1. Use LEMONS to clean your...
Countertops: Dip the cut side of a lemon half in baking soda to tackle countertops; wipe with a wet sponge and dry. Don’t use on delicate stone, like marble, or stainless steel (it may discolor).
Faucets: Combat lime scale by rubbing lemon juice onto the taps and letting it sit overnight. Wipe with a damp cloth.
Garbage disposal: Cut a lemon in half, then run both pieces through the disposal.
Laundry: To brighten whites, add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the rinse cycle for a normal-size load.
Plastic food-storage containers: To bleach stains from tomato soup and other acidic foods on dishwasher-safe items, rub lemon juice on the spots, let dry in a sunny place, then wash as usual.
Scuffed floors: Apply two to four drops of tea-tree oil to the spots. Wipe excess oil with a cloth and rub in distilled white vinegar.
Shower doors: Wipe scum-covered glass doors with a few drops of lemon oil twice a month. It will protect them from grime buildup.
Toilets: Add 2 teaspoons tea-tree oil and 2 cups water to a spray bottle. Shake, then spritz along the toilet’s inside rim. Let sit for 30 minutes; scrub. You can also place a few drops of your favorite oil on the inside of the toilet-paper tube.
**Essential Oils are highly concentrated oils extracted from plants. Some essential oils are able to kill bacteria and mold. They are very strong, so use them sparingly: One drop of peppermint oil is as potent as 30 cups of peppermint tea! Read more about them in our post "Essential Oils 101".
Marble countertops: Stir 1 tablespoon liquid Castile soap into 1 quart warm water. Dampen a cloth with the solution and wipe surface. Rinse, then dry with a clean cloth.
Sinks, showers, tubs, and ceramic tile: Create a homemade soft scrubber by combining 1 tablespoon liquid Castile soap and 1/3 cup baking soda.
Leather Upholstery: Add 2 drops liquid Castile soap to 1 quart warm water. Apply to the leather with a barely moist sponge.Floors: You can mop almost any type of floor with a solution of ¼ cup liquid Castile soap and 2 gallons warm water. If the floors are greasy, add ¼ cup distilled white vinegar to the bucket.
**Liquid Castile Soap, like other soaps, this plant-based version efficiently loosens grime and dirt from surfaces. It's gentler so it won't dull them.
Wood furniture: Make your own polish by mixing 2 cups olive or vegetable oil with the juice of 1 lemon; work it in with a soft cloth. To smooth out scratches in light-colored wood, rub them with a solution of equal parts olive or vegetable oil and lemon juice.
Rattan and wicker furniture: To prevent rattan and wicker from drying or cracking, lightly brush them with vegetable or sunflower oil and gently rub in with a cloth. Warm the oil on the stove first to thin it and make it easier to apply.
Cast-iron pans: Make a scrubbing paste with vegetable oil and a teaspoon of coarse salt to combat cooked-on debris, then rinse with hot water.
**Vegetable and plant-based oils, such as olive and sunflower, dislodge dirt, diminish scratches and imperfections, and hydrate wood that has aged or dried out from exposure to the sun.