Recipes @ Freshen Your Kitchen with Lemons

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Freshen Your Kitchen with Lemons

As decorative as they are in the kitchen, wooden cutting boards are notorious for holding in food odors long after your meal has been prepared. Since you really can't use harsh cleansers on the board or wash it in the dishwasher, how can you freshen up this kitchen workhorse? You probably never thought that a lemon and some salt can do the trick, but it can.

Here's an easy, all-natural way you can eradicate odors and keep your wooden cutting board smelling clean and fresh. You'll need a large handful of salt (you can use either a coarse, kosher salt or a fine sea salt) and one lemon, cut in half. First, sprinkle the salt generously over the cutting board, and then using the lemon half as a scouring pad, scrub the board well with the cut side of the lemon. If you like, you can use some salt with a few drops of white vinegar mixed in and a plastic scrubber brush to clean the board, but the smell of the fresh lemon is much nicer compared to the somewhat astringent smell of the vinegar. Finally, wipe off the salt with a damp kitchen towel.

Why does this work? The salt acts as a natural abrasive, going down into the wood like a scouring pad while the lemon juice dissolves any grease or food residue that may remain on the board. Rather than reaching for the exhaust fan the next time you've had a kitchen mistake or after cooking pungent-smelling food, turn to a few lemon peels to remove odors in your kitchen. Just place a few lemon peels in a pot of water on your stove. Bring the water to a boil and cook the lemon peels, gently, over simmering water for a few minutes. The heat from the water will gently coax out the oil from the lemon peels, which in turn will perk up your kitchen with a delightful citrus scent.

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