A couple of years ago, my son, Jeremy, gave me the bounty from two fruit trees that pretty much rule his back yard. My Mother's Day gift of Meyer lemons weighed in at 124 pounds. I had to quickly figure out ways to use, share and preserve lemons. Surprisingly, it worked out pretty well. I still have frozen juice ready to go for any number of household applications.
Zap strong odors. To remove odors from garbage disposals, you can drop in leftover lemon peels (cut them small so they don't jam the blade). Or rub lemon juice onto cutting boards that have retained strong odors or stains. Follow with hot, soapy water. Clean the walls and shelves of the refrigerator with straight lemon juice. Rinse well, and then wipe to dry.
Remove hard-water stains. If your chromed bathroom and kitchen fixtures have hard-water stains that won't come off with regular cleaners, try cutting a lemon in half and scrubbing the surfaces with it. You will be amazed! The citric acid will cut through the stains, leaving your chrome to shine like new.
Skin care. Treat dry skin with a lemon-sugar scrub. Either mix lemon juice with sugar until you reach a slushy snow consistency and massage it into your dry skin, or cut a lemon in half, dip the cut side into sugar or sea salt, and use this as a "scrubber" on particularly dry areas, such as knees, elbows or heels. Be careful when applying to cracked skin because the lemon juice is going to burn.
Sore throat. There's nothing like a "hot toddy" for a sore throat, but you don't have to include the whiskey. Juice from one lemon in a cup of hot water will also do the trick, as lemons have antibiotic properties. Add honey for sweetness, and you'll have added one more germ killer.
Natural preservative. For fresh-cut fruits or veggies, squeeze fresh lemon juice to prevent browning. This is another reason why many guacamole recipes call for lime; in addition to the flavor, it slows the guacamole from turning brown as it is exposed to the air.
Weed killer. Believe it or not, you can use lemon juice instead of harmful weed killers to get to those hard-to-remove weeds that always come back, particularly in the cracks of your sidewalk or driveway. Mix lemon juice with water in a bucket, pour it into a hose-end sprayer or apply it directly, full-strength. As a bonus, lemon juice, and lemon peels as well, will also repel cats from the treated area. And ants, too.
Write to mary@everydaycheap skate.com or Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.