Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

August 11, 2013

Power of lemon

Ten everyday uses for lemons — from the kitchen to the playroom

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD —  When life gives you lemons, make a pie, shoe polish or some old-fashioned Bluefield lemonade. Residents have seen two lemonade days, compared to seven last summer. The drink is served locally when the temperature reaches 90 F. With 43 days left until the official first day of autumn, here is hoping the temperature soars, at least one more time. If not, residents can still grab a taste of summer at the upcoming Lemonade Festival on Aug. 31 in downtown Bluefield. But lemons aren’t just for lemonade, here are a few other surprising uses for Bluefield’s favorite fruit.

1. Keep the bugs out

Cut up lemon peels and put them along window sills and cracks where insects can crawl in from the outdoors.

2. Shoe polish

Mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice for shoe shine.

3. Freshen rooms

Cut up lemons and place them, cut side up, in small, decorative bowls around the house for a fresh scent.

4. Play detective

You can make invisible ink by writing in lemon juice and then using a blow dryer to develop the message.

5. Smells great

Make a lemon-scented scent. Simmer water, lemon peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves and apple skins  in a pot on the stove.

6. Clean it up!

You can use lemons to get stains off a cutting board. Deodorize a garbage disposal by placing half a lemon in the disposal and running warm water. Let it run for a few seconds. Leave the lemon overnight and resume the garbage disposal the next day. Got a dirty microwave? Mix 1 cup of water with 1/4 cup of squeezed lemon juice and microwave for five minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to a load of dirty clothes in the washing machine.

7. Beauty juice?

Whiten fingernails by soaking nails in a bowl of water and lemon juice for 10 minutes. Rinse with vinegar. Soothe sunburns with the cut side of a lemon. Lighten up age spots and help acne with lemon juice.

8. Cook’s friend

From pie to bars, lemon recipes abound everywhere. But you can also use a teaspoon of lemon juice to cooking rice to prevent rice-on-rice sticking. You can also wash veggies and fruits with a mixture of 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 cup of water to create an inexpensive and natural wash.

9. Health smart

Lemons contain potassium which controls high blood pressure and reduces the effect of nausea and dizziness. The smell of lemons can relieve stress and even depression. Some believe lemon water can reduce the symptoms of a cold and help with arthritis. Lemon juice is popular  with sore throats, weight loss, kidney stones and allergic reactions to poison ivy.

10. Folklore

Many folks believe lemons have healing powers. According to the Discovery Health website, the acid will cause freckles to fade. Other people use lemon to highlight their hair. But its only a temporary solution. You must keep applying.