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Ten Reasons To Love Lemons

September 13, 2009 By: NB Category: Clean Chemistry, Safest Cleaning Agents

lemon aide

lemon aide

The citrus limon, or as most of us call it, lemon, is a fruit primarily used for its juice although the pulp and rind are frequently used in culinary applications. Lemon juice is approximately 5% citric acid by volume. It is the citric acid which gives lemons their tart taste and a pH of 2.2.

Citrus fruits also produce an essential oil in glands inside the rind. This oil can be steam distilled and is composed mostly (90%+) of a hydrocarbon classified as a cyclic terpene known as d-limonene. It is a colorless liquid at room temperature and is the substance responsible for the strong citrus smell. You will find lemon oil and orange oil used more commonly in commercial cleaners, strippers and de-greasers as the distillation process requires specialized equipment. You can, however, purchase essential oils of lemon and orange from suppliers of aroma therapy products.

So what makes lemons so great? Lemon juice and lemon oil are an effective, environmentally friendly and relatively *safe solvent that:

  1. Will dissolve grease and oil.

  2. Dissolves adhesives.

  3. Dissolves limescale and hard water spots and tarnish.

  4. Will bleach stains on household surfaces and fabrics. It will also bleach your hair and skin.

  5. Strips wax and polishes.

  6. Will neutralize strong odors.

  7. Is an antiseptic and antibacterial effective against candid albicans, e. coli and gram-negative household germs that cause salmonellosis, herpes simplex (types 1 and 2), influenza types A, A/Brazil, A2/Japan, intestinal bacteria, lebsiella pneumoniae, odor-causing bacteria, mold, mildew, salmonella (choleraesuis, typhi, and typhosa), shigella sonnei, staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus (faecalis and pyogenes) and trichophyton mentagrophytes.

  8. Is antiviral and will kill the the viral agents of typhoid, gastrotenteritis, rabies, enteric fever, cholera, several forms of meningitis, whooping cough, gonorrhea and some types of dysentery. It is not effective against tetanus, anthrax, polio, rhinovirus, or hepatitis B or C.

  9. Will soften hard water and allow soaps and surfactants to be more effective.

  10. Can be used as a non-toxic insecticide for house plants or in the garden.

*Citric acid and limonene are skin and mucous membrane irritants. Contact with the eyes can cause a burning sensation. Prolonged exposure of the eyes to high concentrations could cause blindness, as anything with a low enough pH will.

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