Cleaning With Lemons

posted by Andrea | 05/23/2011

I’ve always loved lemons…always!

I love baking with lemons, I love decorating with lemons, I love the bright cheery color of lemons, I love the smell of lemons, I love lemonade, AND I love cleaning with lemons!

No, I’m not just talking about lemon Pledge — although that is a delicious smell that remind me of dusting my parent’s house every weekend! I’m talking about real, whole, lemon fruits.

delicious lemons

Recently, I’ve added lemons to my weekly grocery list and am using them to clean all sorts of things around our house. I always make sure to check the discount produce rack first and have had very good luck finding extremely cheap lemons!

Why Do I Clean With Lemons?

SMELL: Personally, the smell of lemons simply means “clean”. This probably goes back to my lemon Pledge days, but I just love that citrus smell.

DISINFECTANT: Lemons are one of the most acidic foods and have antiseptic and antibacterial properties that are great for cleaning and killing bacteria.

NATURAL: Even though I’m not totally “green”, I have been trying really hard to use mostly natural cleaning products in our home… and lemons are about as natural as you can get!

What do I Clean With Lemons?


Lemon juice acts as a natural bleaching agent and can be used to whiten dingy whites without the harmful affects of bleach {although I won’t lie, I quickly grab for the bleach when something is really dirty}


I used to organizing for a women who absolutely LOVED to cook, and she used all copper pans {which are really expensive and really hard to clean}. She taught me that a half of lemon dipped in salt will clean spots from copper pans, copper fixtures, and anything else made of copper.


We have very light {and very old} countertops and I’ve had pretty good luck by using lemons to remove some of our countertop stains. I simply squeeze a little lemon juice onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I scrub the area with baking soda and wipe it up with a rag. It has worked almost every time.

Drains and Garbage Disposals:

When I’m finished cleaning or baking with my lemons, I toss the rinds down our garbage disposal to freshen things up. However, I’ll also pour some boiling wanter and lemon juice down our other drains to remove smelly odors.

Stainless Steel Sinks:

We have a stainless steel sink — and I hate it. I can’t wait to rip it out and replace it with a beautiful, white, farmhouse sink…some day! {here is some of my kitchen inspiration}

But for the time being, I’ve been cleaning all the water spots, finger prints, and other gunky buildup with lemons. I simply cut a lemon in half and rub it over the entire sink. Then I rinse with warm water and buff dry with a soft cloth or rag.

Wooden Cutting Boards:

I’ve always love the look of wooden cutting boards, but have been a bit leery to actually use them because of all the bacteria that can collect in the wood pores.

However, a few months ago, I read that you can disinfect a wooden cutting board by rubbing a cut lemon over the surface. You can let it sit or wash it again in soapy water…just don’t put them in the dishwasher or they will warp.

Extra Tip:

Add Lemon To Vinegar:

I have frequently professed my love for cleaning with vinegar… but I will admit that the smell isn’t nearly as lovely as when I’m cleaning with lemon. So I’ve started adding some lemon juice to my vinegar spray and it smells like springtime all year long!

I do NOT add lemon to my window cleaning spray bottle as it could cause streaks.


Oh, and just for fun, here’s another great lemon recipe!

Lemon Photo Credit: Suat Eman


Filed under: Cleaning

Leave a comment


  1. Jen


    oh my goodness, great advice! i laughed at “we have a stainless steel sink – and i hate it” because i HATE mine too. but now i’ll rub a nice lemon on it and feel better. 🙂

    i’ve been cleaning with vinegar (thanks to you!) and i don’t know why the heck i never thought to put lemon juice in it before!


    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, stainless steel sinks are definitely not my thing! and yes, try a little lemon juice in your vinegar and it will smell much better!


  2. Fiona


    Hi Andrea, and thanks again for another informative post. Lemons are so good for so many things. As I’ve told you before, I live in a hot climate, and as I am indoors within 20 feet of A/C., while it is hot I can forget to drink water. To encourage me to drink more, I squeeze lemon into the glass of room-temperature water. This is also handy to take after a heavy meal.

    Great to here you like to use natural lemons in cleaning the house. In your “condition” it’s best to play safe and avoid as many harsh chemicals as possible. I rub it on my nails to keep them white all day long!


    Andrea Reply:

    Ah yes, drinking water with lemon. I don’t normally think of that for myself but it is another great use for such a versatile fruit! And I would never have thought of using lemons on my nails. I might just have to try that 🙂