, we are sincerely passionate about these issues, dedicated to finding real solutions, and always eager to keep the conversation going.
Want to set up a green cleaning for your Chicago home? Don’t hesitate to reach out for your FREE service estimate!
Looking to exchange ideas on reusable alternatives to sponges, or share how you’re going to focus on sustainability this year? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch via email or on social media to let us know your thoughts.