As Lemons is my given last name, this fruit that can do so many wonderful things is near and dear to my heart. As most of us know, its zesty flavor can be amazing in cooking, I thought we could focus on what it can do as a cleaner and deodorizer for your home.

Lemons are a useful, economical addition to any home and readily available in Arcadia!

Instead of a history of our topic, here is an overview of several varieties of lemons.

• The Bonnie Brae  is oblong, smooth, thin-skinned and seedless, mostly grown in San Diego.

• The Eureka  grows year-round and is the common supermarket lemon, also known as  Four Seasons  because of its ability to produce fruit and flowers together throughout the year.

• The Sorrento  or  Femminello St. Teresa  is native to Italy and is traditionally used in making  Limoncello.

• The Meyer  is a cross between a lemon and possibly an orange or mandarin and is thin-skinned and slightly less acidic than Eureka lemons.

• Lastly, the Ponderosa is more cold-sensitive than true lemons and is likely a citron-lemon hybrid.

For cleaning and deodorizing with lemons, the possibilities are endless! Here are some favorites for you to try:  

• Cleaning shower doors – Working through hard water deposits is easy with lemon juice. Simply cut a lemon in half and rub it over your glass shower doors to remove buildup, or add the juice to a sponge and scrub the tough spots. Adding a touch of Borax can help with really stubborn stains. Rinse with warm water and your doors will shine and smell great.

• Clean copper, brass and aluminum – Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle the sliced side with a generous amount of sea salt. This can be used a as a scouring pad to shine up copper, brass and aluminum surfaces.

• As a bleach – By adding a cup of lemon juice to your laundry, you can replace chlorine bleach. It does a wonderful job of whitening and leaves a refreshing, lemony scent on your clothing.

• Clean your microwave – Cleaning your microwave with lemons will make that yucky chore so much easier. Squeeze some lemon juice into water, drop the rinds in and microwave. The boiling liquid will condense on the sides, loosening gunk and dissolving food splatters. All you need to do after that is use a towel to wipe everything clean!

• Deodorizing – There are several easy ways to deodorize with lemons: 

• Soak a sponge in lemon juice and place it inside the fridge to absorb odors. 

• Place one cup of juice in the bottom of an empty dishwasher and run the rinse cycle. 

• Toss a few lemon rinds in your garbage disposal and grind while running hot water and it will deodorize and add a great smell. 

• To freshen the air, simply place two lemons cut in half in a bowl (cut side up) and place it in any problem areas.

— Sara Lemons Vaules is the founder of Lemon and Light, which offers consulting, products and strategies for moving with ease into an organic, chemical-free lifestyle.