When life gives you lemons (or lemon juice!) make lemonade – or just use it around the house.
You’re always searching for ways to reduce the costs of cleaning chemicals, or just eliminate them all together, by using a grocery-store staple: lemon juice!
Below, I’ve gathered 27 uses for lemon to get you started:
Uses For Lemon In The Kitchen
In The Refrigerator
Just like baking soda, putting lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge and leaving it in the fridge overnight removes bad odors. Just make sure to toss the food that is leaving the nasty odor.
Cutting boards take a beating, like it or not. All of those little cuts on your cutting board trap food, which them spoils and leaves bad odors in your kitchen. To get rid of the smell and sanitize your cutting board, just rub the cut side of a lemon over them and then buff with a cloth.
Get Rid Of Ants
Rather than using ant traps or poison, try lemon. First, squirt lemon juice on your window sills and thresholds. Then, try your baseboards and any cracks or holes where the ants might be getting in. Then, if that doesn’t work scatter pieces of lemon peel around outdoor entrances. This will effectively keep not only ants, but roaches and fleas away. For extra help with fleas, mix th ejuice from 4 lemons with 1/2 gallon of water and wash your floors with it.
Your Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposal smelling funky? Freeze orange and/or lemon peels in ice cubes and then put them down your garbage disposal. This will both clean and deodorize the disposal.
De-Gunk Your Microwave
When your microwave gets gunky with food that is hard to remove, mix 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice with 1.5 cups of water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 7 minutes, allowing the steam to condense on the walls and ceiling of the microwave and then simply wipe the gunk off.
Keep Potatoes From Turning Brown
When boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes, put a teaspoon of lemon juice in the water so that they don’t turn brown – this especially helpful if you’re having company!
Keep Apples and Guacamole
I love to prep apple slices at the beginning of the week to grab as quick snacks, but I hate how they turn brown when they touch the air. If you soak apple slices in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 3 cups of water, it will keep them from turning brown all week! The same works from guacamole. Sprinkle lemon juice over the top of the guacamole and it will stay green (not brown) and the lemon juice is a natural complement to the flavors of guacamole.
Keep Rice From Sticking
If you put a teaspoon of lemon juice in the water when cooking rice it will keep it from sticking together in a gloopy mess. When the rice is done, let it cool for a few minutes, then fluff it with a fork.
Invigorate Soggy Lettuce
Lettuce looking a little soft? Soak the leaves in a bowl of cold water and the juice of half a lemon and refrigerate for an hour. The lettuce will be nice and crisp when you take it out, just make sure to dry the lettuce complete before using it.
Health & Beauty Uses For Lemon
Treat Age Spots
No need to buy expensive beauty creams when you have lemon juice. To lighten liver spots or freckles, apply fresh lemon juice directly on them. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse your skin with cold water. It’s not perfect, but over time will lighten them.
Lighten Your Hair
Want blonde highlights without the expensive price tag? Add 1/4 cup lemon juice to 3/4 cup water and rinse your hair with the mixture. Then, sit in the sun until your hair dries. For the maximum effect, do this once daily for an entire week.
Whiten Your Nails
Lemon juice can pamper your hand without the cost of a manicure or pedicure. Add the juice from 1/2 a lemon to 1 cup of warm water and soak your fingertips in it for 5 minutes. Then push back your cuticles and rub some lemon peel back and forth against the nail.
Cleanse Your Face
Rubbing lemon juice on your face will natural make your pores smaller and draw out blackheads over the course of the day. You can also wash your face with lemon juice for natural exfoliation and cleansing. Your skin should improve after several days of using lemon juice.
Swishing lemon juice straight from the bottle raises the PH level in your mouth, killing the types of bacteria that cause bad breath. Remember to rinse after a few minutes, since the acids in lemon juice can harm tooth enamel with longer-term exposure.
If itchy, flaky dandruff if bugging you, then the treatment can be found in the refrigerator. Just massage 2 tablespoons of lemon juice on your scalp and rinse with water. Then, stir 1 teaspoon of lemon juice into one cup of water and rinse your hair with it. Repeat daily until your dandruff disappears.
Remove Berry Stains
Fingers stained from picking fresh berries? Those stains won’t come off with soap or water, but rinsing your hands with lemon juice will take off those stains in under a minute.
Soften Dry Elbows and Knees
Itchy dry elbows not only look bad, they feel bad too. Mix baking soda and lemon juice to make an abrasive paste and rub it into your elbows and knees. The mixture will exfoliate and soften them.
Disinfect Cuts & Scrapes
To stop bleed and remove bacteria put a few drops of lemon juice in the cut, or put some on a cotton ball and hold it firmly in place over the wound for a full minute.
Soothe Poison Ivy
Skip the expensive poison ivy treatments and and calamine lotion and treat your rash with lemon juice instead. Just apply lemon juice straight to the rash and it will start soothing almost instantaneously.
Relieve Rough Hands and Sore Feet
To get the relief you need, mix equal parts lemon juice and water and rub on the affected areas. Massage with olive oil and then dab dry with a soft cloth.
Don’t opt for pharmacy treatments for warts, instead just use lemon juice. Use a cotton swab to apply lemon juice directly to the wart twice a day and repeat for up to a week until the acids in the lemon juice dissolve the wart completely.
Uses For Lemon In The Laundry Room
Bleach Delicate Fabrics
Avoid chemicals and pricey detergents and use lemon juice to bleach delicate fabrics and avoid much wear and tear. Lemon juice is milder than chlorine bleach but just as effective. Soak your delicates in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda for at least half an hour before washing.
Remove Underarm Stains
This homemade trick will almost eliminate your dry-cleaning bill and the chemicals that go with it. Scrub the stained areas with equal parts lemon juice and water and let sit for a few minutes. Your shirts will be as good as new!
Boost Laundry Detergent
Pour 1 cup of lemon juice in the wash during the wash cycle. The natural lightening agent will help eliminate stains, as well as rust and mineral stains and will also leave your clothes smelling fresh.
When winter and summer come around and its time to unpack, remove mildew from clothes by rubbing a paste of lemon juice and salt on the affected area and let it dry in the sun. Repeat until the mildew is gone.
Lemon Uses Around The House
Get Rid of Cat Box Odor
Just cut a couple of lemons up in slices, place them in a dish in the same room as the cat box, and soon that room will no longer have cat box scent.
Humidify a Room
During winter days, the air in your house can get quite dry. Simmer water, lemon and orange peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and apple skins periodically on the stove.
How do you use lemons around the house?
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I love this post, Gretchen! Lemons are the ultimate thrifty cleaning product. I love tossing them in simmer pots, too. It makes the whole house smell fresh. Thanks for the ideas!
I have to be honest, didn’t know many of these great uses. It’s a pity, since lemon is clearly more than just an ingredient for a lemonade :D
Jim Wang says
A lot of great ideas, we have a pretty old container of lemon juice in our fridge that I’ve been looking to use up!