When Life Gives You Lemons

I assume that you all know the phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. It is about making the best of your situation and this applies as much to the everyday “lemons” that come with life like…stains. I know that is the first of life’s “lemons” that came to your mind, right?

I first learned that lemons have bleaching properties when I was a young teenager and so desperately wanted to dye my hair, but was not allowed to yet. I honestly cannot remember if I got any highlights out of my experimentation or if I even experimented for that matter, but I remember thinking about it. While I no longer look to lemons to change my hair color, I love to use them for multiple cleaning applications around the house. I use left over lemon to clean the microwave (microwave in water, then wipe clean), to freshen up the garbage disposable and occasionally in my white laundry loads.

I have been using the sun for most of my stain fighting over the past few years, since it is so effective and free, and gave little thought to doing any more. Sunning stains can take time, especially in cloudy winter weather, but if time is not of the essence it is not a big deal. But what if you have a smaller cloth diaper stash and cannot wait days between diapers or want to wear a white summer dress to a party later in the day?

Well the other week I was getting out some diapers that I was going to pass on to a friend and one of the natural fiber inserts has some lovely newborn stool staining on it. Not quite giftable, even if it was just a hand-me-down sort of gift. Since I was going to see her the next day and it was after lunch, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get the stain out quick enough. A lemon in my fridge caught my eye and the rest is history.

Lemon juice with a dose of sunshine is a beautiful thing, let me tell you. You can see there are some very faint remnants of the dried lemon juice (pictured, above), but these were pretty much completely gone after I tossed it in the wash. The lemon juice accelerated up the stain busting process in the sun considerably and it leaves a nice fresh scent, which is a cherry on top. Or a lemon on top. I think a phrase change is in order.

Note: results may vary depending on the material the lemon juice is placed on. As with all laundry products, test this in a small inconspicuous place first to ensure it does not affect the fabric.

{If you enjoyed reading When Life Gives You Lemons I would be tickled pink if you left a comment. To read more about my green(er) parenting aspirations, advice and adventures be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates via email.}


By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

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