Lemon as a cleaning agent is so versatile and efficient that you’ll start using it as soon as you read everything it can do.
Besides being a great ingredient for all kinds of recipes, from main dishes to desserts and drinks, lemon is also frequently used as a cleaning component, both in DIY and manufactured cleaning products.
Keep reading to find out more about lemon and how to use it for cleaning your house!
The Natural Cleaning Properties of Lemon
Lemon is a citrus fruit with one of the highest contents of citric acid, which acts as an antibacterial, sanitizer, preservative and deodorizer, according to research.
It is used frequently with hundreds of manufactured cleaning products, such as degreasers, laundry detergent or dish soap. But it is also a common ingredient for natural, homemade cleaners.
Other studies have shown that it is comparable to vinegar because they are both acids that are capable of cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.
Thanks to its versatility, it can be combined with so many other ingredients from your kitchen, your pantry or your laundry cabinet. Just plain water is more than enough for a basic cleaner, but baking soda, vinegar and castor oil are also popular options.
Using Lemon as an All-Purpose Surface Cleaner
If you have laminate countertops, you can create a natural mix that works as a surface. This solution is ideal for your kitchen, but it can also work for your bathroom, as long as it’s not granite or marble.
The best part is that you’ll only need a few ingredients that are most likely sitting in your pantry already.
Start by grabbing your ingredients: white vinegar, baking soda, hot water and one lemon. Super easy and cheap!
Mix ¼ cup white vinegar, 4 cups hot water, the juice of a lemon and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Mix your ingredients and place them in a spray bottle.
Remember, because this is an acid cleaner it won’t work on natural stone or natural hardwood. Always test it first in a small, hidden place.
Lemon as Odor Neutralizer for the Fridge
Lemon is efficient not only at removing odor, but also leaves a pleasant citrus fragrance afterward.
Therefore, it’s not surprising to find that it also works to remove odors from the fridge, by applying an easy technique. Just cut your lemon in slices and place them on a saucer plate and then place that plate inside your fridge.
This will work for about 5 days until you need to replace them. For better results, add two teaspoons of baking soda to the saucer plate.
If you don’t have lemon at hand, you can also use about 5 to 10 drops of lemon or orange essential oil.
Lemon as a Stain Remover and Polish
Citric acid helps to remove stains and polish stainless steel and copper cookware.
For polishing copper pots and pans, mix the juice of a lemon and one teaspoon salt. Stir until the salt dissolves and then use a microfiber cloth or a soft sponge to spread all across your cooking pan or pot. Let sit for a minute and then rinse with plenty of water.
You can dry everything with a different, clean cloth afterward. The same technique can be applied to copper fixtures, as well as stainless steel cookware.
Lemon As a Laundry Cleaning Agent
Besides the kitchen or your bathroom, lemon is also effective in the laundry room.
Citric acid can be used to remove stains from different materials and fabrics. You can add half a cup of lemon juice to your wash cycle to ensure your clothes will be fresh and bright after taking them out.
It can be useful as well for removing particular stains, such as the ones caused by deodorant.
Just pour some lemon juice into the stain and place your garment in the sun for 15 minutes. Next, add some table salt and then scrub using a toothbrush. Wash as usual afterward.
Lemon for Cleaning Your Microwave
You can use it to deodorize your microwave by using lemon slices.
Grab a bowl of water, cut a lemon in slices and place them inside the bowl. After microwaving for 2 minutes, let sit for another 2 minutes without opening the microwave and then wipe as usual. You want to wait a couple of minutes so steam can soften grime and grease on the insides.
The lemon juice will soften the grease and food buildup inside your microwave which can then be easily removed with a microfiber cloth. It will also absorb odors, which is perfect to remove stubborn smells such as popcorn.
Lemon as Essential Oil
Lemon not only works on its own but also as an essential oil.
Besides using them as an all-purpose cleaner, you can clean specific materials and surfaces with lemon essential oil. For example, you can add a few drops to a microfiber cloth and use that to polish stainless steel.
