20 Useful Lemon Tips

By Michael Bloch

Lemons – a fruit with a wonderful fragrance, great in food and beverages, but also very handy for multiple purposes around the home!

Lemons have been cultivated by humans for over a thousand years. The fruit is mentioned in tenth century Arabic literature, but was probably first grown in Assam, India.

Lemons are high in vitamin C, have an anti-bacterial effect and are thought to possess antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. The juice consists of about 5% acid, which also makes them useful for a variety of household purposes. Lemons and/or lemon juice are a popular addition in environmentally friendly cleaning applications.

Selecting and storing lemons

The best lemons are those that have smooth, oily skins and are heavy for their size. They should be bright yellow with no green tinges. Lemons will keep for up to a week at room temperature, two to three weeks refrigerated. Lemon zest (peel) can be frozen for months.

Juicing lemons

To get the most juice from a lemon, it should be allowed to reach room temperature. Using your palm to roll the lemon on a hard surface can also help improve juice yields. If you only need a little juice, some people pierce the end with a fork, squeeze the amount needed, cover the holes with tape and then store in the fridge.

There’s so much more to lemons than just using them in cooking and making lemonade! Here’s a selection of handy tips. Remember to test in inconspicuous areas first.

Ant deterrent

Pouring lemon juice around areas that ants frequent is said to repel them.

Air freshener

An equal amount of lemon juice and water added to an atomizer will create a wonderful synthetic chemical-free green air freshener for your home.

All purpose cleaner

Again, an equal amount of lemon juice and water added to a spray bottle is an effective kitchen and bathroom cleaner and can also be used on walls (spot test first).

A small amount of lemon juice can also be added to vinegar based cleaning solutions to help neutralize the smell of the vinegar.

Fridge

Half a lemon stored in your fridge will help control and eliminate unpleasant smells.

Chrome/copper/brass

Rub a lemon juice and baking soda paste onto chrome or copper, rinse and then wipe/buff with a soft cloth or paper towel.

Toilet

Mix 1/2 cup borax and a cup of lemon juice for a powerful toilet cleaner that will leave it smelling extra clean!

Lime scale

Use a half lemon to clean the lime scale off a sink or taps/faucets; rinse well.

Laundry

For bleaching purposes, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your washing machine’s rinse cycle and hang clothes outside to dry.

A teaspoon of lemon juice thrown into your wash can also help your clothes to smell fresher.

Dishes

A teaspoon of lemon juice added to your dishwashing detergent can help boost grease cutting power

Drains

Hot lemon juice and baking soda is a good drain cleaner that is safe to use in septic systems.

If you have a garbage disposal unit, throw in some lemon peel from time to time while it’s working in order to keep it smelling fresh.

Chopping boards

Rub lemon juice into your wooden chopping board, leave overnight and then rinse. Wood chopping boards appear to have anti-bacterial properties anyway, but the lemon will help kill off any remaining nasties and neutralize odors.

Glass and mirrors

4 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with half a gallon of water makes an effective window cleaner.

Degreaser

Straight lemon juice can be used as a general degreaser.

Furniture

2 parts olive oil or cooking oil mixed with 1 part lemon juice makes for an excellent furniture polish!

Hair

To lighten hair, dampen it with lemon juice and sit out in the sun for an hour. This does work, I tried it myself. Hey, it was the 80’s!

I’ve read that the juice of a lemon mixed with one cup warm water makes for a great hair conditioner. It should be allowed to stay in your hair for a few minutes then washed off. Exercise caution if you have a sensitive scalp.

Cuts, stings and itches

A small amount of lemon juice dripped onto minor wounds can help stop bleeding and disinfect the injury (it will sting a bit). Lemon juice applied to itches, poison ivy rashes and wasp stings is said to relieve discomfort.

Hands

The smell of fish can linger on your hands, even after scrubbing with soap – rubbing your hands with lemon juice will neutralize the smell and leave your hands smelling wonderful.

Isn’t it incredible how we have so many environmentally harsh cleaning chemicals in our homes when nature already offers most of what we need! Have some helpful hints for using lemons in and around the home? Please add them below!

About the Author

Michael Bloch is from Green Living Tips.com

Green Living Tips is an online resource powered by renewable energy offering a wide variety of earth friendly tips, green guides, advice and environment related news to help consumers and business reduce costs, consumption and environmental impact .


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  • Amanda

    Remove limescale from kettles:  
    Cut up the peel of a few lemons, put in kettle, cover with water and boil. Heavy build-up may need a few boilings. Leave overnight.
    Great for those kettles that don’t have a big enough opening to get your hand in with a scourer.
    Smells so much nicer than when you clean it with vinegar!

  • Robert

    HI
    One shot of lemon juice is a formidabel digestion regulator!

  • Therese

    A glass of wather with a little lemonjuice in the morning make the body PH go up – which is very good for health .

  • Philip

    I really don’t think a microwave has any place in our kitchens… primarily because it destroys the colour-vibration of foods…. a lemon could more easily be dropped into left-over warm water after the kettle is used, or from cooking water…. Imo, microwaves MUST die, if We are to live, healthily…

  • maria

    I’m quoting an e-mail i recently received: “Many professionals in restaurants and eateries are using or consuming the entire lemon and nothing is wasted.
    How can you use the whole lemon without waste?
            Simple..place the lemon in the freezer section of your
    refrigerator.   Once the lemon is frozen, get your grater, and shred the whole lemon (no need to peel it) and sprinkle it on top of your foods.
            Sprinkle it to your whisky, wine, vegetable salad, ice cream, soup, noodles, spaghetti sauce, rice, sushi,   fish dishes. All of the foods will unexpectedly have a wonderful taste, something that you may have never tasted before. Most likely, you only think of lemon juice
    and vitamin C.   Not anymore.   Now that you’ve learned this lemon secret, you can use lemon even in instant cup noodles.

    What’s the major advantage of using the whole lemon other than preventing waste and adding new taste to your dishes?
            Well, you see lemon peels contain as much as 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice itself.   And yes, that’s what you’ve been wasting.   But from now on, by following this simple procedure of freezing the whole lemon, then grating it on top of your dishes, you can consume all of those nutrients and get even healthier.
            It’s also good that lemon peels are health rejuvenators in eradicating toxic elements in the body.”

    So place your lemon in your freezer, and then grate it on your meal every day.   It is a key to make your foods tastier and you get to live healthier and longer! That’s the lemon secret!