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Every DIYer knows that fruits like oranges, lemons and limes aren't just good to eat; they're superb household helpers too. We've handpicked a bunch of our favorite uses for citrus fruits around the house. A few of them might surprise you.

citrus fruit, orangesGetty Images

Last holiday season, my family received a huge bag of oranges as a gift from a friend in Florida. While nothing beats a Florida orange, there were just too many in the bundle -- certainly more than we could eat before they'd go bad. So I got thinking -- as I usually do when I have spare things around the house -- what else could I use these oranges for? Come to think of it, I had some lemons in the fridge too.

The citric acid in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits have special properties that make them a powerful household cleaner, disinfectant, and lots more. Their peels come in handy too.

Citrus Fruits for Cleaning

-- Cut a lemon in half, dip it in some salt and it will bring copper bottom pots back to their shiny glory. Dip the other half in some baking soda and you have a perfect, scrubber that cleans, freshens and won't scratch surfaces, try it on sinks, stoves and counters!

Citrus Fruits for Odor and Stain Removal
-- Rub cut lemons on your hands or your cutting board will get rid of garlic, onion and fish odors. It will also clean away stains left from slicing berries!

-- Lemon juice will brighten whites that can't be bleached! Just pour a quarter of a cup of lemon juice into the washer. If you have light stains that won't come out of those whites, pour lemon juice on them and spread the clothes in the sun to dry. The lemon juice will react with the sunlight and the stains will disappear!

lemon zestAP

-- Zest the rind of a citrus fruit and sprinkle it in your vacuum bag. The zest will keep the bag smelling fresh and will spread the scent around the house as you work.

Citrus Fruits for Pest Control

-- Use a blender to grind up 2 lemons and a liter of water, strain out any solids. Fill a spray bottle and spray under doors, and sinks and anywhere else you've seen ants, they hate the citrus and will head in the other direction!

-- Zest an orange and put it in a bowl on the table at your next picnic. It will keep flies away from the food. Orange peels in the garbage will keep flies out of there too!

Citrus Fruits as Kindling

-- Orange peels make great kindling for your fireplace. Just spread them on a cookie sheet and let them dry in the air. Then toss them in your fire. They actually smell good, they burn longer and they produce less creosote than paper!

Citrus Fruit as Sugar Preservative

-- You can also put a slice of orange peel in your bag of brown sugar. The moisture in the peel will keep the sugar from hardening.

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  • frank

    OJ does wonders for your facial skin, rub a small amount over problem areas AM and PM.

  • Colleen

    While my son was in the throughs of an allergy attack I had him breathe in the scent of some lemon zest and the actual fruit for a few minutes to clear his nasal passages. Sneezing gone. We'll see how long it last but I'm hopeful.

  • Jenny

    Lemons sliced and rubbed over your jewelry will make them sparkle.

  • Jenny

    Lemons sliced and rubbed over your jewelry will make them sparkle.

  • Ange

    Best of all your whole house is left smelling fresh and clean with out the use of chemicals.

  • Nickie

    I have read that also citrus in water sprayed around will repel unwanted cats -the ones that dig in your flowers for their restroom i have tried it and hope it will work..

  • 6 Comments / 1 Pages

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