Household Uses for Lemons

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Find out how to use lemons around the house.

Cleaning, Freshening, and More

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Lemons aren't just good for adding flavor to recipes: They're also very useful around the house! Here are some of the best uses for lemons and lemon juice.

Household Uses for Lemons

For Health

  • For a sore throat or bad breath, gargle with some lemon juice.
  • After a shampoo, rinse your hair with lemon juice to make it shine. Mix the strained juice of a lemon in an eight-ounce glass of warm water.
  • Suck on a lemon to settle an upset stomach.

In the Kitchen

  • Clean discolored utensils with a cloth dipped in lemon juice. Rinse with warm water.
  • Toss used lemons into your garbage disposal to help keep it clean and smelling fresh.
  • Use one part lemon juice and two parts salt to scour chinaware to its original luster.
  • Rub kitchen and bathroom faucets with lemon peel. Wash and dry with a soft cloth to shine and remove spots.
  • Fresh lemon juice in rinse water removes soap film from interiors of ovens and refrigerators.
  • Fish or onion odor on your hands can be removed by rubbing them with fresh lemons.
  • To get odors out of wooden rolling pins, bowls, or cutting boards, rub with a piece of lemon. Don’t rinse: The wood will absorb the lemon juice.
  • Clean copper pots by cutting a lemon in half and rubbing the cut side with salt until the salt sticks. Rub the lemon onto the metal, rinse with hot water, and polish dry.

Outdoors

  • Save lemon and orange rinds to deter squirrels and cats from digging in the garden. Store rinds in the freezer during the winter, and then bury them just under the surface of the garden periodically throughout the spring and summer.
  • A few drops of lemon juice in outdoor house-paint will keep insects away while you are painting and until the paint dries.
  • Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with two tablespoons of salt to make a rust-removing scrub.

Miscellaneous Uses

  • Remove scratches on furniture by mixing equal parts of lemon juice and salad oil and rubbing it on the scratches with a soft cloth.
  • To make furniture polish, mix one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil.
  • To clean the surface of white marble or ivory (such as piano keys), rub with a half a lemon, or make a lemon juice and salt paste. Wipe with a clean, wet cloth.
  • To renew hardened paintbrushes, dip into boiling lemon juice. Lower the heat and leave the brush for 15 minutes, then wash it in soapy water.
  • To remove dried paint from glass, apply hot lemon juice with a soft cloth. Leave until nearly dry, and then wipe off.
  • Create your own air freshener: Slice some lemons, cover with water, and let simmer in a pot for about an hour. (This will also clean your aluminum pots!)
  • Before you start to vacuum, put a few drops of lemon juice in the dust bag. It will make the house smell fresh.
  • Get grimy cotton socks white again by boiling them in water with a slice of lemon.

Want to grow your own lemons? Check out our Citrus Fruit Growing Guide for planting, growing, and harvesting advice.

What are some of your favorite lemon hints and tips? Post Below! 

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Comments

Ellen (not verified)

3 years 12 months ago

Sprinkle course salt on your wood cutting board and then rub with a cut lemon. It cleans the board and gets rid of grease and freshens it. Gently wipe clean with a damp cloth or towel to get rid of any remaining salt, and then seal the wood cutting board with your favorite oil to preserve.

Leslie (not verified)

4 years 8 months ago

I use used lemon halves to deter away ants. I read somewhere that they hate lemons and lemon juice. I just stick the lemon half on an ant mound and keep doing that until the ant mound is completely covered in lemons and eventually they go away. I focus on placing the lemons in the direction I don't want them to go so they'll move away from the house.

Netra (not verified)

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by Leslie (not verified)

Cinnamon works very well for ants. Wherever you have the any problem, sprinkle it and follow where they go and sprinkle it there too. I didn't see another ant after that.

Leslie (not verified)

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by Leslie (not verified)

In the mornings I drink a hot cup of organic green tea with fresh lemon juice.

Lemon juice can also be used for highlighting hair, after a day out in the sun. So I've read.

It can also be used as a fruit and veggie wash. Mix 1 tblsp of lemon juice and 2 tblsp of vinegar to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Just spray and rinse

Netra (not verified)

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by Leslie (not verified)

In the morning, I drink a glass of warm of water and and I add half a lemon and a teaspoon of honey. That gives me the best energy and helps with digestion as well