Friday, January 11, 2013

Basic Household Uses for Lemons ~ Citrus Series

"Lemon juice is another natural cleaner and deoderizer. Fill a handy spray bottle with equal parts of water and lemon juice (you can use pre-squeezed lemon juice from a bottle); use it to freshen the air in your home. Rub a cut lemon over a wooden cutting board to sanitize it. Or rub the cut end of the lemon over a faucet to remove lime scale. You can also put lemon peel and baking soda in your vacuum cleaner bag to deodorize it." 
~ Donna Smallin, Excerpt from Cleaning Plain & Simple
  • Lemons boast antibacterial properties. Because of their acidity, they are able to cut grease. You can wash floors with them and sanitize countertops. Simple squeeze a lemon into a small bucket with hot water and use as a cleaning solution.
  • Sprinkle sea salt on your cutting board, and scrub it with half of a lemon for a thorough cleaning. Once dry, apply a coat of butcher block oil (do not use vegetable or olive oils since they may turn rancid) to further preserve your board. 
  • Dip a half of lemon in salt and use as a scourer in the kitchen and bathroom. Lemons help to cut through limescale and soap scum. This method can also help to remove rust from floors and brighten your chrome fixtures.
  • When lemon peels are infused in white vinegar for a month, it is an effective and aromatic cleaner. Simply use lemon peels in place of lavender from this recipe for an all purpose cleaner.
  • When mixed with baking soda, it can remove stains from plastic storage containers and clean tarnish from brass, copper, or stainless steel cookware.
  • If you run out of dish soap, add 1 tbsp. baking soda along with the juice of 1/2 lemon to your dishwater. I have done this before but it is really my emergency method because I need to see bubbles in my water. 
  • Make your own furniture polish by mixing the juice from one lemon with one tsp. of olive oil and one tsp. water. Apply a thin coat onto wood furniture and buff out with a clean rag (I love microfiber towels for these types of projects). This recipe was found here.
  • When implementing any of these ideas, keep in mind that you are also helping to kill fleas and other bugs which don't appreciate lemon juice.
  • Simmer your leftover lemon parts in a pot of water for a few hours to freshen up your home. If you have a wood-stove, place it on top of that for some frugal aromatherapy. This would also act as a humidifier to keep that dry, croup cough away. Lemon scent is said to give your brain a boost and we could all use that!
In the Laundry Room:
  • Lemons are a natural stain fighter. Add the juice of half a lemon to a bucket of cold/warm water and use as a pre-soak solution for "bleaching" whites.
  • You can also add 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice to the rinse cycle of your washing machine for a mild bleaching treatment. Note: I have not personally tried this idea yet.

"To Remove Stains from the Hands, rub them with a piece of lemon."
~ Fowler's Household Helps by A.L. Fowler, 1916

This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: Modest Mom Monday'sMake it Yourself Mondays,  Homestead Barn Hop, Natural Living Tuesday'sTeach Me TuesdayDomestically Divine TuesdayRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpFrugal Days, Sustainable WaysSimple Living Wednesdays and Deep Roots at Home. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. Some of these ideas were gleaned from Household Cleaning by Rachelle Strauss.


  1. Kid's have colds over here so we are eating our lemons right now and chasing the sour with a spoonful of raw honey!! Love lemons!! Working on a 'cold and cough' post right now. Thanks for these great tips. Wonder if I could grow a lemon tree in NY?

    1. We are on the same page :) I have something like that cooking too! Also, a lemon tree in NY… Why not? You could always get a dwarf tree and baby it (move to safe winter location or something)… They are so versatile, it is worth a try!

  2. Wow, this was fantastic and so helpful! Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips :)

    Have a lovely weekend!


  3. Great tips thanks for sharing. I am going to try to clean my pots.
    Have a wonderful evening,

  4. I love lemons, they have such amazing qualities, both in food preparation, baking, and cleaning! Some of these tips I was already familiar with, but others are new and will definitely put them to work!


  5. We have tons of lemons on our tree this year. We live in Arizona so they are ripe for picking now and need to be off the tree before the March blossoms come. I'm so excited to find all these different ways to use lemons--especially removing scale. I can't wait to try that one.
    Of course, we give away bags of lemons to neighbors, friends, and people at church. We also squeeze up a lot of juice for lemonade in summer. But hubby just made his favorite concoction the other night when it was cold--honey lemonade heated in the microwave. Oh! It was yummy.
    Blessings, Janis

    1. Hi Janis, lemons are a fun little fruit! What a blessing that your trees produces by the bags! Thanks for visiting here today :)