Fresh lemon juice is great, but what a pain it is to try and get all the juice out without making a mess everywhere. Often you seem to end up with a tiny amount of juice for all that effort, making you wonder why there isn’t an easier way.

There is – and it’s a handy trick that makes use of a much-underused kitchen appliance: the microwave.

Cookery expert Monaz Dumasia says that if you microwave the fruit, it will loosen it and make it easier to squeeze. Microwave the whole lemon before cutting or squeezing for around 20 seconds on high power.

An added bonus is that the fruit should release more juice after being zapped in the microwave.

Other Handy Uses for Lemons

Lemons have been used to clean and deodorize things for many years, and with good reason. If you want to use the natural power of lemons in your household as an alternative to chemical cleaners, read on.

  • You can clean your dirty chopping boards by slicing a lemon in half, adding some salt and rubbing vigorously over the surface until it’s coated with the juice. Then simply rinse clean.
  • Put some lemon slices and juice into a cup of water, then microwave for five minutes. The lemon-scented steam will help to loosen dried-on food splashes from the inside top and sides of the microwave, which you can then wipe out. It will also leave your appliance smelling fresh.
  • If you have dull copper cookware, you can bring back the shine again using lemon and salt. Add the salt to half a lemon and scrub the surface of the cookware, then rinse off. For more stubborn stains, apply a paste made of salt and lemon juice and leave to sit for half an hour or so.
  • Give smelly plastic food containers a new lease of life with a lemon. Rub a cut lemon over the inside of the plastic container, or rinse it with lemon juice to remove stains and smells.
  • Cut through the hard water deposits on your shower door with lemon juice. Cut a lemon in half and rub it over the glass shower door to remove buildup. You can also squeeze lemon juice on a sponge to use on really tough spots. Rinse off with warm water.
  • Use the other half of the lemon to rub over your chrome taps and spouts on your sink or bath. Rub the cut lemon directly onto them until spots and stains disappear, then rinse off.