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25 Tips for Using Lemons

We love to use lemons in recipes but there are ways for using lemons around the house – from the kitchen to the bathroom.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, or so goes the saying.  But think again! There are lots of other ways to use this fruit in your everyday life.

For a start, lemons are a great kitchen helper.  So, get out the citrus and see how you can put them to great use in something other than cooking, baking and making lemonade with these handy tips.

Some of these tips may surprise you. Lemons are not just for making lemonade. See my 25+ tips for using them in the home and for beauty and health reasons.

20 Creative Tips for Using Lemons.

These 25 tips for using lemons can be used in all areas of the home. And if you are looking mainly for recipes, be sure to click here to see lots of great recipes where lemons are the star

1. Using lemons in the Kitchen. 

Lemons are sort of a great little palm sized deodorizer! 

See all these ways to use them in your home:

To clean a microwave 

Just fill a container half full with water and squeeze a lemon into it. Drop in the halves of the lemon and cook on high for 3 minutes and then let it stand for another 5 minutes.  Wipe clean.

See my step by step tutorial with before and after photos on The Gardening Cook.

clean a microwave in minutes with lemons

Cleaning butcher blocks

Do you have a butcher block counter top or wooden cutting board?    Use a lemon to clean it.

Just pour some coarse Kosher salt[ on the wood and cut a lemon in half and scrub the wood.

Let is sit for about 5 minutes and then scrape off the salt and rinse with a clean sponge.  It gives them a deep clean and gets rid of odors too!

lemon and salt cleans a chopping board well.

Make a cut flowers food

Retail flower food can be expensive. Make your own version with bleach, lemons and granulated sugar. Get the recipe for DIY cut flowers food on the Gardening Cook.

Bleach lemon juice and sugar with cut flowers.

Polish copper with lemons

I love the look of copper utensils.  But they easily can get tarnished.

Lemons and salt, once again, will do a good job at cleaning them up. Squeeze lemon juice into a bowl and add salt to make a paste.

Rub it over the copper, rinse and you will ge a nice, gleaming finish in seconds.

salt and lemon is a good copper cleaner

Deodorizing a garbage disposal with lemons

After you have used lemons in cooking, don’t throw the lemons away.

Drop in some ice cubes, coarse salt and the lemon skins and turn on the disposal. The ice knocks any remaining food off the blades and the salt and lemons do the job of deodorizing.

clean a disposal with lemons

Deodorizing the fridge with a lemon

Ever needed just half a lemon for a recipe?  Don’t throw the rest away.

Place it in the fridge to absorb odors.

cut lemons absorb fridge odors

Lemons as a hand deodorizer

After using fish or lemons, squeeze lemon juice on your hands and rinse with water to remove these odors.

Counter top stains get clean with lemons!

A granite or marble counter top may be beautiful and desirable but it is also porous and stains easily.  Use 1/2 lemon and coarse salt to clean any stains that develop.

use lemons to clean granite countertops

2. Beauty and Health Uses for Lemons

Your skin and hair will love the beauty benefits of lemons.  Try using them this way.

Instant moisturizer using a lemon

Mix a couple of drops of fractionated coconut oil with a few drops of lemon juice. The coconut will hydrate your skin, and the lemon juice will clear and brighten it.

  • coconut oil and lemon juice is a great face freshener

Lemons as a tooth whitener

Mix together some baking soda and lemon juice and apply it to your teeth with a Q-tip.

After applying the mixture, use a clean toothbrush to scrub your teeth, and rinse with cold water.  Much cheaper than any tooth whitener on the market!

Lemon juice and baking soda makes a great tooth whitener

Use lemons to make a hair lightener

I remember doing this as a teenager!  Wet your hair and apply lemon juice before going out in the sun.

The lemon juice acts like to accelerate to the sun’s natural hair lightening abilities. It magnifies the amount of lightening the sun can do, and this will create the subtle highlights.

(It works like hair dye though, so it has to fade away and is semi permanent.)  Here is an article from Instructables that shows the process.

hair lightener with lemons

Use lemons to disinfect cuts

To disinfect cuts and wounds, pour a few drops of lemon juice directly on the wound.  (beware…it will sting, so not the best choice for the kiddies.)

This also works to help cold sores heal more quickly.

