Lemons are amazingly useful – and not just to pep up that G&T! They can improve your health, hair, and clean and freshen your kitchen too. So when life gives you lemons, you’ll know exactly what to do with them…
First off, if like me you buy lemons in a bag rather than individually, you can freeze spare ones whole, in quarters or slices. So you never need see another sad old lemon in your fruit bowl. And in order to get the maximum juice out of each lemon, either massage/roll it in your hands or pop it (uncut) in the microwave for 10 seconds before you squeeze it.
HAIR for extra shiny locks, dilute 1 tsp lemon juice in a cup of water and use to rinse after shampooing.
DANDRUFF Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in 2 cups of water and use to rinse your hair after shampooing.
ROUGH ELBOWS hold your elbow in half a lemon for a few minutes then rinse
NAILS whiten fingernails with a rub from a wedge of lemon.
SPOTS wet a paper towel with lemon juice and apply to help treat spots and blackheads.
HEALTHY DRINK add a couple of slices to boiling water in a mug and drink (it is surprisingly sweet)
SALAD DRESSING – For a simple, cheap and healthy dressing, blend lemon juice and olive oil.
EXFOLIATING BODY SCRUB Mix chopped lemon peel, half a cup of sugar and enough olive oil to make a paste. Use to exfoliate rough areas of skin such as feet.
TRAVEL SICKNESS suck on a slice of lemon and it will help stop you feeling nauseous.
MINOR WOUNDS Dab with lemon juice to disinfect scratches and scrapes. It might sting a bit!
LAXATIVE Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with warm water, then drink.
SORE THROATS & COUGHS Mix 2 teaspoons of lemon juice with half a teaspoon of honey and drink. Or mix juice and honey with hot tea. Or, my favourite, mix lemon juice, boiling water and a good slug of whisky.
WASP STINGS Apply lemon juice for relief.
TAPS Cut a lemon into slices and leave on limescale stains around taps for 10 minutes (or as long as overnight). Scrub with an old toothbrush and rinse.
MIRRORS Mix 2 tbsp lemon juice with half a gallon of water for an effective mirror cleaner.
MICROWAVE Put a few lemon halves in a bowl of clean cold water in the microwave and then put the microwave on full power for five minutes or until the window is steamy. The lemon will release the grease which will make it really easy to wipe off with a cloth. Let the bowl sit for 15 minutes before you open the door, then clean away any grime and grease with ease.
HARD WATER MARKS Live in a hard water area? Those chalky white clumps of excess minerals will be present where there is hard water, such as in toilets, sinks, and around the shower and bath. All you need is half a lemon to get rid of them. Simply rubbing the mark with a half a lemon will remove them easily.
FRESHEN YOUR FRIDGE Cut a whole lemon into pieces and place them on a small, shallow plate. Before you put it on a shelf in your fridge, sprinkle the lemon pieces with either salt or bicarbonate of soda because this will help the lemon to absorb odours. To help maintain the zesty lemon scent, try squeezing some lemon juice straight onto your cloth when you give the interior of your fridge a wipe over.
DESCALE YOUR KETTLE Mix 30ml of lemon juice with 500ml of water and pour it into your kettle. Leave it to stand for an hour before boiling the kettle. Pour away the liquid, rinse out the kettle thoroughly and boil it again using clean water for one final rinse.
HANDS SMELL OF ONIONS? When you have been working with food that has a strong smell such as onions, garlic or fish, it can be hard to remove the odour from your hands. Take some lemon peel and rub it over your fingers and hands to banish the smell. Alternatively, squeeze some lemon juice into a small bowl of warm water and wash your hands in it.
SHOWER DOORS Rid your shower door of soap scum build-up by rubbing half a lemon directly onto it. You can sprinkle salt onto the cut side before you start cleaning if you wish. Leave for 10 minutes and then rinse well.
SMELLY TRAINERS? Place fresh lemon peel into the shoes. Citrus peel has a great smell because of its essential oils. Leave fresh citrus peel in your shoes overnight and remove them before using. They should smell a lot better.
Masses more wellbeing tips available here where also tackle the downright practical: what clothes to wear with a broken arm, natural things to help tinnitus, ten valuable make-up tips for older women that you will love and our enormously popular article on female nose hair – another taboo exposed.