E is for Essential Oils: 5 Ways to Use Lemon Essential Oil
The smell of lemon is fresh, clean and energizing. It is no wonder why it is so often used in cleaning products. Lemon oil was one of the first essential oils I was introduced to and I quickly began using in my daily life. Here are my 5 favorite ways to use lemon essential oil around the house:
Removing Tags or Anything Sticky
Have you ever struggled to remove a price tag from something? It makes me crazy when a sticker leaves a big gummy mess or will only come off in tiny pieces. Grrr! It is probably my OCD tendencies that give me no ability to tolerate a partially removed price tag. A simple drop of lemon oil has become my go-to solution for anything sticky. Let the oil saturate the price tag and it will scrape right off will no residue. This works best on hard surfaces like glass or metal. It does work on plastic too, although I have had it take the color off or make the surface sticky on a few plastics. Be sure to spot test on plastic surfaces first. I have also heard this is a good solution for gum stuck in hair, but I haven’t need to try that yet. With two little girls at home, I’m sure my time will come to try it out soon enough.
I keep a small spray bottle with a water and lemon oil mixture in the kitchen to spray down surfaces. Combine approximately 8oz of water with 15-20 drops of essential oil and shake well to combine. It is best to mix essential oils in glass or aluminum spray bottles as oils will eat away at plastic over time. I like to use small metal spray bottles that I find in the hair care aisle of the dollar store. I also have some smaller glass spray bottles that I found online. I use this spray on the counters, kitchen table and highchair trays. It is a great way to break up sticky stains and leave things fresh and clean. I feel better about using a spray like this on the surfaces where we eat rather than a cleaning spray full of chemicals. And it leaves the kitchen smelling wonderful! Some people like using this spray as a bathroom sink and counter cleaner as well.
Lifting Stains From Plastic Surfaces
If you have ever let a toddler feed themselves, you know that cleaning up the highchair tray is not for the faint of heart. Things like spaghetti sauce and watermelon leave orange or pink stains on the tray that do not just wash off with soap and water. I put a drop or two of lemon essential oil on the tray and wipe with a paper towel. This lifts those pesky stains right up. I then wash the tray like usual with dish soap and water and it is as good as new. Ready for the next toddler eating adventure! This trick also works to lift stains out of plastic food storage containers and lids. I find that some leftovers, especially tomato based foods, can leave a stain on the clear plastic. A quick wipe with a drop or two of lemon essential oil on a paper towel can lift those stains up too.
Fruit and Veggie Wash
I try to buy mostly organic produce, but whatever I buy gets a good wash in the sink before it goes in the fridge. I usually soak fruits and veggies in a sink full of cool water with a splash of white vinegar and a drop or two of lemon essential oil. It is amazing the dirt and grime that comes off in the sink. After a good soak I rinse the fruit or veggies in clean water and pat dry before eating of refrigerating them. Be careful not to soak delicate produce like berries for too long – just a quick rinse in this solution will do fine.
Do you have a closet or drawer that always seems to have a stale smell? Freshen it up with some baking soda and lemon oil. I like to use a small glass storage container or canning jar. Fill it up with some baking soda and add 5-10 drops of lemon oil. Give it a gentle stir or shake. Cover the opening of the jar with mesh, cheesecloth or even a cupcake liner with a few holes poked through it. Place the jar in the closet or drawer and you will notice the freshness in no time! Gently shake the container every so often to renew its freshening powers. This idea works nicely with lavender essential oil too.
I have also used baking soda and lemon essential oil to tackle a particularly stinky carpet problem. Not too long ago we had a nasty bout of stomach flu in our house. My toddler threw up on every surface possible including our brand new shag rug in the living room. I was sure I would never be able to get that smell out of the rug. Yuck! I cleaned up what I could and then poured baking soda mixed with a few drops of lemon essential oil over the spot on the carpet and covered it with a clean towel. I left it that way for several days – mostly because I was afraid to find out what was under there! The baking soda absorbed the rest of the vomit and formed clumps that were easy to pick up and throw away. I vacuumed up the rest and the rug was like new. You couldn’t even tell where the stain was and the rug smelled fresh and clean. I will definitely keep this trick up my sleeve for future use.
*There are many choices for essential oils these days. Be sure to look for a pure, therapeutic grade essential oil from a reputable company. Some oils are not truly essential oil and can have unwanted additives. I buy my oils here: http://mydoterra.com/mybalancedlife. This is an affiliate link meaning I will make a small commission if you purchase products using this link.
I hope you find these tips and ideas helpful in your everyday life. I have been so happy with the many ways I have found to incorporate lemon essential oil into my daily tasks. Try adding the fresh, energizing scent of lemon to your home!
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