Most of us think of ketchup as a condiment, but would you believe that the ubiquitous ketchup can be used to restore chlorine-damaged hair and make copper pots shiny? Read on:
- Restore chlorine-damaged hair
Chlorine from the swimming pool can turn blond hair green or give your hair a distinct smell. The household solution is quite simple: a ketchup shampoo!
Do this in the shower, as it can get quite messy: massage ketchup into our hair and leave it for about fifteen minutes, then wash thoroughly. The green color and chlorine smell are gone.
- Brighten copper pots and pans
When your copper pots and pans get tarnished and dull, don't reach for expensive chemicals. Simply rub ketchup and a pinch of salt onto the copper surface and let sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse and dry for gleaming copper pots.
- Brighten silver jewelry
If you have silver ring, earrings, necklace or bracelet that has gotten a little dull over the years, simply dab some ketchup on it for a few minutes. If it has detailed surface, you may have to use a toothbrush to make sure the ketchup gets into the little crevices. Rinse with water to reveal a shiny silver jewelry.
- Get rid of skunk odor
If you've been skunked, here's an easy way to get rid of that terrible skunk odor: soak your clothes in tomato juice or a solution of ketchup and water. Beware of stains - you don't want to trade a smelly shirt for one with a ketchup stain!
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade ... or use them to polish chrome, get rid of bad cat litter box odor, deodorize your garbage disposal and more! Here are some unusual uses of lemons around the house:
The wonders of citric acid have been known by scholars in Europe since the medieval times. The benefits of lemon and lime juice were recorded in a 13th century manuscript.
AROUND THE HOUSE
- Get rid of cat litter box odor
Cut up a few lemons and put near the cat litter box. The lemons will soon neutralize the odor, leaving the room lemony fresh.
- Get rid of stain on marble
For stubborn stain on marble, cut a lemon in half. Pour some salt on top of the stain and rub with the cut lemon. Be careful, however, as the acid in the lemon can actually cause more damage.
- Get rid of ants
Squirt some lemon juice into holes and cracks where the ants are coming in. Place small pieces of lemon rinds or peels around the house.
- Get rid of roaches and fleas
Wash your floor with the juice of 4 lemons in about half a gallon of water.
- Get rid of moths
Hang a sachet of dry lemon rind in the closet to get rid of moths.
- Get rid of mothball smell
Now that you can use lemon to get rid of moths, you won't need those mothballs anymore ... but how do you get rid of the lingering mothball smell? Lemon to the rescue (again!) - simply wash the drawers and closet with a solution of lemon juice in water.
- Polish chrome
Got dull chrome faucets? Simply rub lemon rind, rinse and dry with a paper towel.
- Clean tarnished brass, bronze, copper, and stainless steel
Make a paste of lemon juice and baking soda and apply to the tarnished area. Let soak for 5 to 10 minutes and wash in soapy water.
- Air freshener
Put a mixture of lemon juice and water into a spray bottle. Voila! A natural and inexpensive air freshener. You can also put slices of lemon in a dish or a dish of lemon juice and baking soda mixture to help absorb bad odor and freshen the room.
- All purpose cleaning solution
Add lemon juice, vinegar, and water in a spray bottle for a natural, all-purpose cleaning solution.
- Furniture polish
For varnished wood, add a few drops of lemon oil into a cup of water.
For unvarnished wood, mix equal parts of oilve oil and lemon juice. Use dry cotton rags to wipe the furniture.
- Toilet bowl cleaner
Make your own toilet bowl cleaner with 1 part of lemon juice to 2 parts of borax. You can get rid of toilet rings by applying this solution and letting it sit for a couple of hours before rinsing.
Down(y) with laundry detergent! Skip the powders and turn the Tide against chemicals and Cheer for the Ultra alternative ... lemon!
- Use lemons instead of bleach
Soak clothes in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda for half an hour before washing.
- Get rid of stain, mildew and rust
Scrub mildewed clothes with a paste of lemon juice and salt. Let dry in the sunlight, then wash. Remember to test for color fastness before using this technique!
- Whiten clothes
To boost your laundry detergent and whiten clothes, add 1 cup of lemon juice into the washer.
IN THE KITCHEN
Besides food, lemon have plenty of other uses in the kitchen. For example:
- Get rid of garbage disposal odor
If your garbage disposal smells bad, simply put leftover lemon and orange peels and grind them down the drain. Do this as frequently as needed to keep the garbage disposal odor away.
