Life giving you lemons? You could either make yourself some lemonade or use them to clean your home, as a beauty treatment, or to whiten your laundry.
We all know that a little lemon juice in tea helps to soothe a sore throat, and if you enjoy eating fish you might like some lemon juice squeezed over the top. But did you also know that one of the best and natural ways to clean items all around your home is by using – you guessed it – LEMONS!
The highly acidic and aromatic juice of lemons cleans and polishes, deodorizes and deflakes.
Household Uses for Lemon Juice You Never Knew You Needed
Tip: Massage the lemon before you cut it by rolling it around on the counter top while applying gentle pressure. This helps to loosen things up a bit and get those juices flowing.
Clean cutting boards. You cut vegetables, tomatoes, onions and more on your cutting board, no wonder it smells funky. To help sanitize and eliminate the smell, rub a cut lemon all over the cutting board. Let it sit overnight, the acidic environment prohibits bacteria growth – they like an alkaline environment. Rinse in the morning and you’re done!
Preserve meat and vegetables. The acid in lemons juice helps to deter bacteria growth. Lemon juice helps to keep potatoes, pears and cauliflower from browning, and it helps to keep guacamole green instead of turning brown. Got some limp lettuce? Throw it in a bowl of cold water and lemon juice for about an hour or so. It will crisp right back up. Rinse, dry, eat!
Keep rice from sticking. Is your rice too sticky? Add the juice of half a lemon (about a teaspoon) to your water as it boils. This helps to prevent the rice from sticking together and adds just a little zing as well.
Keep your disposal fresh. Is your garbage disposal getting nasty? Starting to smell? Toss lemon and/or orange peels down the drain. This is also a great way to freshen up the kitchen with a quickness if you have unexpected guests stopping by.
Quick! Give me a lemon!
Throw another few peels down the drain once a month or so to keep it smelling fresh.
Clean your cooktop. Is your cooktop greasy or dirty? Take half a lemon and dip it into salt, then rub over the grease on the cooktop or on stainless steel pots and pans. This also works on copper pots, and if there is a super buildup of grease, use sea salt instead of table salt. It is coarser and therefore more abrasive.
Make pans sparkle. Use a cut lemon and rub all over your pots and pans. They’ll start to sparkle again after buffing with a soft cloth.
Keep apple slices white. Ever make a fruit salad that turns a little brown? By squeezing some lemon juice on your apple slices, you’ll keep the apples snowy white.
Rid yourself of dandruff. My oldest has horrible flakes and itchy scalp. One thing that helps? Massaging a little lemon juice into his scalp and rinsing with water. Then, we mix about 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with about one cup of water and use as a daily rinse until dandruff disappears. Cheaper than fancy shampoo for sure!
De-stink your fridge. Have a science experiment growing in the fridge? Does it stink? Remove the offending object and place a cotton ball doused in lemon juice in the fridge for several hours. I also keep a box of Arm & Hammer in the fridge as well, but this is just as effective if you’ve got a super stinky problem.
Clean metal jewelry. The acidity of lemon juice helps to remove tarnish from metal and silver. You’ll want to dilute the lemon juice, just shy of a tablespoon to each cup of water. Do not use this mixture on gold or pearls, but metal and silver should be just fine and come out sparkly.
Make your kitchen sink shine. Make a paste of lemon juice and salt your metal sink. Apply the pasta and gently scrub, then rinse.
Polish chrome faucets. Rub a lemon rind over tarnished chrome and watch that baby shine. Rinse well and dry. This also helps to get rid of mineral deposits.
Combat blackheads. Dabbing lemon juice on blackheads helps to draw them out. Might take a few days, and you’ll want moisturize at night, but this is a much better method than squeezing your face!
Clean your microwave. Don’t spend forever cleaning your microwave. Instead, mix lemon juice and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the mixture for 5 – 10 minutes and allo the steam to coat the walls and the ceiling of your microwave. Then just wipe it down. Easy peasy!
Whiten your nails. Whenever I wear a darker nail polish, it doesn’t matter if I have a bottom coat or not, my nails turn a little yellow or stained. Soak your fingertips for about 5 minutes in a mixture of lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon) and warm water.
Time to do your nails?
Disinfect cuts and scrapes. Don’t have any peroxide? Lemon juice does just about the same thing! Pour a few drops directly on the cut or use a cotton ball to dab.
De-stinkify the cat litter box. Place two halves of a cut lemon on a dish near the cat littler box. You could do this in your own bathroom as well to give it a lemony fresh scent.
Brighten your whites without bleach. I was always leery of bleaching my baby’s clothes, but did you know that lemon juice will do the same? Just add about a 1/4 cup to the washing machine to brighten your whites, and to magnify the power, let the laundry dry in the sun.
Have delicates that need whitening? Soak them in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda for half and hour before washing.
Cure a hangover. Drink a little too much last night? Part of the problem is that you’re dehydrated. If you don’t remember to drink a big ol glass of water before crashing in your bed, drink lemon-laden tea in the morning. This helps to re-hydrate and helps to replenish the vitamin C you squandered the night before.
Boost your metabolism. I admit that I do not like lemon in my water or in my tea, but some say that lemons help to boost your metabolism. Adding it to your favorite beverage never hurts! It has also been said that lemons help to keep blood pressure low.
Deter animals from marking. Want to keep the cats away from a certain couch or rug? Use a mixture of lemon and lavender in a spray bottle and spritz on the areas you’d like to remain cat-free. Smells great and you get to keep your nice couch.
I needed this when I was house training our dogs…
Clean fruit and veggies. Use lemon juice in a spray bottle to clean your fruits and vegetables before eating. Natural and if you don’t want the lemony flavor, rinse when finished.
Use as deodorant. Ever get to work or have a lunch meeting and you realize you forgot to put on deodorant? Ugh! Don’t be that guy. Take a freshly cut lemon (from your water or tea?) to the bathroom and rub it in your pits. Helps to deodorize and if you like the effect you could ditch your deodorant altogether.
Clean your toilets. Super caked on toilet stains? The acid in lemon juice when combined with the cleansing properties of household Borax will help to remove those stains. Make a paste of the two ingredients and apply with a scrubber brush or a sponge. Let it sit for a while (an hour or two while you clean other areas of the home) and then scrub it right off.
Bugs be gone! Have an ant problem? Try lemons! Add lemon juice to a spray bottle and squirt all around the doors and window openings/window sills. Ants won’t want to cross the threshold.
Bonus: fleas hate the smell of lemons – or so they say. 😉 Take about four whole lemons (with rinds, then sliced and squeezed) along with about 1/2 gallon water. Mop your floors with the solution and you’ll help to keep the fleas away. Have carpet? Sprinkle salt on the carpet to help kill fleas, then vacuum up.
The great part is that lemons are inexpensive, and for many of these household remedies you can use just the juice if you don’t have actual lemons on hand. With these tips though, you’ll want to keep lemons on hand at all times.
Do you know of other ways to use lemons?
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