Lemons are an amazing fruit. They are cheap (often go on sale for 4/$1) and very versatile. I always make sure I have a few on hand. Here are some of my favorite ways to use a lemon as well as a few tips on purchasing, storing, and juicing. There are a few tools I recommend keeping on hand: a citrus zester & a citrus juicer. Citrus juicers come in many different styles. The type you purchase depends on how often & how much juice you will need. I prefer the press because it is very easy for the boys to use and they love helping in the kitchen.
50 Ways to Use a Lemon
Using Lemons for Beauty
- Soak clean fingernails in lemon juice for a coupon minutes to brighten.
- Use lemon juice as a natural astringent for cleaner, tighter pores.
- Add subtle highlights to your hair for less than $1! Simply mix 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1/2 cup of water and apply to your hair. Stay in direct sunlight for about 2 hours (don't forget the sunscreen).
- Massage lemon juice into your scalp to help remove dandruff flakes. Leave for 10 minutes and then shampoo & condition as usual.
- Rough elbows? Cut a lemon in half, add a few drops of baby oil to each half, place your elbows into the lemon & tape on for 30 minutes.
- Mix lemon juice with salt for a natural exfoliant paste.
- Lemon juice makes a great natural deodorant. Rub a little lemon juice on & allow to dry. Apply cornstarch to help keep dry.
- Rinse your hair with 1/2 cup lemon juice & 1 1/2 cup water to remove product buildup & for a healthy shine.
- Dab lemon juice on acne to help dry it out.
- Mix lemon juice & cucumber juice in equal amounts. Apply to your face & leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water & pat draw. Apply 2 to 3 times per week to help lighten scars.
Cleaning with Lemons
- Add lemon juice to baking soda water for cleaning out the fridge. It helps kill bacteria & remove odors.
- Dip half a lemon into salt and use to scrub stainless steel & copper to bring to a like-new shine (great step to add to shining your sink).
- Use lemon juice, diluted in a cup of water, to clean windows. Wipe with newspaper for streak-free glass.
- Rub durable fabrics with a salt & lemon juice paste to remove strains. Delicate fabrics can be soaked in lemon juice then washed.
- Ditch the bleach & use lemon juice instead! Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to your whites to remove stains & brighten.
- Mix lemon juice with borax into a paste and apply it with a brush or sponge to the inside of the toilet. Leave it for 2 hours and then scrub to remove rust stains.
- Add to vinegar in your favorite homemade cleanser to neutralize the vinegar smell.
- Grind lemon rind in the garbage disposal to freshen the drain. No garbage disposal? Pour a little lemon juice down.
- Tough laundry stains? Brush lemon juice directly onto the stain and hang in the sun.
- Mix lemon juice with baking soda & scrub counter-top stains. Make sure to rinse thoroughly and don't let sit for more than 5 minutes.
Lemons in the Kitchen
- Revive droopy lettuce by soaking in ice water & 1 Tbsp lemon juice.
- Add a little lemon juice to poached fish for whiter, firmer fish.
- Berry stains? Rinse your hands with a little lemon juice to help pull the color.
- Provide finger bowls with water & lemon slices for guests to rinse their fingers when eating messy foods at a dinner party.
- Use in marinades. Its as an effective as vinegar but lends a citrus flavor.
- When lemons go on sale, stock up! Juice them & freeze in ice cube trays. Store frozen lemon juice cubes in a freezer bag. Defrost when you need lemon juice for a recipe.
- Simmer lemon peel in a pot of water on the stove to remove odors in the air. Great for cooking strong-smelling foods (did this while I was pregnant so I was able to cook).
- Add a tsp of lemon juice to milk and let sit for 15 minutes. Use in recipes when you do not have buttermilk on hand.
- Cut a lemon in half & rub both sides of your cheese grate with the pulpy side of the lemon to remove soft cheeses that refuse to come off.
- Add a couple drops of lemon juice to rice to keep it from sticking to the pot.
Medicinal Uses for Lemon
- Lemon juice for a hangover? YES! It helps re-balance your pH levels, replaces vitamin C, and re-hydrates Add a little to hot tea or water.
- Mix the juice from 1 lemon with 1/4 cup of hot water. Swish for 60 seconds & spit. Then gargle for 60 seconds to help shrink swollen tissue & kill bacteria.
- Rinse you mouth three times a day with lemon water to help heal a canker sore.
- Drink 2 Tbsp lemon juice in a glass of warm water every morning to help regulate your digestive system.
- Drink hot tea (or water) with a tsp lemon juice & a tsp honey to help soothe a sore throat & kill bacteria.
- Soak a tea bag in lemon juice & apply to insect bites to remove the sting, itchiness, and reduce the swelling FAST!
- Rub a lemon slice over your teeth and tongue to freshen breath. Use sparingly as lemons used frequently can cause erosion of the enamel.
- Mix lemon juice and olive oil. Apply to eczema prone skin to easily remove damaged skin & soften eczema-hardened skin.
- Lemon has been shown to increase concentration & alertness. Score a lemon & rub the oil onto a handkerchief to inhale before stressful situations.
- Make a lemon poultice by slicing a lemon and applying overnight to corns and calluses.
Miscellaneous Uses & Tips
- Add lemon juice to mop solution for a natural insect repellent.
- Use lemon juice to clean around windows, doors, and other areas insects might enter the house to deter insects from entering.
- Add lemon juice to your humidifier to cut down on odors in the home.
- Invisible ink! Use a cotton swab to write on a piece of paper with lemon juice. To read, hold near a light bulb & the “ink” will show up.
- Warm a lemon in the microwave for 30 seconds to help release more juice.
- Pierce a lemon before you start to juice it to help prevent uncontrolled squirting.
- Never freeze a whole lemon. The juice sacs will burst.
- Only need the juice for something? Grate the bright yellow zest and freeze in a small resealable bag for later.
- Store lemons at room temperature when you are going to juice them. Loosely wrap & store in the fridge to keep longer.
- The juiciest lemons are small and feel heavy for their size.
What's your favorite way to use a lemon? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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