3. Using lemons in the bathroom

Lemons can be used with many other products to make cleaning the bath and easier job. Try using them this way:

Faucet cleaning with a lemon

Use half a lemon on faucets, sinks and taps to reduce lime scale buildup.

half a lemon is good for lime scale on faucets

Toilet cleaning with lemons

Mix 1/2 cup of borax powder with enough lemon to make a paste.  This cleans the toilet as well as leaving it smelling clean and fresh.

Cleaning bathroom glass surfaces with lemons

4 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with 2 liters of water to make a mixture to clean windows, mirrors and glass surfaces in your bathroom.

They also give the bathroom a nice fresh smell when done!

Using lemons as a tub cleaner

Mix together an equal amount of water and lemon juice. This makes an effective cleaner to protect against  mildew and fungus accumulating on the sides of your tub and/or shower.

4. Using lemons in recipes

Lemons have so many uses in recipes and in cooking in general.  They add a burst of freshness to otherwise dull recipes.  Try using them these ways:

How to make lemon zest

The skin of a lemon has so much flavor in it.  Use a good zester or microplane, and add lemon zest to your recipes for a burst of summer time freshness.

use lemon zest in recipes for a great burst of flavor

Make fluffy rice with lemons

Sometimes cooked rice sticks together. But it does not need to do so.  Add a spoonful of lemon juice to the cooking water and then stir with a fork later for really fluffy rice.

The lemon juice also adds a nice flavor to the rice.

Keep guacamole green with lemons

There is nothing quite like the taste of homemade guacamole. But having it turn brown is not appealing at all.

Be sure to add lemon juice to your recipe to make sure the guacamole stays green on the table.

This works with apples and pears too, to keep them from turning brown.

add lemon juice to keep guacaomle from going brown

Flavor a whole chicken with a lemon

One of my favorite things to do is to stuff a whole chicken cavity with fresh herbs, garlic and lemon halves. You can also just pull up the skin over the chicken breast and add butter and lemon slices with herbs.

Both techniques add a fabulous flavor to a cooked bird.

Stuff chickens with lemon and herbs for a great flavor

Keep color in your steamed veggies with lemons

Fresh vegetables can lose their bright color easily when they are cooked.  Add some lemon juice to the boiling water to keep this from happening.

5. Using lemons around the house

Lemons can be used in many other ways around the house.  Here are a few ways that they can be used which may surprise you.

Treat poison ivy itch with lemons

 Have you developed a rash from poison ivy and don’t have calamine lotion on hand?  Try applying lemon juice directly on the skin to ease the itch and help to lessen the rash.ease poison ivy itch with lemon juice

Got warts? Use lemons!

I remember when I was in college I had a horrible outbreak of warts.  I tried everything to help remove them, and finally used lemon juice on the warts.

The acid in the lemon helped to get rid of them!

Treat underarm stains with lemons

Stains from perspiration can discolor clothing.  Try adding equal parts of lemon juice and water to help remove the stains and leave the clothing smelling great too.

Lemons will also brighten up your whites?  Just add lemon juice to the wash to help brighten up white and light colored clothing.

add lemon juice to your laundry to whiten light colors

Deodorize a kitty litter box with lemons

A kitty litter box is notorious for its smells.  To neutralize this, cut a lemon in half and place it in the room near by to get rid of the awful smells.

Now that you know lots of different ways to use lemons in the house, let’s get back to the main way – in Recipes!

Here are some recipes that use lemons as a main ingredient that you may want to try.  And be sure to read my daughters article that talks about the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

These summer time fresh recipes all have lemons as the star.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars.

New England Lobster with Lemon Chive Mayonnaise.

Lemon Lush Recipe.

Lemon Creme Brulee.

Summer Macaroni Salad with Lemon Thyme Dressing.

Lemon Burst Tartlets.

Starbucks copycat Lemon Loaf.

Garlic Lemon Roasted Shrimp.

Sunburst Lemon Bars.

Gluten Free Lemon Slice

Oven Baked Cod and Shrimp with Lemon Mustard.

Steel Head Trout with Lemon Parmesan Sauce.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Lemon and Parmesan.

Lemon Poppy seed Muffins.

Easy Garlic Lemon Chicken.

Lemon Garlic Broccoli.

Shrimp Pasta with Lemon and Mushrooms.

Lemon Icebox Pie.

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