Different Ways To Use Lemon That You May Have Never Heard Of

Lemon is a pretty solid staple in the kitchen. On top of being a great aid in cooking, the fresh smell of lemon has made it a popular scent for cleaning products. But did you know that you could just skip the cleaning products altogether and use lemon instead? Lemons have a variety of uses for your home and self. Beyond being a great ingredient, the zesty fruit can provide a natural and inexpensive alternative to products you may not even need. Here’s a list of examples.

Household Cleaner

A woman stands in front of a large island in her wooden kitchen
Aric Crabb/MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images
Aric Crabb/MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images

The acidity in lemon makes it a reliable way to kill bacteria. For homes with little ones running around, finding a cleaning product that gets the job does without potentially causing harm is imperative. Babies put their mouths on everything, so having a clean but nontoxic substance to use on lower surfaces is helpful.

One idea to make a full-proof cleaning aid is to squeeze a lemon over a cloth. Add a little white vinegar and you have the perfect dusting tool.

Give Yourself Lighter Locks

A woman with light blonde hair grins at the camera
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Many woman fancy that their hair attains natural highlights from being in the sun. This actually occurs because the sun has opened up and damaged the strands of hair. Lemon juice contains citric acid, which chemically reacts with the sun and speeds up this hair damage.

The effect is lighter, bleached hair. The damage done is similar to what highlights at a salon do. You might as well save the hundreds of dollars and achieve highlights the natural way.

Clean Your Hands Without The Chemical Smell

A female pumps soap from a small bottle.
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The acidity in lemon makes them great cleaners, and also works on your hands. Hand sanitizers can be harsh on the skin and dry out your hands easily. Lemons are natural, and can thus spare you the chemically smell and taste that can ruin a good meal you just cleaned your hands for.

While you’ll still want to avoid cuts or cracked skin when applying lemon juice to your hands, the alternative will leave you feeling even fresher.

Guests Will Prefer This Option

A dog's owner feeds it a small peice of lemon cake.
Luke Dray/Getty Images
Luke Dray/Getty Images

Lemon can be used in a wide variety of sweets and adds a touch of zing to any sweet recipe. For those who are easily turned off my rich sweets, lemons can balance out sweet treats with a citrusy effect that sugar despisers won’t be able to resist.

Lemon pastries also offer a great snack when guests are over that isn’t too messy or overwhelming. Opposed to dark pastries like blueberry scones, which can stain your mouth, lemons are a light and refreshing option for any occasion.

Slim Down Without Sacrificing Taste

A woman holds up pants that are much too large for her, while holding a tape measure around her neck.
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It can be hard to go from eating greesy, high caloric foods to eating salad and vegetables when you first start a diet. You’re body still craves the rich flavors it’s used to enjoying. To help ease the transition, it’s a smart idea to keep some lemons around.

Lemons can be added to water to help keep your taste buds happy without reaching for a sugary drink. They are also great to put on various foods, such as fruit and vegetables, which otherwise might seem bland.

Save On The Salad Dressing

A man squeezes lemons over radishes while standing in front of a bed of lettuce.
Madhurima Sil/IndiaPictures/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Madhurima Sil/IndiaPictures/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

While lemon juice is obviously a less caloric food than most salad dressing, it also can be a much healthier choice and far less expensive. Many salad dressings contain a plethora of ingredients that aren’t the best for you.

Additionally, salad dressing can be full of preservatives, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Lemons are high in vitamins, and low in just about everything else. Their moisture and taste will give the feel of a salad dressing, without the sacrifice of health and money.

Brighten Up The House

A lemon decor includes a sign that says
Jennifer B./ Etsy
Jennifer B./ Etsy

Yellow is a happy color, but not everyone wants to lather their walls in yellow paint. Keeping a bowl of lemons on the dining room table or the kitchen counter can really bring some color into any space. The subtle hue will add a touch of light without commanding the room.

Lemons, like most fruits, will fit in with any decor. The extra plus with lemons, though, is that they don’t just appeal to the eyes, but their pleasant fragrance appeals to the nose, as well.

Freshen Up Your Garbage Can

A young girl pulls off the lid of her garbage can to throw something away.
Bettina BRINKMANN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Bettina BRINKMANN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Sometimes the trash starts to smell up the house before it’s even near full. In order to save on garbage liners, you could try peeling a lemon and throwing the peels in there to see if it covers up whatever is causing a stink.

If the smell does persist, odds are it’s going to linger even after you take out the trash. To quicken the process of getting the can back to a neutral smell, you can put lemon peels in after the trash has been taken out, or simply make a habit of throwing in a few with every new liner.

Embellish Your Spices And Kick The Condiments

A person squeezes lemon over fried fish.
Madhurima Sil/IndiaPictures/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Madhurima Sil/IndiaPictures/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Certain chefs become offended when a diner asks for condiments because the idea is that the preparation should be perfectly satisfying as it is. Particularly when it comes to preparing raw meat, it can be a challenge to get the taste just right without smothering it in bbq or tartar sauce.

Lemon juice not only adds its own citrusy taste, but it also embellished the spices and moisturizes the meat. When you have more flavor, without the cost of added sugar, you’re more likely to savor the food, giving your body time to process what it’s eaten and signal to your brain when it’s full.

Save The Guac!

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Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call/Getty Images
Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call/Getty Images

Guacamole can be a delicious addition at parties, or just to your dinner plate. What’s not so delicious about it is how quickly is goes brown when leftout. The simple solution is to squeeze lemon juice over the top, which is a natural preservative that will prevent it from browning.

