Things to Avoid Cleaning with Lemon – What You Can’t Clean with It and Why
When life gives you lemons, it’s tempting to use them for all sorts of cleaning purposes. After all, lemons are a natural and eco-friendly cleaning option. However, there are some things you should avoid cleaning with lemon, and some cleaning products you should never mix it with. We’ll tell you all about what not to do when it comes to cleaning with lemons.
1. Granite and Marble Surfaces
Lemon is acidic, and acidic substances can damage the sealant on natural stone surfaces like granite and marble. The acid in lemon can lead to etching, dulling, or discoloration of these beautiful stone countertops. Instead, opt for a pH-neutral stone cleaner to keep your surfaces looking pristine.
2. Stainless Steel Appliances
While lemons can remove some stains and discoloration from stainless steel, it’s essential to use them with caution. The acid in lemons can lead to pitting and corrosion over time. If you want to clean your stainless steel appliances, try using a specialized stainless steel cleaner for a safe, streak-free shine.
3. Wood Surfaces
Lemon’s acidity can also harm wooden surfaces, like cutting boards or wooden furniture. It can strip away the finish, leaving the wood vulnerable to staining, warping, or cracking. To clean wood, use a gentle wood cleaner or a mixture of warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap.
4. Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles
Lemon may work wonders on many surfaces, but porcelain and ceramic tiles are not among them. The acid can erode the grout and potentially damage the tiles themselves, causing them to lose their shine and color. Stick to a tile-specific cleaner or a mixture of water and vinegar to keep your tiles looking their best.
5. Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware is beloved for its seasoning, which creates a natural non-stick surface. Lemon’s acidity can strip away this seasoning, leaving your cast iron pans susceptible to rust and sticking. Instead, use a scrub brush and hot water to clean your cast iron, then re-season it as needed.
6. Brass and Copper Items
Lemon’s natural cleaning properties can be useful for brass and copper items, but there’s a catch. It can sometimes cause tarnishing, which is counterproductive to your cleaning efforts. To clean these metals effectively, try using a metal-specific cleaner or a mixture of salt and vinegar.
7. Aluminum Cookware
Lemons are not the best choice for cleaning aluminum cookware either. The acid can react with the metal, causing discoloration and pitting. To clean aluminum pots and pans, use a mild dish soap and a non-abrasive sponge.
It might seem counterintuitive, but lemon should never come into contact with your electronics. The acidic nature of lemon can damage the screens and other components. When cleaning electronic devices, use a specialized electronic cleaner or a microfiber cloth.
9. Never Mix Lemon with Bleach
Combining lemon juice with bleach can create a potentially harmful chemical reaction. The mixture can release chlorine gas, which is toxic and can be extremely dangerous if inhaled. So, when using bleach for disinfecting, avoid adding lemon or any other acidic substances.
10. Avoid Mixing Lemon with Vinegar
While lemon and vinegar are both excellent natural cleaners, combining them isn’t the best idea. Their acids can neutralize each other’s cleaning properties, making the mixture less effective. It’s better to use them separately for different cleaning tasks.
Lemons can be a fantastic natural cleaning agent for many surfaces in your home. However, it’s crucial to be aware of what not to clean with lemon and what cleaning products you should never mix it with. To ensure the longevity and beauty of your various surfaces, always use the appropriate cleaners and methods.