Household Uses for Lemons

Cleaning, Freshening, and More

January 23, 2018

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.


  • 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! 


Reader Comments

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Lemon Use

I would use a lemon for both to treat calluses on hands and for age spots, several times a week. Thank you.


Can lemon rinds be used to stop roaches!

Cleaning small portable ice makers

We have a small portable ice maker - works great to supplement the ice supply when having a BBQ, camping, etc. After a while of use, black spots and sediment can appear, then its time for a cleaning.
The only thing that can EASILY clean the inside of your ice maker is lemons. Hardly any muscle needed for rubbing off the black spots!

Can I use substitute limes for lemons with these hints?

Does anyone know if limes will work just like lemons with all these hints?


The Editors's picture

Yes, the important part is that the fruit contains citric acid, so limes will work as well.

Lemons and Salt

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.

Uses for lemons

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.

Uses for lemons

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

In the morning, I drink a

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

For Ants

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.

lemon juice and baking soda

I make a paste from lemon juice and bakinf soda, I srub down my white counter tops. It gets all the stain off! I have a recipe for a shower to shower spray.... it calls for lemon oil, vinager and water but I'm going to try using the juice instead ( much less expensive). Does any one know if I can put the lemon peels in the vinager and let it sit a few days and that will make the essencial oil?

Lemon Water

Lemon water is helping me with acid reflux. It Cleans my stomach and neutralizes acid.

Lemon Water

Thank-you for your fabulous post as many of us suffer with acid reflux. I am definitely going to try this.

Lemon Juice and acid reflux

How can lemom juice neutralize your stomach... it is acidic like stomach acid is acidic.....??

Lemons for stomach ails

Lemons aren't acidic they are alkaline. So the alkalinity cancels out and balances stomach acid.

no because the lower the pH,

no because the lower the pH, the greater the acidic, and pH of hydrochloric acid is 1.5 ( i think) which is more acidic. so when lemon is added to water and since water is neutral, it becomes less acidic, so when you drink a mixture of water and lemon, it neutralizes the stomach acid.

Hi, i was experimenting on my

Hi, i was experimenting on my lemon scraps, scraped the rind and boil everything in water for 10 mins, you will smell the freshness in the house. When it cools down, mash the lemons and strain them to its pulp, pour the juice into a stinky drain and miracle works. No more stinky odor coming out of it.

Hello there lemons are

Hello there lemons are wonderful deodorisers, as one gets older under arms skin darkens slightly, after showering a cover of lemon juice not only smells good but it bleaches out dark patches. I live in the english countryside and in spring I surround the outside of my house with lemon juice, I have not seen an ant in my home for years. Sue.

Love to read all the uses of

Love to read all the uses of lemons.

Very helpful list! But

Very helpful list!

But paint? Which paint? Oil-based? Latex? That's important.

This is great information.

This is great information. All of my coffee pots have turned completely brown.

I have never tried lemon but I think it will work.

Thank you

At least once a month, I run

At least once a month, I run a little bit of bleach water thru my coffee maker then a pot of regular water and it works wonderful. No funny after taste either

I guess when you have your

I guess when you have your own lemon trees it's different.
To me, using citrus pulp for anything other than yummy purposes is, oh, such a waste. But I do keep the peels, align them on paper until they dry to a crunch, then store them in cardboard box(es). The ones I do not use to make "tea", I use as dish-detergent-sponges: soak them in the pots while the pots need soaking, then use them as disposable dish sponges. Usually they do the job. If they can't, I add baking soda like Kelster5. Next time I'll try salt like hsmom2004. When they're used up as dish-rags, they go to clean the garbage disposal. Haven't bought a dish sponge or detergent in over three years. My hands look and smell fresh, not like the onion and garlic I clean and chop every day. My Kitchen smells like a citrus orchard. I don't know why I didn't figure this out sooner, and how come not everyone does this since stone age?? Good to meet you :)

I've heard it works good on

I've heard it works good on fleas too....I tried it once....used some lemon juice and water in a spray bottle and sprayed it on the area and no more fleas...

In place of real lemons or

In place of real lemons or juice, I use dry, unsweetened lemonade powder for just about EVERYTHING. I clean food odors from my hands, chopping boards, etc. I make lemon meringue pie with it-add to taste to cooked vanilla pudding (yours or store-bought. Make lemon jelly, lemon cookies-use your imagination! Put just a touch of it in your cake icing. Soak your fish in it before cooking. Sooo inexpensive, and convenient! If you haven't already done all this, you're gonna LOVE me!

wonderful in place of over

wonderful in place of over the counter deodorants!

It's true!! I haven't used

It's true!! I haven't used deodorant in over six months since switching to lemon juice. Wayyyy better, keeps me and my clothing fresh!!

they make great lemmonaide

they make great lemmonaide too!!but don't use them on a kite n an electrical storm no good.

We boil down cut lemons into

We boil down cut lemons into a tea, salt and drink as warm as you can for chest congestion. Works wonderful!

Sherijfowler: This sounds

Sherijfowler: This sounds like a great tip, but how is the taste? My old Granny from the hills of KY used to make all kinds of homemade remedies. She lived to be one hundred. My motto is: When life stinks, God gives us lemons.