Lemons are by far one of the most useful fruits to have on hand around the home, which is why a lemon tree was the first plant I bought for my balcony! Unfortunately it’s not mature enough yet to bear fruit, but I’m kept in a pretty good lemon supply in the meantime from my parents and a colleague at work. That’s the other fantastic thing about lemons, you’re almost guaranteed to know someone who has excess at home, or be able to find a lemon tree that is growing over public land (hanging over the back of a laneway is common around my area!), so you shouldn’t need to resort to buying them too often. Today, I wanted to share my top 10 uses for lemons around the home – they sure are versatile!
1. Cleaning Product
Lemon is a great addition to your green cleaning repertoire, you can add it to your homemade sprays and scrubs to add a disinfectant element, as well as a fresh scent to cut through the smell of vinegar. If you need more green cleaning tips don’t forget to check out my earlier posts on homemade cleaners for the bathroom & laundry and the kitchen & floors.
2. Shine Stainless Steel
If you find your stainless steel looking dull or covered in fingerprints then lemon is your answer. Just rub a cut lemon across the surface of your dishwasher, sink, taps, exterior of your oven and any other stainless steel you might have in your kitchen. If you need more of a scrub you can mix some baking soda into the cut lemon for a gentle, but effective, cleaner.
3. Stain Removal
You can use lemon juice in a number of ways in your laundry to help brighten your whites and remove stains from your clothes. Adding a cup of lemon juice to your wash cycle will act as a natural bleach to lighten your whites, while also removing stains and leave your clothes smelling lovely and fresh. If you find yourself with not-so lovely stains in the underarms of your clothes then you can give them a scrub with equal parts lemon juice & water before washing which will help remove the stains without the need for harsh chemicals.
4. Natural Pest Control
Not many bugs are fans of lemons so you can use lemon juice to keep unwanted critters out in a number of ways. Simply spray lemon juice around plants or along windowsills, door frames and in hard-to-reach places like between appliances to keep ants, moths, cockroaches and other bugs away. If you find yourself having a problem with cockroaches or fleas you can also mix lemon juice with water and use it to clean your floors, they hate the smell so they will head elsewhere! You can also dry out lemon peels and pop them in a cloth bag in your closet to keep moths at bay without resorting to mothballs (which tend to smell pretty bad I think!).
In case raccoons are creating nuisance at your property, you could check out the raccoon removal company Germantown TN
If you find it hard to remove the scent of things like garlic from your hands after cooking then lemon could be the answer! Just wash your hands with a wedge of lemon and the scent will disappear. Lemon peel is also useful to keep near your bin, in the bathroom or near a cat’s litter box to help freshen the air and remove unwanted scents.
6. Stop Oxidisation
Lemons are a natural way to stop your food oxidisation, just squeeze it over the top of foods like mashed avocado (or guacamole) and fruit salads to stop them going brown before you get to eat them. You can also add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the water while you’re boiling vegetables like cauliflower or potatoes to make sure they stay nice and white as well.
7. Freshen the Fridge
If you find yourself with a funny smell in the fridge then lemons could be your saviour (or coffee grounds if you prefer!). Once you’ve removed the offending food just soak a sponge or some cotton buds in lemon juice and leave it sitting in your fridge for a few hours. It will absorb the not-so-lovely smells and leave your fridge smelling fresh and clean.
8. Clean Chopping Boards
Chopping boards get used for preparing a myriad of foods so it should come as no surprise that they often end up smelling not so wonderful and may need a sanitisation every now and again. Luckily it’s as easy as rubbing a cut lemon or some undiluted lemon juice over your chopping boards to absorb the scents as well as disinfecting them. It’s always best to keep separate boards for meat, fish and vegetables, but lemon juice can at least help stop any cross contamination.
9. Clean Your Microwave
Microwaves can be one of those kitchen items that don’t get cleaned anywhere near as often as they should (out of sight, out of mind I would imagine!) so when it does come time to clean them it’s often a very un-fun job. Thankfully lemons can make this much simpler! All you need to do is combine the juice of half a lemon with around 1 1/2 cups of water in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 5-10 minutes. The steam will soften any baked on food and then it’s just a matter of wiping it all away with a cloth. Easy as that!
10. Clean Greasy Dishes
Lemon juice is perfect for cutting through grease and grime on your dishes, just squeeze some onto hard to clean food remains including baked on foods and leave it to sit for a few minutes. Then, make a paste out of lemon juice and baking soda and give it a scrub, you’ll find it all comes away fairly easily and you won’t be left with any greasy residue. It also won’t scratch your pots and pans like scourers can!