Lemon juice has so many household uses. They are a versatile, natural option for cleaning, beauty, cooking, and much more. Not only do they smell and taste great, but they possess antibacterial properties making them perfect for killing germs.
Their low pH makes them perfect for beauty and personal care, and when applied directly to the skin, lemon juice can lighten age and sunspots.
Lemons have a high concentration of citric acid, which is great for general disinfecting and cleaning. The citric acid in lemons can help kill bacteria and mold, and also remove soap scum and mineral deposits.
You can also use the WHOLE lemon – juice, pulp, rind, and all. Check out our list of clever uses to be sure you’ve used the lemon to its fullest!
1. Teeth Whitening
The acid content in citrus rinds can whiten and brighten dull or stained teeth. Rub the inner white part of the lemon peel on your teeth for a few minutes for a whitening effect. Rinse well with water after using. I love this remedy because you will notice almost immediate whitening effects!
Note: Use this remedy very sparingly to avoid damage to tooth enamel or tooth sensitivity.
2. Lemon facials for toning and skin brightening
Lemon’s low pH makes it a perfect skin toner. You can rub a little lemon juice, using a cotton bud, directly onto sun spots and age spots to lighten them. Allow the juice to dry on the skin then rinse after 15-20 minutes. This should be repeated every day.
My absolute favourite DIY mask to make at home, is a brightening lemon, honey and turmeric face mask. Not only is it hydrating but also makes your skin glow like like the sun! As someone that suffered from adult acne for many years, this was a go-to for helping clear my skin and keeping it clear since. A similar method is used by traditional Indian brides in the run-up to their wedding, to ensure their skin is beaming for their big day
Manuka honey to heal acne and scarring and help skin to retain moisture
Turmeric to treat breakouts, reduce hyperpigmentation and act as an anti-inflammatory
Lemon as it is high in vitamin C which is essential for brightening and evening out skin tone.
Oats are added to ensure the face mask is super moisturizing, not to mention exfoliating and softening on the skin
Instructions for our DIY brightening Lemon, Manuka honey and Turmeric face mask
Combine 3 tablespoons ground rolled oats, 1 tablespoon manuka honey, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric and squeeze of fresh lemon juice in a bowl and mix until well combined.
Apply to n a clean face and leave on for 15-20 minutes.
Rinse off gently with warm water (You may need to wash your face a couple times to remove the yellow tint)
3. Smooth and soothe dry, scaly elbows
This is the perfect trick for those dry and scaly elbows following dry winter weather. After juicing a lemon, take the two halves and sprinkle baking soda inside them. Stick your elbow inside the lemon half, twisting the lemon to exfoliate and soften the skin. If you're suffering from hyperpigmentation, this can also help to lighten the skin. After several minutes rinse and dry your newly softened elbows. You can also use this process to lighten the darker skin left behind after shaving your pits. I definitely recommend giving this one a go!
Make an all-purpose cleaner, degreaser, stain-remover
This is one of the simplest ways to use up leftover peels. Add several lemons peels to a large jar, fill with white distilled vinegar and allow the peels to steep in the solution leaving it in a cool dark cupboard for a few weeks. Strain the peels, and use this lemon/vinegar solution as a lemon-scented all-purpose cleaner. The combination of lemon and vinegar has properties that are perfect for degreasing, disinfecting, and leaving things smelling fresh. Pour the citrus-infused vinegar into a spray bottle and use this to clean countertops, sinks, toilets, spills, the stove, over, or any other surfaces. I keep a bottle of this solution in both the kitchen and bathroom.
Looking to remove that horible scum found on sinks or the bathtub? Try sprinkling some baking soda and use the cut side of a lemon to scrub these surfaces. This will remove any grime and leave everything sparkling. You can also use this method on any fabrics or clothing to remove tough stains.
This is one of my favorite uses for lemons and one I have been doing for as long as I can remember. If your rubbish bin is starting to smell funky, you can put lemon peels in the bottom, underneath the bin liner. Make sure to remove the pulp and only use the skins otherwise they will start to mold. This will need to be replaced every few weeks to keep your bins smelling fresh.
When it comes to fridge smells or even the sink, sprinkle some bicarb into the drain and add lemon juice with white vinegar. Let this sit before rinsing, it should bubble up and foam. For the fridge you make the same mixture into a bowl and place into the fridge to remove any smells.
Toss your leftover fresh or dried lemon peels into your fireplace or wood-burning stove if you have one for a delicious lemony scent to a room. Dried peels will help ignite the wood around them because they contain oils that make them burn longer. Alternatively, you can do the same using a wax or oil warmer. The essential oils will be released as the peels are warmed releasing those gorgeous smells.
In leiu of burning or warming peels, you can also simmer lemon peels in a saucepan to make a homemade air-freshner. In a medium-sized saucepan, add lemon peels with vanilla (you can either use the pods or paste), cinnamon sticks, and water. Simmer low and slow periodically adding more water when needed. After a couple of hours, let the mixture cool before pouring into a spray bottle. Et voila!
Food and Drink
This is a staple in the Forever and Green household in the Summer months. Take a jug or water dispenser, add ice, lemons or any citrus fruit as well as cucumber (if you like it) for a refreshing, healthy, low calorie drink. Flavoured water is a great way to drink more water if this is something you struggle to do. You can also make this up in individual water bottles and keep in the fridge. Also great for BBQ's and gatherings.
A wonderful way to use up this wonderful fruit is in a thirst quenching glass of cool lemonade. Check out these easy 3 recipes from SO VEGAN
Lemon Drizzle Cake
Here's another brilliant recipe from teh Happy Pear! Lemon Drizzle is one of my absolute favourites and the perfect tea time treat!
3 lemons (juiced and 2 lemons zested)
300g self raising flour
200g icing sugar/ powdered sugar
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp of ground flax seeds & 6 tbsp water)
100g Icing sugar / powdered sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Preheat oven to 160 degrees c in fan oven
Mix ground flax seeds and the water and leave to sit for 5 mins.
In a large bowl sieve in the dry ingredients, the self raising flour, and the icing sugar and mix well.
In another bowl mix the wet ingredients, zest in the 2 of the lemons and the juice of 3 lemons, add in the oil and flax egg and mix well.
Add in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment and pour in the batter. A 1 lb loaf tin will also work fine
Bake at 160 degrees for 60 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out almost clean. You don't want the skewer to come out totally clean to ensure that they cake ends up nice and moist.
Take out of the oven and leave to cool
To make the drizzle sieve in the icing sugar and add the juice of half a lemon and mix well.
Drizzle over the top and allow to dribble down the sides
Lemonade recipes from We are So Vegan: https://www.wearesovegan.com/easy-lemonade-3-ways/
Lemon Drizzle cake recipe from The Happy Pear: https://www.happypearcourses.com/lemon-drizzle-cake