- Get rid of bad fridge odor
Here's an easy way to get rid of musky or bad refrigerator odor. Soak a sponge with lemon juice, place on a plate and leave it in the fridge overnight.
- Get rid of cutting board odor
After cutting meat, fish, onion, garlic and other smelly food, you can get rid of bad cutting board odor simply by rubbing it with half a lemon. This also works for wooden cutlery and bowls.
- Clean your microwave
Got hardened gunk of food in the microwave? Don't reach for harsh chemicals, use lemons instead! Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to 1-1/2 cup of water and microwave on High for about 10 minutes. The water will boil and steam will condense inside the microwave. The gunk will easily wipe away with a paper towel or cleaning rag.
- Lift tough grease stain
Put lemon peel in a water with some water in a blender. Apply the mash to the tough grease stain and scrub.
- Brightens aluminum pots and pans
Fill the pot with water and add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, then boil for 15 minutes. For the outside of the pots and pans, scrub with a half of a lemon.
- Prevent potatoes and cauliflower from turning brown
Potatoes and cauliflower can turn brown after being boiled. To prevent this, simply add a teaspoon of lemon juice into the water before you turn on the stove.
- Prevent avocado and guacamole from turning brown
The culprit is oxidation - when a cut avocado is exposed to air, an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase change the structures of phenolic compounds in the flesh of the avocado and thus their color. Since the enzyme doesn't work as well in acidic environment, you can slow down this reaction by sprinkling lemon or lime juice.
- Prevent apple slices from turning brown
Same idea as above. For apple slices, simply rub them with half a lemon.
- Prevent rice from sticking
Add a teaspoon of lemon juice into the water before you cook the rice. The lemon will also make the rice whiter and brighter!
- Make lettuce crisp again
Got soggy lettuce? Don't toss it way - You can "revive" it by squeezing half a lemon into a bowl of ice water. Soak the soggy lettuce for about an hour. Rinse and dry the lettuce before serving in a salad or sandwich.
- Get rid of cabbage odor
If you don't like the smell of cooking cabbage, simply put a slice of lemon in the pot.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
Before you reach for that expensive cream and lotion, give the humble (and cheap) lemon a try:
- Soften dry and scaly elbows
Make a paste of lemon juice and baking soda. Rub into your elbows to exfoliate and soften the scaly skin. Repeat daily as required.
- Soften rough hands and feet
Soak in equal part of lemon juice and water. Rinse, then dry with a towel. Repeat daily as required.
- Clean your face
A rinse with lemon juice and water will clean and exfoliate your face for pennies as compared to expensive facial soaps.
- Clean your hands
If your hands smell from peeling garlic or cleaning fish, rub your fingers with a lemon wedge to remove the odor.
- Get rid of dandruff
Got itchy, scaly dandruff? Apply lemon juice directly to your scalp and massage it in before you hop on the shower. Then rinse away and wash your hair as usual.
- Remove warts
Apply lemon juice directly on the wart with a Q-tip. Repeat daily until the wart disappears.
- Treat poison ivy rash
Apply lemon juice directly to the rash to soothe the itching.
- Treat insect bites
Apply a slice of lemon onto insect bites to help soothe the irritation.
- Lighten age spots
Got liver spots and freckles? You can lighten them without expensive skin creams with lemon juice. Apply lemon juice directly to the spots for 15 minutes. Then rinse with water. Repeat daily until you lighten that age spot.
- Whiten nails
Soak your fingertips in a mixture of lemon juice and water (1/2 cup lemon juice to 1 cup of water). You can also rub lemon rind on the nails to whiten them.
- Treat acne and blackheads
Got blackheads? Dab lemon juice directly on the acne breakout once a day for several days until the condition improves.
- Disinfects minor scrapes
If you've got minor cuts and scrapes and don't mind a little stinging, you can use lemon juice as a disinfectant. Simply apply a few drops of lemon juice to the cuts and let sit for a minute or two before rinsing with water.
- Heartburn relief
Drink a glass of water and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
Homer gleefully remarked that "no one in history has ever done anything this clever"
- Shoe polish
Add a few drops of lemon juice to olive oil. Apply to shoes, then buff with a clean rag for a perfect shine.
- Soil amendment
If you need acidic soil (for azaleas and rhododendrons, for example) , simply add lemon rinds to the ground.