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Lemon Aid: Nature's All-Purpose Stain Remover
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omato sauce, wine, olive oil, chocolate, coffee -- they wreak havoc on our homes and clothes. A heavy-duty stain remover may seem like the only solution to a stained shirt or countertop, but most aren't great for the environment, and nature has a great alternative: lemons.

The acid in lemons makes the citrus a great cleaning agent, and it has a bleaching effect, particularly when exposed to sunlight. Here are 10 great ways to use lemons for all-natural stain removal:

1. Dip half a lemon in salt and scrub tarnished copper pots to remove oxidation stains.

2. Remove rust or mildew stains from textiles by rubbing with a paste of lemon juice and salt. Work quickly and wash clothing or other fabric item immediately.

3. Summer means berry stains on hands, but a little lemon will remove those stains in a snap.

4. Spill some olive oil on your favorite shirt? Remove oil stains by gently rubbing a few drops of lemon into the stain. Wash clothing immediately.

5. Remove tough coffee or wine stains from white fabrics by spraying with lemon and hanging in sunlight to bleach the stain away.

6. Banish stains on a cutting board by cutting a lemon in half, dipping it in table salt, and rubbing it over the stained area.

7. At one time or another, we've all had to deal with an impossible ink stain, but lemons can save the day. Start by blotting as much of the ink stain as possible, then saturate the stain with lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and rub the salt into the stain with your fingers or an old toothbrush. Wash the garment right away.

8. Remove stains on countertops with lemons. Start by squeezing some lemon juice on the stain and scrubbing with a cloth. If that doesn't work, sprinkle with table salt and scrub gently. You can use lemons on marble countertops, but only if absolutely necessary because the acids can damage the marble. 9. Clean stains on stainless steel appliances by applying a paste of lemon and salt or lemon and baking soda. Allow the paste to sit for five minutes before washing and rinsing the stained area. 10. Pit stains are the pits, but you can banish them by scrubbing with a solution of equal parts lemon juice and water. Lemons are great stain removers, but they have a bleaching action. When it comes to clothing, work quickly and then rinse and wash clothing immediately.

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