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!