The Many Uses of Lemons
Since when did a lemon become a lemon under the Lemon Law? Lemons are far from being a defective product. Quip aside, the following list was compiled and posted by Katie Waldeck of Care2 on 22 uses of lemons on February 15, 2014. Plus, there are two more for leather shoes and laundering (towards the bottom of the page).
Lemons are one of the most versatile fruits out there. And no, we’re not just talking about in cooking! Lemon juice is an acid, a natural disinfectant, and a nutritional powerhouse. Its scent is perfect for humans, but a deterrent for pests. It helps preserve food and can easily replace harsh chemical-based ingredients. Is there anything this unassuming fruit can’t do?!
Read on for incredible ways to use lemons. Have a favorite use of your own? Let us know in the comments!
Please note: It is not necessary to use organic lemons when used for other purposes than food consumption, especially when using the rind.
Home & Cleaning
1. Clean Cutting Boards, Rolling Pins, Salad Bowls, and More. Cutting boards and other wooden kitchen products are germ, and funky smell, hotbeds. Lemons to the rescue! The stuff works very well on both odors and bacteria; after you’ve washed your cutting board, rub 1/2 of a lemon over the wood and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse the juice off and dry.
2. Get Rid of Grease. Nip grease in the bud — on counters, dishes, ranges, whatever — by rubbing 1/2 of a lemon with coarse salt sprinkled on it over the affected area. Wipe clean with a towel. Make sure the surface or dish you’re cleaning responds well to acid before doing this trick.
3. Clean Plastic Containers. Reusing plastic food containers is a great way to reduce waste, but smells can linger forever. Overcome that stink by soaking the container in a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water.
4. Overcome Odors. Keep a couple lemon peels in your fridge (it works better than baking soda!) and the bottom of your trash can to avoid unpleasant smells.
5. Easily Clean Graters. Cheese graters are a pain in the neck to clean. Ease that pain with the help of 1/2 of a cut lemon; rub the lemon over the grater and wash as usual.
6. Polish Chrome and Stainless Steel. Forget that sponge — lemon rinds are excellent mild abrasives and work wonders of chrome and stainless steel. Scrub the metal, rinse, and towel dry.
Beauty & Fashion
7. DIY Deodorant. Commercial deodorants are full of scary, harsh chemicals. But what’s the alternative — becoming a social pariah?! Luckily, that’s where lemon juice comes in. Dabbing a little juice in your armpits works just as well, if not better, than the store-bought stuff.
8. Lighten Nails. As we age, our nails start to yellow. Reverse that by soaking your nails in a cup of water and the juice of 1 lemon. Soak for a few minutes and rinse.
9. Remove Armpit Stains from Clothes. Scrub a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water onto the stain, then let the shirt air dry.
10. Zap Mildew. Mildew-y clothes aren’t ruined! Form a paste out of lemon juice and salt, apply to the mildew, and let air dry.
11. Sanitize Jewelry. Safety first! You can sanitize metal jewelry in a mixture of equal parts lemon and water. Better skip your fanciest gems and metals here, though.
12. Replace Toxic Bleach. Skip the bleach in your laundry room by adding 1/2 cup lemon juice to the wash instead.
Food & Drink
13. Lower Salt Intake. Your taste buds get a similar sensation from sour flavors as they do salty flavors, which makes lemon juice one of the best salt substitutes out there. Skip the shaker and season your meals with citrus.
14. Prevent Sticky Rice. To get perfect fluffy, stick-free rice, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to the pot while the rice is simmering.
15. Preserve Food. A little lemon juice will help keep both guacamole and pesto green, and prevent apples, potatoes, pears and cauliflower from browning.
16. Refresh Sad Lettuce. Placing soggy, wilted lettuce in a bowl of ice water and the juice of one half lemon will bring sad lettuce back from the compost bin.
17. Wash Produce. Nearly all fruits and veggies — even organic — will benefit from a good washing. Go the DIY route. From Daphne Oz on a homemade fruit/vegetable wash:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 T. baking soda
- juice of 1/2 lemon
Pets, Garden & More
18. Keep Out Kitty. What smells great to humans is repulsive to cats. Adding some lemon juice to a spray bottle, and misting an off-limits area — like the kitchen countertops, for instance, or the Christmas tree — will help keep feisty felines away.
19. Breathe New Life Into a Humidifier. If your humidifier is starting to smell a little strange, just add a few teaspoons (3-4) to the water.
20. Kill Weeds Naturally. Lemon juice is an ultra-effective weed killer. Soak the unwanted plants with the stuff to kill them without all of the harsh chemicals.
21. Revive Hardened Paintbrushes. Give a new life to those hardened bristles. Bring lemon juice to a boil on the stove, drop in the brushes, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Wash and rinse in soap water and let dry.
22. Repel Ants and Other Pests. Ants, roaches, and moths hate the smell of citrus. Place lemon juice in a spray bottle, and regularly mist door thresholds, window sills, and anywhere else bugs might creep in.
