20 Surprising Uses for Lemons

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Did you know that some people who sing use lemon juice to help nurture their throat? It helps ease the strain from constantly singing. It was a constant in my bag when I was a teenager because of how much I sang.  You have to be careful though because pure, concentrated lemon juice is so acidic that it can easily eat the enamel off of your teeth when used too much over time.  Lemons, while maybe not a favorite fruit of too many people are one of my absolute loves in life! Why? Because lemon scented anything can make a space seem clean, tidy and fresh! Lemons can be used for so many things other than cooking and making a room smell nice. though. It has countless uses for beauty, cleaning and more!

 Lemons aren't just for cooking anymore! These 20 surprising uses for lemons will have you cooking, cleaning, using them in your beauty routine and even gardening with them!


Lemons have long been a part of our routine here at the House of AIC. I LOVE them because they’re so versatile! Check out these 20 surprising uses for lemons and I think you’ll end up loving them just as much as I do!

Acne –

Did you know that lemons may be able to help with acne? To use, just cut a slice of lemon and rub gently on the affected area. Leave it on overnight and wash off in the morning.  Just be sure to test a small area of skin first because people with sensitive skin may have a reaction due to the acid.

Purify and Detox – 

Mix 1 cup of water with lemon juice has long been used as a liver detox. This can be great to reduce toxins in your body!  It can even help with constipation if you use warm water!

Sore Feet No More –

If your feet are sore, soak them in hot water for a few minutes. Remove them then rub half a lemon over them, including the soles and heels then pat dry. Your feet won’t be sore anymore!

Facial Cleanser for Oily Skin –

If your face is too oily, mix up equal parts of lemon juice and cucumber juice. Apply to the face (or whatever your oil problem is) and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse well and enjoy being oil free!

Stinky Hands? –

Remove odors on your hands (onions, bleach, etc) by soaking them in lemon juice for a few minutes. Wash your hands well after removing and all odors should be gone! For really stubborn ones, just repeat the process.

Remove Under Eye Circles –

Apply lemon juice to a cosmetic pad or cotton ball and then apply to the area underneath the eyes twice a day. Be VERY careful with this so that you do not get lemon juice in your eye.

Fight Dandruff –

Mix 1 tsp of lemon juice with 2 tsp of vinegar and massage into your scalp. Rinse very well and follow with a good shampoo and condition.

Removing Stains from Sinks and Counters –

Mix up a paste of equal parts lemon juice and baking soda. Apply to the stained area and leave on for a few minutes. Rinse well with water and voila! No more stain! (Be careful with this one so that you don’t damage your counters or sinks…always be sure to test a small area first)

Removing tarnish from silver –

I’ve used this one myself and it’s much safer and cheaper than commercial silver polish! Mix equal parts of baking soda and lemon juice into a paste. Rub onto the silver and let sit for just a few minutes. Wipe off and your silver should be shiny as new! For stubborn tarnish, you may have to repeat and do NOT rinse with water. You’ll only cause it to tarnish again.

Shiny pan bottoms –

Cut a lemon in half and dip in salt to use as a scrub for copper or brass pan bottoms! Rinse and dry well once clean.

Freshen Smelly Drains or Disposals –

For garbage disposals that are smelly,  drop pieces of lemon peels down then run like normal. The peels will freshen your disposal with a fresh lemon scent! For drains, add a little lemon juice to some hot water and pour down the drain to freshen. If you’re trying to remove grease too, drop some baking soda into the water first then pour down. Let sit for a few minutes then rinse the drains with water to remove any residue.

Get rid of ants –

Placing a lemon wedge where ants are coming into your home at can remove them from the house. They take the lemon as food and never enter your home to look for more. This is a much safer alternative than ant poisons that could be harmful to you and your family (and cheaper too!)

Whiten your Whites –

If you’ve got stained white laundry, pour lemon juice directly on the stain and let dry in the sun. Once it’s dry, wash and dry like normal. No stain! The lemon juice acts as a lightening agent and removes the stain.

Natural Moth Balls –

Instead of using smelly moth balls, place a lemon in a paper or cloth bag and store in areas that moths may get in and eat things. The lemon can act as a deterrent and keep them away!

Remove Musty Smells –

To remove musty smells from clothing, linens and furniture, mix up equal parts of lemon juice and salt. Rub the paste onto the affected area and then let dry in the sun. Wash or wipe down like normal and you’ll have no musty smell! (Be sure to check for colorfastness first)

Keep Slugs Away (and stray cats too!)-

After you juice your lemons (or any citrus food), drop whats left into your garden to keep slugs away! Oddly enough, this will also work to keep stray cats out of an area that you don’t want them getting into since most cats don’t like the smell of citrus juice!

Cooking Rice? –

Use a few drops of lemon juice in your cook pot when boiling rice to keep the grains from sticking together.

Remove Wine Stains –

To remove a wine stain from a tablecloth or clothing, saturate it with lemon juice then cover and form a sort of “pouch” or envelope with the stained cloth. Pour cream of tarter into the stain envelope and let soak. If you can’t remove the cloth after its soaked for a few, pour some salt onto the pouch to soak up any left over lemon juice until you can.

Disinfect and freshen cutting boards (and bread boxes too!) –

To disinfect and freshen your cutting board rub lemon juice into it and leave on overnight. Rinse well in the morning to a fresh and clean cutting board! This also works well with bread boxes!

Keeping your indoor plants and flowers fresh –

Add a few drops of lemonade to your vases and flower pots to help keep them fresh. Do NOT use on chrysanthemums though because it will turn their leaves brown.




Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family. A true gypsy soul, her newest blog, Unsettled Hearts, chronicles the journey of her family to become full-time travelers. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

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