When Life Gives You Lemons: The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning with Lemons

Published on Sep 10, 2017 | Updated - Nov 21, 2023

10 ways you can use lemon for cleaning

We love cooking with lemons and using them as a condiment, but lemons can do much more than you think.  

Lemons actually make amazing cleaners and disinfectants. Most importantly, they're safe, natural, and non-toxic. 

Next time you're at the supermarket, load up on lemons. Here are 10 amazing uses for lemons around the home:  


10 Fresh Ways You Can Use Lemons at Home 


stovetop dirty

1. Degreasing benches and stovetops

The acid in lemons has the uncanny ability to cut the grease from stoves and benchtops. Coupled with baking soda, it can cut down your cleaning time. Sprinkle a handful of baking soda (Bi-Carb soda) on your stove or benchtop and rub the surface with a slice of lemon. Then, wipe the surface with a clean, damp cloth to remove the residue.  



microwave cleaning

2. Microwave cleaning 

Cut one lemon into thin slices and put it in a bowl of water. Place it inside the microwave, set it on high for one minute and nuke the smell. This will effectively loosen the built-up gunk in the microwave so you can easily wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth.  


pest repellent lemon

3. Safe, eco-friendly pest repellent

The citric acid in lemons is an effective insect repellant. If you're bothered by ants in the kitchen, squeeze a bit of lemon juice in places where ants can enter. It works just as well on cockroaches and fleas. Just give your floor a water and lemon wash and say bye-bye to pests.  



salt and orange

4. Refresh chopping boards 

Sprinkle coarse salt on your cutting board and rub with a lemon half, squeezing slightly to release the lemon juice as you go. This will not only remove the stink but sanitise it, too! 


fridge refresh

5. Freshen the fridge

By now, you should be well aware of how lemon can remove foul odours. Of all the appliances in our kitchen, the fridge is notorious for being smelly. Dab some lemon juice on a cotton ball or a sponge, leave it in the fridge for several hours and be greeted by a fresh, lemony scent. 



diswashing detergent as lemon

6. Organic dishwashing detergent

You can use lemon for washing dishes in place of store-bought detergent. Pre-mix this dishwashing detergent for a sparkling, fresh cleaning result.  

Cut lemons into 1/2 chunks, making sure to remove the seeds. Heat the lemon chucks with 1 ½ cup of water slowly until reduced. Strain the lemon mix to remove the bits of pulp, and stir in 1/2 cup of white vinegar and a cup of salt until well combined. Bring to a slow boil until well combined. Fill the dishwasher detergent dispenser, and voila!  



metal polish using lemon

7. Metal polish

Cut a lemon into pieces and dip it in a hot vinegar and salt mixture. Rub the metal with a lemon piece, rinse it thoroughly, and polish it dry. Everything from brass to silver will shine like new. 



8. Bathroom cleaning

lemon for bathroom scent

Lemon is highly effective in removing soap scum from the floors, walls, shower curtains, and tapware. The acid in lemon kills bacteria and breaks down built-up dirt. While you're at it, use that lemon to remove any rust stains.  



mould on lemon

9. Mould and mildew cleaner 

Mould growth in bathrooms is a lot more common than we'd like. It's wise to avoid cleaning it with bleach, as bleach can cause problems for people with allergies. Instead, create a paste by mixing lemon with salt or borax to tear at the mould and mildew growing in your house. 



deodoriser using lemon

10. Garbage bin deodoriser

Finally, when you're done using the lemon, throw the leftovers and the peel in the garbage bin, and this will effectively neutralise that stinky garbage smell!  

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