A fruit that packs a powerful punch

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

With summer officially in full swing, I can’t help but turn my eyes (and stomach) to summertime food and drinks: grilled meats and veggies, pies, cold beers and frosty lemonade. Lemons seem to find their way into a lot during the summer months. They flavor cold beverages, add the perfect bit of acidity to seafood and freshen up summer sweets.

But lemons shouldn’t be limited to edible fare. Their rich color, citric acid, fresh scent and antibacterial properties lend lemons to so much more. You can use them as cleansers, deodorizers and even polishers and stain removers.

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• Deodorize your garbage disposal.

Cut the lemons into pieces small enough for your disposal to handle. Ours is new and quite sturdy, so halves or fourths work well for us. Run the water, stick them in and grind for about 30 seconds. Then, turn the disposal off and allow the water to continue to run for up to another 30 seconds to ensure any residual pieces go down. For an extra oomph of clean, add some ice cubes to the mix.

• Make furniture polish. Combine 1 cup of olive oil with the juice from half a lemon. Then, use a soft polishing cloth to apply to wooden furniture. Test a small, inconspicuous area before applying throughout.

• Sanitize wooden cutting boards. Sprinkle coarse salt on the board. Then, take half a lemon and rub it on the board, squeezing and spreading the juice evenly. If it needs more scrubbing, simply squeeze the juice out onto the board and scrub with a brush. Let it sit for about three minutes, then rinse and dry. Apply mineral oil to the board as needed afterward.

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• Polish metal. Cut a lemon in half and rub directly onto metal surfaces such as stainless steel, aluminum and chrome. For stubborn marks, add a little bit of salt or baking soda to the mix. As always, test a small, inconspicuous spot before covering large areas.

• Repel ants. Squirt lemon juice onto points of entry where critters may crawl. Think windowsills and doorways. You can also squeeze the juice into hard

er to reach spots such as in between appliances. The ants cannot stand the strong smell. It’s also been known to repel other insects such as roaches and fleas.

Have a question or comment? I’d love to hear from you. Email me at thefixisin hawaii@gmail.com.