There's no doubt that we need the likes of Detol, Milton and Cif in the house to kill harmful bacteria and wipe away germs, but when it comes to cleaning the kitchen, where possible, we like to keep the amount of chemicals we use to a minimum. The experts at Evoke German Kitchens have all the tricks of the trade: Lemons are naturally acidic which makes them a great de-greaser and means they can cut through tough stains. They also act as a gentle replacement for bleach which can brighten white cloths and surfaces. So when life gives you lemons, use them to clean your kitchen!
1. SCOUR THE SINK.
Surprisingly enough, the place where you wash many of your pots, pans and plates is often the dirtiest part of the kitchen. Grab some lemon juice and sugar and mix together until it's got the consistency of toothpaste. Rub it on to your sink and leave for a few minutes before wiping away with warm water and a brillo-pad. The lemon and sugar mix is suitable to use on brass, copper and stainless steel sinks and fixtures.
2. LIFT AWAY LIMESCALE.
Because lime is often added to our tap water to soften it and kill micro-organisms, limescale often forms around our sinks, fixtures, and taps, as well as inside our kettles, washing machines and dishwashers. To remove visible limescale, sponge on some lemon juice and let it soak. Let the juice's natural acidity get to work for a few minutes and scrub away. Likewise, you can boil your kettle with some lemon rind in it to remove tough limescale from the element.
3. CLEAN THE DISHWASHER.
Dishwashers are wonderful. If you have one, then long gone are the days of scrubbing your plates, cups, knives and forks after every meal, but if you fail to rinse themproperly before they go in for their hot scrub, the remnants of your dinner can end up stuck to the dishwasher walls. Thankfully, lemons cut through dried in food and a rub of some lemon juice and a damp cloth can remove almost anything from a chrome surface. Just be sure to wipe away any reside with a dry cloth afterwards.
4. AND THE OVEN.
This is one job that so many people hate! But really, it's not as bad as you might think once you get the right mix of ingredients to lift the dirt. Mix one part lemon juice and one part warm water and add enough baking soda to make a paste. Slather this on to the grease inside your oven, on the hob, or around the hood of your extractor and leave it to work its magic for 15 minutes. Scrub away with a brillo-pad and rinse with warm water.
5. FRESHEN THE WASTE DISPOSAL UNIT.
Throwing away your vegetable peels, fruit cores and left over organic waste can cause your waste disposal sink to stink! After you've juiced a lemon and used it for one of the other tricks we've mentioned here, toss the rind in the disposal shoot, grind it up and let its aroma get to work.
6. DEODOURISE THE HOUSE.
Fill a small saucepan with water and add some lemon slices or lemon rind. Throw in a teaspoon of cloves and some rosemary if you can get your hands on it (you might have some growing in your garden) and let it all come to the boil. It instantly kills the smells of garlic, onions, fish and it can even help rid the smell of stale smoke!
7. WASH THE WINDOWS.
Let's face it, windows are magnets for hand prints, paw prints and God knows what else lands on them to make them look so filthy. A mixture of 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, with 100mls of white vinegar in 1 one litre of warm water will not just wash away any greasy marks, but will leave them streak free and ready to shine too.
8. TREAT YOUR WOODEN CHOPPING BOARDS.
Wooden kitchen-wares look gorgeous. We have a particular love for solid olive wood in Evoke, but chopping onions, garlic and even fresh herbs on them can leave odours in the wood fibres. After you've chopped your veg and wiped away the cut-offs, rub down the wood with a slice of lemon; it will lift away fresh stains and deodourise it as it cleans. Make sure you wipe any excess juice from the wood before you store it away.