Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pantry Potpourri: Lemon Oil

 Pantry Potpourri:
Loving Lemon Oil

If you’re looking for a multi-use cleaning tool for your home, look no further than your pantry for a bottle of good old-fashioned lemon oil.  Beyond its’ luster enriching powers for furniture and other woods, lemon oil is an amazing cleaner and polisher with a variety of household uses.  As one of my pantry staples, lemon oil is an effective cleaner that won’t leave behind any waxy build while restoring that “new” and “clean” feeling to your home.  Here’s  few of my favorite lemon oil tips:

Polish Wood: Obviously lemon oils’ main use is to re-nourish and protect wood on furniture or cupboards.  It does and excellent job of providing a sheen to these otherwise lack luster surfaces in your home. In fact, most cabinets should be oiled at least once a year.  Lemon oil penetrates deep into wood grain surfaces to add moisture back into dried wood. Many lemon oils also now include a “sunscreen” to prevent the sun from fading your furniture. I use an old sock (marked with a black sharpie on the toe with a C for cleaner sock) or cut up old t-shirts to apply lemon oil to designated areas.  Old t-shirts work great for rags and I also save the neck hole and adjoining t-shirt fronts to make bibs for the kids – best bibs ever.  I love to re-purpose and re-use!

Clean Wood: I was thrilled when I received an old and well used piano recently.  I played for years growing up, but had not had a piano in my married life (something about my husband not wanting to move it more than once or was that ever?) So when this piano was offered to us I jumped at the chance.  As you might expect it was well loved, colored on, drawn on and pretty dingy and scuffed up.  However, a few wipes with a lemon oil rag and cleaner and now it looks almost new!  On heavily soiled surfaces lemon oil penetrates deep into the wood to loosen dirt and grime build up.  I simply applied a thin coat of lemon oil on a non abrasive cloth combined with a light spritz of all purpose cleaner/window cleaner and in one wipe my piano looked 10 times brighter in just minutes. If you have heavily soiled or painted surfaces try lemon oil and an all purpose cleaner together. The combination cuts many cleaning jobs in half - just make sure to spot test any questionable areas first to check for staining and do not use on high gloss woods.

Clean Showers: You may have never used lemon oil in the shower, but as the wife of a former tile installer I’ve learned how useful lemon oil can be in the bathroom.  If you’re looking to cut down on hardwater build up and water spots, use a VERY light coat of lemon oil applied after cleaning on shower stalls and fiberglass doors.  You don’t want anyone slipping on this stuff so make sure to wipe the walls and doors with oil and then wipe them again, this time with a clean cloth to remove the bulk of the oil residue. Never use lemon oil on shower or tub floors.  You just need a thin layer to allow the water to bead up and roll off.  Plus your shower will shine like never before!

Clean Sinks:  Do you have a stainless steel sink that has seen better days? Want it to look like new?  It can!  First clean your sink well, I suggest a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove stubborn rust and food stains.  Then, wipe down your sink with a light coat of lemon oil and check out your reflection.  Old sinks will look like new with this simple technique.  Plus the added bonus of a reduction in hardwater deposits and water spots as water rolls off the sink walls and down the drain go the stains! Most stainless steel household appliance surfaces will also glisten to new after a light coat of oil and without streaking.  And don’t forget to wipe sealed granite and marble countertops – they need a little shine too. Remember, lemon oil won’t leave any solvent or waxy buildup so it’s perfect for these areas.

Scuff Marks: Removing scuff marks from wood, tile and vinyl floors is a snap with lemon oil in your arsenal. Apply a small amount of oil to a non-abrasive cloth or sponge and gently rub to remove unsightly scuffs.  For difficult stains on non-wood floors, combine oil and all purpose cleaner for an easy and  effective clean – works like magic.  After the mark has been removed, just mop as usual to remove any excess oil.

Lemon oil is definitely a pantry must have!  It’s a great tool for easy cleaning and polishing all over your home, just remember a little goes a long way.  So, the next time you’re looking to add some shine to your home dulldrums, add a little lemon oil and be polish perfect.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, where do you find lemon oil? I've glanced at a few places as I've been running around some stores, but haven't found any yet. My house is calling for lemon oil!!! :)


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