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12 Alternative Uses for Lemons

As the popular saying goes, “when life throws you lemons you make lemonade.” However, turns out you can make a lot more than lemonade with this tangy fruit! Yup, there’s quite an impressive list of alternative ways to use lemons. So, let’s explore the bountiful uses for lemons around the house and hopefully you’ll pick up some new ideas to try for yourself…

1- A Home Cleaner
In case you didn’t know, lemon juice works as a natural household cleaner that can replace many of those harsh chemical cleaning products (which also typically come in environmentally unfriendly plastic bottles). The acid in lemons is antibacterial and antiseptic, and acts as a natural bleach. You can pour lemon juice on kitchen or bathroom surfaces or squeeze the lemon onto them directly. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then wipe it with a wet cloth. For tough stains and dirty areas, mix in vinegar and some water with the lemon juice, then give it a good scrub. Alternatively mix lemon juice (squeeze one whole lemon) with ¼ cup of baking powder and apply it on your bathroom fitting and tiles. Use a sponge or an old toothbrush and scrub in circular motions to get rid of any stubborn mold and mildew.

2- Bleaching Agent & Stain Remover
To brighten your cotton and polyester whites, add lemon juice to the fabric before washing or add lemon juice directly to your wash water (clothes will come out brighter with a lovely lemon fresh scent). For stains add the juice directly to the spot before washing, and for bigger stains you can soak the clothing in a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and lemon juice for at least half an hour.

3- Underarm Stain Remover
You know those annoying yellowish underarm stains on your clothes from deodorant residue and sweat? Well, you can get rid of them without having to resort to the dry cleaners. You just need to squeeze the juice from a lemon and add water (equal parts) and leave it on the yellow stain for an hour (preferably in the sun), then wash as usual.

4- Cutting Board Refresher
I use my kitchen cutting board for slicing and preparing almost every ingredient I cook with. So you can imagine the (food residue) smell even after my board is washed! To get rid of any bad odor and to sanitize a cutting board you can take the cut side of half a lemon and rub it over the board, or simply wash it with the lemon juice.

5- Clean Household Metals
If you want to polish your faucets and other chrome fittings in your home, simply rub lemon rind over the chrome. Afterwards, rinse it thoroughly and dry it with a soft cloth. You can tackle tarnish on brass, copper or stainless steel by making a paste of lemon juice and salt (you can also substitute baking soda or cream tartar for the salt). Just apply on the affected area, let it sit for five minutes, then wash in warm water, rinse and polish dry. This mixture also works well on kitchen sinks and oven stove tops.

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6- Manage a Clogged Drain
Pour half a box of baking soda and 8-12 ounces of lemon juice down the drain. This chemical reaction will turn the ingredients into a foam. Simply pour boiling water onto the foam and the clog will gradually disappear.

7- Steam Clean your Microwave
Put ¾ cup of water and two tablespoons of lemon juice in your microwave. Heat it for three
minutes or until it boils. Then let it sit for ten minutes. Wipe down the insides with a cloth and your microwave is now all clean and fresh!

8- Keep your Kitchen and Balconies Ant Free
Don’t want to see creepy crawlies in your kitchen and your balcony space? Then give them the lemon treatment! Just squeeze lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze lemon juice on any holes or cracks where ants may be getting in. Finally, to seal the job you can also place small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance. You can also target any cockroaches or fleas with lemon. All you do is mix the juice of four lemons, along with the rinds, with two liters of water and wash your floors with it. Fleas and roaches hate the smell and will keep away!

9- Hair Highlights
Lemon provides a safe, natural and cheap way to add highlights to your hair. Just add ¼ cup lemon juice to ¾ cup water and spritz this mixture (using a spray bottle) over your entire head or just over the sections you want to lighten. To activate the lemon juice, sit in the sun for 1-2 hours or at least until your hair dries. Remember, while lemon juice is more gentle than hair dyes it is still acidic so there’s a risk of the juice drying out your hair and scalp. Be sure to rinse out the lemon juice thoroughly after lightening and deep condition your hair afterwards.

10- Food Preservative
If you want your freshly cut fruits and vegetables to not go brown, squeeze a lemon over them. It works nicely with sliced apples (they’ll stay their original yellow-white color) and with guacamole (if you sprinkle lemon juice over your freshly made avocado dip you will prevent it from turning brown). Lemon will also add a nice flavor to your food (it also provides a great sodium free substitute for salt), so squeeze away!

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11- Keep Rice from Sticking
When you are cooking rice does it clump up and get sticky? Just add a few squeezes of lemon juice! You’ll end up with clump-less rice that is easy to portion out and serve. If you are going to use the cooked rice to make fried rice or biryani later, this is an especially useful way to ensure separate grains.

12- Homemade Lemon Air Freshener
Why spray your house with store bought air fresheners that are laden with chemicals and artificial fragrances when you can make one yourself? Now here is a great and easy air freshener recipe courtesy of Limoneira Let us also share the recipe here:

1/8 cup baking soda, ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon, 2-3 drops lemon essential oil and 2 cups of hot water.
– Add the baking soda to a bowl, pour the hot water and stir to dissolve
– Next, add to it the lemon juice and lemon essential oil and stir.
– Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, pour it into an empty spray bottle.
– Shake the bottle well and spray away! As this mixture is water based without a preservative, you always run the risk of introducing bacteria if kept for a long time, so use the water-based products quickly for best results.

Another easier method is to slice a handful of lemons (or just use a bunch of leftover lemon rinds) into a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. As it simmers the lovely lemon scent will begin to infuse your home. You can also add rosemary or some cinnamon sticks and cloves to the pot for a lovely mixture of scents!

As you can see lemons are super versatile and can be used in many ways around the house. Best of all, they are all-natural and leave a lovely scent behind! If you have any cool ideas for lemons that we did not mention, do share it with us by leaving a comment. As always we love to hear from you!


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