The Many Household Uses for Lemons

There's nothing better than a pitcher of fresh squeezed lemonade on a hot summer day. But what to do with all of those juiced lemons? There are actually quite a few uses for lemons out of the kitchen:

For some of the following tips you can use just the rind or the remainder of a juiced lemon. For others, you may need an entire lemon (or two) so save a couple whole lemons when making lemonade.

Create DIY furniture polish: Mix the juice from one lemon, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of water. Rub a thin coat of lemon mixture onto wood furniture, and then buff to shine.
Renew hardened paintbrushes: Dip hardened paintbrushes into boiling lemon juice. Lower the heat and leave the brush for 15 minutes, then wash it in soapy water.
Make your own toilet bowl cleaner: Mix one part lemon juice to two parts borax to create a paste for use as a toilet cleaner. You can get rid of toilet rings by applying this solution and letting it sit for a couple of hours before rinsing.
Clean tarnished metals: Use lemons to remove the tarnish on brass, copper, or stainless steel. Make a paste of lemon juice and salt and coat the affected area. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then wash in warm water, rinse, and polish dry.
Ward off moths: Hang a sachet of dried lemon rind in the closet to get rid of moths.
Eliminate litter box odor: Cut up a few lemons and put near the cat litter box. The lemons will neutralize the litter odor.
Whiten laundry: Get formerly white laundry white once again by boiling in water with a slice of lemon. For extra whitening, dry laundry in the sun. You can also add a cup of lemon juice, along with your usual detergent, to the washing machine for extra whitening.
Get rid of roaches and fleas: Wash your floors with the juice of 4 lemons in about half a gallon of water.
Remove soap scum and mineral buildup: Apply lemon juice directly to the soap scum or mineral buildup and let sit for an hour or so. Rinse that scum down the drain and rejoice!
Freshen a stinky garbage disposal: Toss lemon rinds in the garbage disposal to freshen it up. (While you're at it, toss in some ice cubes to sharpen the disposal's blades, too!)
Keep insects away: Squeeze lemon juice around windows and doors to keep insects out. Place some sliced lemon (or the juiced lemons) around the kitchen to keep insects away.
Make DIY shoe polish: Similar to the furniture polish, add a few drops of lemon juice to olive oil. Apply to shoes and then buff with a clean rag for a perfect shine.
Freshen the air: Drop the juiced lemons in a pot of water and simmer on low heat for a few hours. Your home will smell lemony fresh in no time.
Remove strains from fabric: Dab salt and lemon juice onto the stain, leave for a while, then rinse well and wash as normal.

Image: Jason Loper