Making your own cleaning products from household ingredients like lemons lets you eliminate many harmful chemicals from your home environment. And, you won’t have to sacrifice cleanliness or quality. Lemons have many properties that ensure clean dishes, from the citric acids that help to remove mineral and hard water deposits to the lemon oil in the rind with bacterial and cleaning properties from limonene – a component used in many commercially prepared cleaning products. Add white vinegar’s cleaning power, and salt as a scouring agent, and you’ve got a complete dish cleaner. The white pith and rind also add pectin, a natural thickening agent.
4 medium lemons
1 1/2 Plus 2 cups Water
4 ounces white vinegar
1 cup Kosher salt
• Cut the lemons – including the pith and peel – into chunks about 1/4 inch thick. Remove all seeds. You should have about 2 cups worth.
• Place the lemons into a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cup of water.
• Bring to a boil slowly over medium heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. There should be less water, and the mixture should be a little syrupy, with the lemons very soft. Stir frequently, adding more water as needed.
• Pour the lemons and liquid into a blender and add the other 2 cups water. Blend at a high setting until the mixture is very smooth.
• Strain the liquid back into the saucepan.
• Add the vinegar and salt and stir thoroughly.
• Bring to a boil at at medium setting and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. The mixture should thicken a little – something like applesauce.
• Allow it to cool completely in the saucepan. Stir if you notice any crust forming on the top (it will be due to the salt.)
• Store in a glass container. It will make a gel.
• Use about 3 tablespoons for a large load.