How to Use Lemons to Clean Your Home

Looking for a great smelling, non-toxic cleaner for your home? Look no further than your fridge! Here are 10 quick tips on how to use lemons (instead of harsh chemicals) to clean your kitchen, bath, and everything in between.

Amanda Thomas
4-minute read
Episode #99

Tip #5: Boost Your Dishwashing Detergent

Not only can lemons clean your dishwasher, but simply adding a teaspoon of lemon juice to your dishwasher's detergent compartment will boost its cleaning power. Try adding the lemon juice in the small dispenser reserved for additional detergent. Fill the larger dispenser with detergent as usual and run the cycle as you would normally.

The same idea applies to hand washing greasy dishes. Add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to your sink of sudsy water and the lemon will help cut through the grease and grime on even the toughest pots and pans.

Tip #6: Create Your Own Furniture Polish

Why not make homemade furniture polish for just pennies? Not only is this a money-saving choice but it’s a healthier option, too. Avoiding the chemicals in manufactured furniture polish is always a good idea.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for homemade furniture polish:  Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 10 drops of lemon essential oil, ½ cup olive oil (or vegetable oil). Mix well. Add this mixture to a spray bottle. Use the fine mist setting on the bottle to spritz on furniture. Wipe clean with a soft cloth.   

Tip #7: Clean Glass Surfaces

Just like the furniture polish, glass cleaner can also be made from lemons. This safe, non-toxic cleaner is a good alternative in any home but especially one with kids and pets.

Here’s the easy formula to follow:  Mix 3 tablespoons of lemon juice with ½ cup of rubbing alcohol. Pour into a 24-ounce spray bottle. Add water to fill. Use this mixture to clean glass and mirrors and to disinfect kitchen counters and other grimy surfaces.

Tip #8: Clean Icky Toilets

Combining lemon juice with Borax creates a powerful scrub for a dirty toilet.  Sprinkle about ½ cup of Borax in the toilet bowl and then squeeze the juice from half a lemon right on top of it. Scrub as usual. The freshness of the lemon really deodorizes the bowl. You can even use that half a lemon to scrub around the rim and seat. Wipe clean with a paper towel or sponge. Flush when done cleaning completely and enjoy the fresh, clean scent! 

Tip #9: Clean Copper, Brass, and Aluminum

Simply cut a lemon in half and sprinkle the sliced side with a generous amount of sea salt. Use this as a scouring pad to shine up copper, brass, or aluminum surfaces.

Tip #10: Clean a Grater

Using a grater for cheese or other dense, sticky foods makes cleaning this kitchen utensil a nightmare. Lemons to the rescue! Use half a lemon, cut side on the grater, to scrub away any sticky residue. Wash with warm, soapy water as usual.

Bonus Lemon Cleaning Tips

If you do decide to use a lemon to help with your household chores, here are a few more tips to remember:

  • To get the most juice from a lemon, roll it on the counter under the palm of your hand. Then microwave it for 10 seconds. This releases the most juice.

  • When using a lemon half as your scrubbing tool, remove the seeds first. Use a small, sharp paring knife to pry out the seeds so they don't scratch your surfaces.

  • The lemon rind makes a great scrubber. If you use the lemon to scrub a sink or shower stall, use both sides. When scrubbing with the skin side, the oils are released to give an even stronger lemon smell to the area.

  • When you’re done cleaning, don’t just throw out the used lemons. Grind them up in your garbage disposal to freshen and deodorize it!

  • Buy lemons in bulk. Most grocery stores have bags of lemons at a much lower price than buying them individually. You can typically get 8-10 lemons for under $5.

I hope you give some of these cleaning techniques a try. Cleaning with lemons is an amazing way to tackle some of the biggest messes in your home while still staying true to green cleaning….and your house will smell fresh and clean!

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.

Lemons and other images courtesy of Shutterstock.