Thursday, October 7, 2010

When life gives you lemons, start cleaning!

Photo courtesy of Jose Luis Hernandez Zurdo

My microwave is dirty. I don't know what exploded in there, but it definitely left its mark.

Now before those of you who are anti-microwaves (and probably rightfully so) jump on me, I know microwaves are not the best things to have in our homes. I use mine sparingly and generally keep it unplugged. Actually, it serves more as a breadbox than anything.

But back to the interior condition of my microwave -- it needs a good cleaning. Fortunately, I have a solution, and it doesn't involve chemicals! I found this little hint in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine recently. The blurb started out with "Let lemon-infused steam do the work of cleaning your microwave." That got my attention.

Here's what you do (and what I'll be doing a bit later):

Grab a glass bowl that is microwave-safe. Add about two cups of water, followed by the juice from half a lemon. Next, place the squeezed lemon half into the water and put the bowl into the microwave. Set it on high for five to ten minutes and turn it on. Now walk away...don't stand there watching the bowl spin. It is best not to be nearby when the microwave is doing its thing! Keep the door closed for an additional five minutes or so and then wipe out the inside with a cloth. According to BHG, "the work is done."

Here's hoping...

Now that you have used half of your lemon, why not use the other half for something useful? Here are some ideas:
  • If the change in weather has you feeling under the weather, and you are suffering from a sore throat, simply skewer the halved lemon and roast it over your stove's burner until the peel turns golden brown. After it cools down a bit, mix the juice with a teaspoon of honey and swallow it.
  • Are your fingernails (or toenails, for that matter) looking rather yellow and sickly? Just rub them with a wedge of lemon. They will be sparkly white in no time.
  • Speaking of white -- if you add about 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your wash cycle, your dingys won't be dingy anymore.
  • Plastic and wooden cutting boards can get nasty with food stains over time. Super lemon to the rescue! Just squeeze the lemon onto the board, rub the stain with the juice and then let it sit for a half hour. Rinse it off and it should be looking like new. This will disinfect the cutting board as well. This is a good trick for sanitizing chopping blocks, too.
  • If you have been grating cheese, simply rub the lemon (pulp side) over the grater and voila! No more stickiness!
Don't you love discovering new uses for the things God's created? Okay, I'm off to clean my microwave. I'll let you know how it goes!

Keeping it green with lemons this time,


Okay, here is my review on cleaning the microwave -- A-

After a little bit of scrubbing, my microwave looks like new. I only "cooked" the lemon-infused bowl of water for seven minutes. Perhaps had I gone with ten minutes, I would have bumped the grade up.

When the microwave was clean, I went on to clean other things in my kitchen with the lemon water. Then I used the cooked lemon and scrubbed my bamboo cutting boards. Finally, I soaked my sink stopper in the bowl and ripped apart the lemon and fed it to the garbage disposal. No waste here. My kitchen smells wonderfully lemony and I feel really good about disinfecting and cleaning with nothing more than a halved lemon, some water and a dishcloth. Post your own review after you give this a try. Maybe you'll give it an A+!

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