Thursday, April 30, 2009

5 Ways to Clean Your Home with Lemons

My husband is home sick, so he's been drinking mug after mug of hot lemon concoctions. (And FYI: no swine flu here, I swear.) Lemon with ginger, lemon with mint, lemon and more lemon. So, we've been going through more lemons than usual.

And that reminded me just how incredibly useful this common little citrus fruit really is. I wanted to share with you guys 5 ways to use lemons (and sometimes you can interchange oranges or limes) to clean around your home. Naturally, and with an oh-so-fresh aroma.


  1. Scour it. Dip a halved lemon into regular table salt and use in kitchen sinks, and along countertops as a natural scouring agent. Just wipe the residue away with a moistened sponge. Especially nice in the kitchen as it leaves that real lemony essence lingering behind.
  2. De-Stink It. Natural lemon juice helps de-stink (okay, freshen) your hands and any other surfaces that fish came into contact with. And leave a wedge to serve with the fish, too please!
  3. Bleach It. Lemons are nature's own little bleach machines. Add some fresh lemon juice to white laundry to replace bleach OR make a thick paste of lemon juice and baking soda to scrub stained dishes or plastic storage containers. That powerhouse team of baking soda and lemon juice will also leave those containers smelling sweet and fresh.
  4. Shine It. Add a little lemon juice to any of the natural glass cleaning recipes in my book to get lemony fresh cleaners, minus all the chemicals and additives in commercial varieties. You could even add some to club soda, one of my favorite shiny surface cleaners!
  5. Wash It. This is a cool tip I just found out about, and plan to try later on tonight. Pop a half lemon right into the dishwasher to get sparklier, more delicious smelling dishes. I might try just filling the regular detergent with baking soda, and then throwing in half a lemon and see what happens. However, I almost feel sorry for what the poor lemon will endure...

So, pop over to the supermarket and pick up a lemons. It's more than an aromatic addition to your iced tea - it's a cleaning mighty mouse!

9 comments:

Domestic Chicky said...

I use tip #1 to clean my stainless cookware too-removes baked in residues and spots!

Stu said...

Lemon juice and table salt as a scourer?

That's brilliant, makes sense too.

It's got to be better than using all those horrible alkaline cleaning agents.

Thanks for the tip HappySlob! :-)

Brent said...

Excellent tips! what a great idea especially #1.

Catherine Clark said...

Did you try to put the half lemon into your washer? I did! Had to rewash the whole deal and scrape out parts of battered lemon from my washer. Did smell LEMONY though! Second time (yes I'm a better 2 out of 3 Girl) I wrapped it in a coffee filter with a rubber band. That fell apart. 3rd try was ok, wrapped it in muslin with a tie string...Okay, but I am still experimenting with strained juice...MTK

Catherine Clark said...

Grapefruit is also fantastic. Cut one in half, use with salt. Man, it takes care of everything, mold, soap scum and is cheapest when they are in season.

Mel Frank said...

Has anyone tried using the lemon in the plastic container and putting a few drops in the jetdry container of the dishwasher?

Does anyone have a "green" dishwasher detergent they use (by green I mean homemade)?

Diane said...

Lemon juice and salt also works to remove tarnish from copper pieces.

Diane said...

You can also combine lemon juice and salt and use it as a scrub to remove tarnish from copper pieces.

Diane said...

Lemon juice and salt also works to remove tarnish from copper pieces.