Other uses (from How Stuff Works)
While leather makes a great shoe, the big downside is the care it requires. To keep leather shoes in good shape, they need regular cleaning and shining. A soft cloth dampened with lemon juice is great for cleaning your favorite shoes, while leaving them nice and shiny as well.
These days, most store-bought cleaning products are laden with unpronounceable chemicals that you really don’t want to put in your laundry. Sometimes with tough stains, you really don’t have the option of using natural stain removers, but wouldn’t you generally prefer to use the most natural products in your household and on your laundry?
Lemons are a powerful citrus fruit with enzymes in their acids that are strong enough to whiten everything from your teeth to your new cotton blouse. Read on for five simple solutions for using the cleaning power of lemons in your laundry and clothing care.
As a bleach alternative, if you feel like your whites aren’t clean unless they come out smelling faintly of swimming pool, then you’ll be happy to know that a little old lemon is a great bleach alternative. Not to mention, it smells a lot better.
The citric acid in lemons helps to break down stains and get those dingy whites back to bright. And unlike bleach, lemon juice is safe for colors, too. Just add one cup of lemon juice to your load of wash along with your usual detergent.
To eliminate rust stains, here’s how. You’re wearing your favorite white shirt and you swipe up against something rusty. Now you’re wearing that, too. Bleach is great at removing chocolate, ketchup and coffee stains, but it only makes rust stains more permanent. What’s a girl to do? Lemon juice to the rescue!
Just boil some water in a tea kettle or on the stove and wet the rust stain with lemon juice. Hold the stained area directly over the steam for a few minutes, taking care not to get a steam burn. Then just wash the garment as you normally would.
To remove juice stains:. Most of your kid’s clothes you can just pop in the washer, but not that sweet little sailor dress with the crisp white apron from Aunt Jenny. You know, the one she always wants to see your little darling in at get-togethers. With the knowledge that the white apron will stay clean for all of 15 minutes before said darling drops her sippy cup and the juice splatters all over it, you’ll be glad to know that a mixture of 1/3 cup lemon juice with 2/3 cup water will get that juice stain right out. Simply soak the stain in this solution and then wash.
To remove mold and mildew stain: Mold and mildew are happy to find a home in organic materials like fabric, paper and leather. If you live in a humid environment or a home without proper airflow, you’re bound to come across some sooner or later. They can damage fabrics by causing discoloration or even eating through the material.
Fortunately, a paste of lemon and salt is a great spot treatment for tough mildew stains. Simply apply the paste to the stain, set the item in the sun to dry and then wash as you normally would — preferably in hot water to kill any remaining mold spores.
Other uses (from Sun-Gazing)
High Blood Pressure
Lemon contains potassium which controls high blood pressure and reduces the effect of nausea and dizziness.
Lemon water can also prep up your mood and relieve you from depression and stress. Long distance walkers and world travelers as well as explorers look upon the lemon as a Godsend. When fatigue begins, a lemon is sucked through a hole in the top. Quick acting medicine it is, giving almost unbelievable refreshments.
Lemon water can reduce phlegm; and can also help you breathe properly and aids a person suffering with asthma.
You don’t need insecticides or ant traps to ant-proof your kitchen. Just give it the lemon treatment. First squirt some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks where the ants are getting in. Finally, scatter small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance. The ants will get the message that they aren’t welcome. Lemons are also effective against roaches and fleas: Simply mix the juice of 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water and wash your floors with it; then watch the fleas and roaches flee. They hate the smell.
Lemon water can fight throat infections thanks to its antibacterial property. If salt water does not work for you, try lime and water for gargling.
We consume a lot of junk food or food with a lot of preservatives and artificial flavours. This builds up a lot of toxins in the blood and body but daily consumption of lemon water helps to purify the blood.
Lemon juice also stops bleeding gums and reduces toothaches.
Pamper your hands without a manicurist. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to 1 cup warm water and soak your fingertips in the mixture for 5 minutes. After pushing back the cuticles, rub some lemon peel back and forth against the nail.
Diluted lemon juice makes a safe and sane method of vaginal hygiene. Though it is a powerful antiseptic it is nevertheless free from irritating drugs in douches and suppositories.
Skip the vaccine for this disease. Lemon Juice Treatment still proves as one of the most powerful antiseptics and the strong digestive qualities of the fruit are admired around the world. With the juice every hour or two, and at the same time, 1/2 to 1 tsp. should be swallowed. This cuts loose the false membrane in the throat and permits it to come out.
Chills and fevers may be due to a variety of causes; never the less the lemon is always a helpful remedy. Spanish physicians regard it as an infallible friend.
A charming French custom to keep closets free from moths is to take ripe lemons and stick them with cloves all over the skin. The heavily studded lemons slowly dry with their cloves, leaving a marvelous odor throughout the closets and rooms.
In addition to a general detoxifying diet, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice before each meal, and before retiring can reduce asthma symptoms.