27 Household Uses For Citrus Fruit

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A staple in most homes, citrus fruit, including oranges, lemons and limes, makes a beautiful, fragrant display that can piled in a bowl. We also like to use them in a flower arrangement. Peeking out from the bottom of a clear glass container, they serve a dual purpose: beauty and as an anchor to an arrangement. They're also handy to have around the house for the reasons we've gathered together here...

[Image by Judy Nayer]

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If you don't have the citrus suggested, use whichever one you have on hand (although we'd suggest sticking with lemon juice when the objective's bleaching):


  • Polish copper by rubbing it with a lemon juice soaked cloth and buffing it dry.

  • Brass and aluminum can be polished with a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Another way to polish brass is by sprinkling salt on half of a lemon and rubbing it on the brass item. This method works on stainless steel as well.

  • Rub lemon on your faucets to remove lime scale, hard water stains, and soap residue. It also works on porcelain.

  • Whiten tennis shoes by spraying them with lemon juice and placing them in the sun

  • For a mild, stain-free bleach, soak your delicates in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda for at least half an hour before washing.

  • Boost your laundry detergent’s power by adding lemon juice to a wash cycle for fresh smelling laundry, to brighten whites and remove rust and mineral stains.

  • For ink spots on clothing, apply lots of lemon juice to the stain as soon as possible. Wash the garment in normal cycle in cold water.

  • Remove unsightly underarm stains from shirts and blouses simply by scrubbing them with a mixture of equal parts lemon juice (or white vinegar) and water.

  • To get rid of mildew on clothes, make a paste of lemon juice and salt and rub it on the affected area, then dry the clothes in sunlight. Repeat the process until the stain is gone. This works well for rust stains on clothes too.

  • Grind citrus through the garbage disposal to get rid of nasty odours and freshen the drain.

  • Add half a lemon to the dishwasher load for sparkling spot-free clean smelling dishes.

  • Make your own spray cleaner by mixing two tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap, 1/2 teaspoon washing soda, and one teaspoon Borax into two cups hot water. Mix until dissolved.

  • Another all-purpose cleaning solution: combine lemon juice, vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

  • Add a nice clean scent as well as cleansing power to all liquid cleansers by adding two tablespoons lemon or orange juice.

  • Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on the cut section. Use the lemon to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stains.

  • Use as a natural furniture polish, combine 1 part lemon juice with 2 parts olive oil.

  • Create a wonderful natural air freshener by mixing lemon juice and water in a spray bottle.

  • Place half a lemon or an orange in a dish can help freshen a room. You can also boil up the peels to freshen up the whole house.

  • Humidifiers can pick up unwanted scents. Freshen up the aroma by adding 3 to 4 teaspoons citrus juice to the water.

  • Clean your windows and glass by rubbing straight lemon juice on them and then buffing dry with newspapers.

  • Dry lemon or orange peels can be used to freshen drawers

  • Stud an orange with cloves and hang it in your closet to keep moths away.

  • Rub fresh orange or lemon peels over your exposed skin to keep away mosquitoes and gnats.

  • Puree orange peels in 1 cup warm water. Slowly pour the solution over and into anthills to get rid of them.

  • To keep cats from using your lawn as a litter box, mix orange peels and coffee grounds and distribute it around their favorite spots. If they don't take the hint, lay down a second batch and try moistening it with a bit of water.

  • Certain people are having trouble with their barking puppies. Train them to stop by getting a squirt of lemon juice in their mouths.

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[image of lemons courtesy André Karwath from Wikimedia Commons]

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