You can also soak your kitchen sponges in a bowl with warm water and essential oil, to deodorize and sanitize them. Of course, this is not a long-term solution, and you need to make sure to replace them regularly because bacteria builds up with time.
You can use it as an air freshener as well, just by placing around 30 drops inside a spray bottle filled with water and shaking before applying. Because air freshener particles end up on the floor, make sure that your floor is not sensitive to lemon essential oils.
Lemon as Wood Polish
Believe it or not, lemon also works as a great wood polish! You might think that such an acid agent can be harmful to your wooden surfaces or items.
Using this mix on hardwood floors is not a good idea, though. Vinegar is too aggressive on hardwood floors, which are already sensitive on their own. But it will work great on wooden furniture and laminate wooden floors.
To create your own DIY wood polish, start by mixing two tablespoons white vinegar, two tablespoons olive oil and one tablespoon lemon juice.
For the rest of the surfaces, as always, test first in a small spot and confirm that it’s safe to use before applying on the entire area.
To prepare this great furniture polish, simply add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a bit of olive oil and apply with a rag to clean, protect, and shine wood finishes.
Lemon and Salt to Clean Your Toilet
No one wants to have a dirty toilet, and it can be so challenging to keep them clean and free of stains and marks.
Just grab half a lemon and squeeze it into the bowl. Sprinkle kosher salt immediately afterward and grab your toilet brush to scrub all across the surface for about 2 minutes.
You’ll notice those stubborn stains being removed slowly. For even higher deodorizing power, start by adding baking soda and let it sit for one or two hours before adding lemon and kosher salt.
Baking soda is already a great deodorizer on its own, and adding lemon will combine the best of both worlds.
Lemon as Descaler for Your Kettle
If you have owned a kettle, you should know by now that they need to be descaled once in a while. This is because, with time, water minerals and other residues remain inside the kettle.
Most coffee machine brands sell their own descaler product, but you can also use lemon as a substitute, and you’ll only need the juice of a lemon and tap water.
Mix 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice and two cups of water. Pour the mix into your kettle and bring it to a boil.
Next, let it cool and discard your cleaning mix. Rinse with plenty of water and scrub inside your kettle as you go, with a soft sponge.
Lemon as Face Cleanser
Lemon is not only a great household cleaning product, but it is also efficient for personal care, particularly for cleansing your face. Its antimicrobial properties will help reduce bacterial growth in your skin, and it will also clear away dead skin residues.
It’s very important that you always seek guidance from your dermatologist before applying any product to your skin.
To create this facial cleanser, just mix two teaspoons honey with one teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Grab some with your fingers and then smooth a thin layer onto your neck and your face. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse with plenty of water.
Where Not to Use Lemon As a Cleaning Agent
As effective as it might be, there are no magic or universal cleaners.
A common mistake, especially around the kitchen, is to try using lemon for cleaning granite or marble countertops. Stone does not get along with acidic materials such as lemon and vinegar. Therefore you should avoid using them as much as possible, and invest in more neutral or specialized cleaning agents.
Remember: each surface and material has specific properties. Always test your cleaning agents in a small, inconspicuous place first.
Electronic screens are a big no-no as well. Laptop and computer monitors, TV Screens and smartphones do not get along with liquids, even more so if it’s an acid.
If you’re planning to use lemon essential oil as a cleaning agent, remember that pets are very sensitive. You should not use them if you have dogs or cats.
Lemon is more than a versatile ingredient. It has a wide variety of properties that can help with different fields regarding cleaning and personal care.
Natural ingredients are taking more and more popularity as cleaning products, and even though lemon has been used in manufactured cleaning agents, they also can be used directly from the source at home.
Feel free to check out the cleaning tips above and use lemon as you’d like to clean floors, surfaces and items.
And even though these tips are effective and easy, cleaning always takes time and energy. If you don’t feel like it, feel free to find more about our professional cleaning service!