21 Uses For Lemon Peels That Are Surprisingly Practical

A great use for lemon peels is to dry them and then powder them; you can use your lemon peel powder to make a lemon sugar scrub for soft skin; use lemon peels to make scented cleaning vinegar by soaking lemon peels in vinegar.

More Lemon Peel Uses Than You Can Shake A Stick At!

To understand how I feel about lemons, you don’t need to look much further than my lemon-themed Pinterest board and its 400+ pins. But really, who can blame me? Lemons are an amazingly useful fruit, and every part can be put to good use in a myriad of ways!

In this post, I wanted to focus on the usefulness of lemon peels specifically. That fragrant, sunshine yellow zest has a lot of useful properties, which made it easy to track down some brilliant uses for lemon peels!

21 Uses For Lemon Peels

Use lemon peels and herbs to make scented cleaning vinegar -- just soak the peels and herbs in vinegar for a couple of weeks!
Lemons are one of my favorite things! Even their lemon peels have many wonderful uses!

1. Make Lemon-Scented Cleaning Vinegar

If making big pitchers of homemade lemonade is a summertime staple for you, you’ll have a steady supply of lemon peels you can use to make your own lemon-scented cleaning vinegar. It’s an easy process, and so worth it (both because it smells divine and works great for all sorts of cleaning tasks!) Learn how to make lemon-scented cleaning vinegar.

2. Brighten Skin

Lemon makes a great natural skin brightener, thanks to its naturally high levels of citric acid, a well-known bleaching agent. Apply lemon peels to your hands, elbows, heels and other areas to brighten skin and tighten pores.

Freeze pieces of lemon peels in ice cubes, then use the lemon peel ice cubes to clean and deodorize your garbage disposal.

3. Deodorize Your Garbage Disposal

You can clean the blades of your garbage disposal and make your whole kitchen smell fresh and clean with the help of a few chunks of lemon peel. Learn how to use lemon peels and vinegar to make disposal-cleaning lemon and vinegar ice cubes that will eliminate odors and clean the blades.

4. Ant-Proof Your Kitchen

Scatter small pieces of lemon peel along thresholds, windowsills, and near any cracks or holes where ants or pests may be entering your home. Ants don’t like lemon and will be deterred by it. (This also works with roaches and fleas too.)

Use lemon peels with other fruits and spices to make a wonderful simmering stovetop potpourri
Mmmmm…lemon peels help make this simmering stovetop potpourri smell divine!

5. Simmer On Your Stovetop

Along with cloves, cinnamon sticks, and orange peels, lemon rind makes a wonderfully fragrant addition to a simmering stovetop potpourri. Not only is it a great way to make your home smell nice, but it helps restore moisture to dry air too!

Related: This Is The Best Way To Make Your Home Smell Like Christmas

6. Remove Stains From Coffee Cups

Put a section of lemon peel into a stained coffee mug and add water. Let it sit for several hours, then wipe with a cloth. The stains should disappear.

Use lemon peels, vinegar, and olive oil to make scented dusting cloths that will make dusting a lot more pleasant.
The clean smell of these lemon dusting cloths makes me want to clean longer!

7. Lemon Dust Cloths

With a few lemon peels, some olive oil, and a bit of vinegar, you can make a jar of lemon dusting cloths that grab onto dust and leave behind a fresh, clean scent. These cloths makes my least favorite chore a lot more pleasant!

8. Freshen Your Refrigerator

Cut lemon in half and stash it in your fridge to absorb any lingering food odors.

You can use lemon peel and vinegar to clean your kettle or coffee pot.

9. Clean Your Kettle

For mineral deposit build up in your tea kettle, fill the kettle with water, add a handful of thin slices of lemon peel, and bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat (or turn off) and let the kettle sit for an hour, then drain and rinse well.

To clean a coffee pot, add ice, a splash of white vinegar, and a handful of sliced lemon rind to the empty pot. Swish and swirl for a minute or two, then dump and rinse.

10. Clean Your Microwave

Add lemon rinds to a microwave-safe bowl filled halfway with water. Cook on high for 5 minutes, allowing the water to boil and the steam to condense inside. Carefully remove the hot bowl and wipe away the condensation and loosened grime with a damp towel.

Related: How To Clean A Microwave With AND Without Vinegar

Use lemon peel with baking soda or cream of tartar to polish stainless steel, brass, copper, and chrome.

