Like other herbs, but perhaps more so, citrus lends itself to making household chores more simple and successful for less work, expense or exposure to more toxic material. It is a pleasant way to make better use of the resources we would otherwise waste. If you take up the challenge you may find, as I did, many happy surprises that make for better living with little or no cost or trouble.
Citrus for Fragrance
If you have an open fire, indoors or out, put oranges among the refreshments and throw some of the peels on the fire. Or save citrus peels just for this use. There is a high content of flammable oil in the skins and they make good fire starters or kindling. The fragrance of the orange oils will mix delightfully with the wood smell!
Great Citrus Aromas and Air Fresheners
Dried citrus peels, especially of lemons, pummelos, and any orange with extra fragrance in the skins, can be used to add a pleasant mild scent to drawers or closets and reduce any musty smells. Cut the peel in small pieces and put in a cloth bag.
Perfume the car.
Depending on the variety, whole citrus fruit gives out fragrance that has subtle changes in strength and aroma.
The scent of lemon is synonymous with “clean” and used in countless household products, soaps, perfumes and cosmetics.
Half a citrus fruit.
Take notice of how half a lemon or orange in a dish can freshen a room. You can boil peels, after making juice or cutting up a single pummelo, to freshen the whole house. And grinding a few rinds in the garbage disposal will deodorize the drain.
Freshen the humidifier.
Add a teaspoon of lemon or orange juice to freshen the aroma from your humidifier.
Make your own air freshener by mixing 1 cup of hot water with a tablespoon of baking soda in a small spray bottle. Then add a quarter of a cup of strained lemon juice. Shake well and spray. (This will not have a long shelf life)
To remove moth ball odor from drawers or closets, wash the surfaces with a strong solution of lemon juice in water.
Remove fishy smells.
Rub hands and cooking utensils with a cut lemon to remove fish smells.
Do the same to remove fruit and vegetable stains from hands.
Prevent cabbage odor.
Put a lemon wedge in the pot when cooking cabbage to keep odor from filling the whole house.
Glass and surface cleaner.
Put equal parts of strained lemon juice, vinegar, and water in a small spray bottle and use it for an all purpose cleaner on mirrors, windows, counter tops, and the easier stains on clothes. Between uses, keep it in the refrigerator.
For ink spots apply ample lemon juice right away.
Chewing Gum remover.
The mild acid in lemon or lime juice will disintegrate chewing gum on shoes, clothing, or in hair. It works quickly. Be sure to rinse it away once it has worked so as not to bleach the hair or cloth.
To clean and sanitize your food grater and get rid of the food particles that get stuck in the holes, rub both sides with half a lemon. The residue will come off easily. If any resists, use an old toothbrush to finish the job. Then wash and rinse thoroughly.
Cutting board freshener.
Get your cutting board clean by squeezing the juice from half a lemon, rubbing it in, and leaving it to soak for 20 minutes. Then rinse with water. This will kill germs and remove strong odors, even garlic and onion.
Machine oil remover.
Mechanics have used oranges to remove grease and oil from machine parts and from their hands.