21 Things You Can Do With Lemons and Lemon Juice (That Don’t Involve Food)

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Erika Tracy)

Lemons are kind of a miracle to me. Their wizardly talents range from saving sailors from untimely scurvy deaths, to working equally as well in savory and sweet dishes. And on top of that, lemons are an ace all-natural cleaning agent to use around the house.

Beauty + Closet Solutions

Lemon is a cleanser and deodorizer that can work wonders for your skin, wardrobe or dresser drawers.

  • Make a serum to calm your puffy, swollen eyes.
  • Mix lemon juice with sugar or salt to create a deliciously smelling body scrub.
  • 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.
  • Remove ink spots on clothing by applying lots of lemon juice to the stain as soon as possible. Then wash the garment in normal cycle in cold water.
  • Mix lemon juice with water to treat underarm stains on shirts and tops.
  • Dry out some lemon peels and stash them in a mesh bag to freshen your dresser drawers.
  • You can use lemon juice to naturally lighten your hair. Here’s a recipe for a highlighting and moisturizing spray cocktail.
(Image credit: Erika Tracy)

In the Kitchen

OK, many of these are technically related to food. But since you’re not consuming the lemon juice, they’re on the list.

  • Get berry stains off your fingers by washing with lemon juice.
  • Get rid of onion, fish or garlic odors on your hands or cutting boards by rubbing them with lemon juice or a cut lemon.
  • You can also clean and remove stains from a cutting board or butcher-block table top with lemon and salt.
  • Rub half a lemon over stubborn stuck-on foods to help clean them off your dishes.
  • Throw lemon peels down the garbage disposal to help deodorize.
  • Rub a half a lemon around the inside of a particularly smelly plastic container to get rid of odors and remove stains.
  • Get rust spots off your knives with a sponge and lemon juice.
  • Keep your blender looking clean and clear by running it with water, some detergent and chopped lemon inside.
  • Squeeze a lemon into a glass of water, drop the rind in, and microwave the glass to make quick work of cleaning a microwave.
  • Mix up a batch of an all-purpose kitchen cleaner for everything else, with lemons (or any other citrus) and vinegar.
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Elsewhere Around the House

A few other handy solutions made possible with just a few lemons.

  • You can use lemon to polish brass fixtures or copper cookware around the kitchen and bathroom, or brass and copper anywhere else you find it.
  • Rub lemon on faucets and shower fixtures to remove lime scale, hard water stains and soap residue.
  • Combine 1 part lemon juice with 2 parts olive oil to make a natural furniture polish.