When life gives you lemons... make lemonade, lemon sorbet, lemon meringue pie or any lemony thing that takes your fancy, but whatever you do, don’t throw the peels, pulp or pips away. They are too good to be wasted and so versatile that their only limit is your imagination.
Of the millions of cool things to do with lemon peels, try them in your dishwasher. Yes, that’s right. Forget about the chemically scented lemon detergent tablets. Stick to the plain ones and use your squeezed lemons to give them a cleaning boost.
Here's how it works: Take one or more previously juiced lemon halves and spear them right onto the small plate wires on the top rack – or in the cutlery department or stash a few lovely specimens in a little net bag – take a deep breath and, with a firm hand, start a normal cycle.
A faint lemon scent will grace your dishwasher and help freshen the load, but more importantly, it'll leave your dishes and glasses sparkling clean, with zero residue left over them.
That’s the magic of the citric acid in them, with its pH level 2 (just like vinegar). It’s a highly effective cleaning agent, absolutely brilliant at dissolving soap scum and all undesirables that cling to your dishes, removing hard water deposits, keeping limescale at bay, degreasing, polishing, killing germs and disinfecting bacteria. WOW!
In fact, it's not just lemons which work this way, but any citrus fruit, such as limes, oranges, grapefruit, etc., thanks to their citric acid content. All are safe in dishwashers with either plastic or stainless-steel interiors.
Never use them with silver or aluminium.
Also remember to put these delightful peels in your dishwasher between washes and when you go away on holiday or for the week-end.
And while you are at it, replace your rinse aid with lemon vinegar.
To prepare this mind-blowing concoction, put your pressed lemon peels in a lovely glass container – quantities depend on the size of the container – cover them with ordinary white vinegar and close the lid tightly. Alternatively, you can put your cut lemon peels directly in a half-empty bottle of vinegar and fill it up. Let the mixture sit for a couple of weeks. Filter and throw away the peels. Mix half a cup of this extraordinary lemon vinegar with the same amount of rubbing alcohol. Fill up the rinse aid compartment of your dishwasher with this magic mix. Prepare to be dazzled by your sparkling dishes.
Store the remaining solution in a dark place, out of reach of small children. Don’t forget to label it clearly, preferably in flamboyant gothic handwriting.