Likewise, you can apply lemon juice to sliced apples that are being saved for later, or any other food item that may discolor before being eaten.

Ease A Sore Throat

A woman appears to be in pain while she holds a hand to her throat.
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Lemon juice, like salt and honey, help break down mucus which can aid in calming a sore throat. The three are also effective as prohibiting bacteria growth. The best thing to do for a sore throat is to drink some warm herbal tea or water.

Stir in honey and lemon juice, and you have a perfect beverage to aid a cold. Every so often gargle some salt water to give your throat an extra defense, then return to the honey and lemon to get the salty taste out of your mouth.

Don’t Be Afraid To Open Your Fridge

A 1950s woman reaches into the fridge while looking back at the camera
Debrocke/ClassicStock/Getty Images
Debrocke/ClassicStock/Getty Images

Particularly after something has spoiled, or clashing leftovers have mixed their aromas, the refrigerator can become a haven for strong smells. Typically when you open the fridge it’s to find something to eat, but your appetite can quickly spoil if a bad smell comes rushing out.

Similar to baking soda, keeping a sliced lemon wedge in the fridge can help maintain a fresh atmosphere when the door is closed. Additionally, lemon juice is a perfect alternative to clean the interior of the fridge without putting chemicals in the place you store your food.

Lemon Cubes

A person uses tongues to fill glasses with ice cubes
Getty Images
Getty Images

Another fun way to spice things up is to fill up an ice tray with lemon juice. Many people enjoy putting lemon wedges in their ice water, but making the cubes out of lemon juice does two jobs at once. This way you won’t need to add more wedges in.

Your drink will maintain a subtle lemon flavor as you sip and refill your glass. Plus, the acid in lemon can help you digest food better, so accompanying a meal with a lemony drink is a great idea.

Spoof Up Your Garbage Disposal

An older woman cleans mugs in her sink.
Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The garbage disposal is a lifesaver and all, but sometimes it can result in some strange smells. Though the water should, in theory, wash everything down, food particles can remain and get blended up into a smelly disaster.

The cure is simple. Just freeze some white vinegar and lemon chucks in an ice cube tray. Remove the cubes when frozen and dump them into the disposal to grind up. The ice will sharpen the disposal’s blade, white the lemon and vinegar will give it all a good clean, and leave a pleasant smell behind.

Make Your Summer Even More Refreshing

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David Buchan/Getty Images
David Buchan/Getty Images

Lounging by the pool in the summertime, few things sound better than an ice-cold lemonade. One of those things is a spiked ice-cold lemonade. In fact, lemons add zest to just about any cocktail.

If you want to really get crazy with it, you could add lemon ice cubes to whatever alcoholic beverage you’re drinking. The cubes will add taste to the drink as they melt, rather than simply diluting the drink altogether.

Rule Over The Ants In Your Home

A woman is held up horizontally by people in ant outfits.
Fiona Hanson – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
Fiona Hanson – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Ants can be extremely aggravating, especially in hotter months when bugs typically aim to find solace in air conditioned homes, or smell food that’s become pungent due to the heat. In order to get rid of the pesky guys, it becomes necessary to put out something that will show them whose boss.

Many people resolve to using bug spray. However, the smell isn’t very preferable and screams to guests that you have a bug problem. It also isn’t the healthiest choice. Instead, lemon juice is acidic enough to take those ants down.

Use Your Cutting Board With Confidence

A chef cuts a red vegetable over a white cutting board.
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

As much as we might know that the cutting board is clean because we literally just washed it, there can be something daunting about chopping up food over a stained cutting board. While you may have thought no tactic could beat the dishwasher, there is one.

Simply cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the cutting board. Then used the half lemon to scrub the juice into the board. Take it outside and let it soak in the sun all day. Bring the board back in and wash it with soap. The results should be a renewed, clean cutting board.

Don’t Stress Over The Tough Grime

A person washes dishes in a full sink
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Most dish detergents swear to be tough on oil and grime. However, sometimes it just takes some elbow grease to really get something out. The citric acid in lemon juice is a great choice when it comes to caked-on food.

Rather than spend all night scrubbing, just put your dishes to soak with some lemon water and vinegar. The agents in the acid will not only help the food particles dissolve, but they’ll also help in getting tough stains out. And if you still aren’t satisfying, you can always use the cutting board trick on other dishes.

Restore Your Youthful-Looking Skin

A skin spokeswoman smiles for the camera alongside the products she's selling
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Simple Facial Skincare
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Simple Facial Skincare

These days, there is so much gunk people are trying to sell to cure different skin ailments that it’s hard to know what products to trust, and what products are bound to just drain your wallet. For those who are worried about dark sun spots, the solution may be simpler than you thought.

Simply apply lemon juice to your face with a cotton ball for ten minutes twice a day. If your skin is sensitive, consider diluting the juice with water. Like your hair, the lemon juice will bleach out the skin, lightening dark spots.

Freshen Up Your Produce

A man picks fruit from and fruit and vegetables stand
Jan Sochor/Getty Images
Jan Sochor/Getty Images

More and more people are becoming concerned about the cleanliness of their produce, especially with organic foods on the rise. Regardless of your preference, there’s always the threat that several hands in the market touched your produce before you did.

One of the best ways to thoroughly wash off produce is by using lemon juice. The acidity will kill bacteria, but the juice itself is harmless to ingest. Now you can clean off your produce without having to worry about what you cleaned it with.