11. Polish Chrome, Copper, Brass & Stainless Steel

Cut through mineral deposits on chrome fixtures by rubbing them with a previously-juiced half of a lemon, then lightly buff with a soft cloth. Brighten copper, brass, or stainless steel by dipping a previously-juiced lemon half in salt (or baking soda and cream of tartar) and rubbing it on the affected area, letting it sit for 5 minutes, then rinsing with warm water before polishing with a dry cloth.

12. Makeshift Humidifier

If your home suffers from dry heat in the winter, put lemon peels in a pot of water and simmer on the lowest stove-top setting to humidify and scent the air.

Use half a lemon, peel and all, with salt to remove stains from plastic cutting boards.

13. Refresh Cutting Boards

The antibacterial properties of lemons make them a good choice for refreshing cutting boards. After disinfecting give the surface a rub with a halved lemon, let sit for a few minutes, and rinse. You can remove stains from cutting boards as well, with just half a lemon, salt, and sunshine!

14. Use The Zest In Food And Drinks

Zest is simply grated citrus peel, and you can use it fresh, dried, or frozen. If you don’t have a zester, use the smallest holes of a box grater. To dry zest, spread it on a towel and leave out until dried, then store in a jar. To freeze, use a freezer-safe container. Use zest in salads, marinades, baked goods, grain dishes, etc.

For lemon twists, use a vegetable peeler or a knife to cut a lemon peel into long strips, cutting away the bitter white pith and storing in a freezer-safe container or bag. Add them to cocktails, sparkling water, or tap water!

Use dried lemon peel to make lemon powder that can be used in a wide variety of cooking, cleaning, and personal care recipes.
Dried lemon peels really do add zest to your cooking!

15. Make Lemon Powder

Using the method for lemon twists described above, dry the strips skin-side down on a plate for 3-4 days, then use a blender or spice grinder to turn it into a powder. Use the powdered peel in place of extract or zest in recipes, add it to pepper to make a great lemon pepper, or add to sugar as a delicious addition to drinks or homemade cookies.

16. Make Candied Lemon Peel

Candied lemon peels can be eaten plain, or dipped in melted chocolate, used in cake, cookie, candy, or bread recipes.

Use lemon peel, sugar, and a bit of olive oil to make a lemon sugar scrub that will make your skin soft as silk.
Once you try this lemon sugar scrub you’ll never go back! One of my favorite beauty uses for lemon peels.

17. Create A Lemon Sugar Scrub

A lemon sugar scrub not only smells delightful, it brightens and softens your skin as well. All you need is some sugar, chopped lemon peel, and enough olive oil to make a paste. Use your DIY lemon sugar scrub before shaving or showering for silky smooth skin.

18. Soothe Travel Sickness

Suck on a piece of lemon skin to soothe a queasy stomach and overcome feelings of nausea.

Strips of dried lemon peel make great fire starters.

19. Make Fire Starters

Bake discarded orange or lemon peels until they darken to turn them into natural, fragrant fire starters.

20. Clean Your Grater

Remove dried food from your grater by rubbing with the pulp side of a cut lemon.

Use fresh lemon peel to deodorize your trash can by tossing a few in the bin before adding the bag.

21. Trash Can Deodorizer

Throw a few lemon peels in the bottom of your garbage can from time to time to keep it smelling fresh.

For even more lemon-scented tips and tricks, check out these 22 uses for lemons.

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • I like the lemon peel idea for deterring ants. We sometimes have a problem with it at certain times of the year. I’m not sure why. We are definitely going to try this.

  • I’m thinking that the leftover vinegar-soaked lemon peels must be good for something. Ground up, maybe, into a paste? What could I use it for?

  • One of my favorite uses is for the grill! After a long day working in the heat to feed the masses, get the racks while they’re still warm-hot but not too hot. Just rub firmly along the grates to remove any stuck-on goo with a half-lemon. When they’ve cooled it makes the rest of the clean up easy peasy.

  • Can I just keep replacing the perks in the jars every few weeks? I have an abundance of lemons and many jars of vinegar in which I’ve begun the process again. I also was wondering if the variety of citrus matters? Like when I get pink lemons or blood oranges?

  • I love lemons and use many of your tips already, but I am very happy to learn about new ways to use lemons. Thank you for the wonderful information.

  • These are AWESOME! I’ve also had a lot of success using lemon peels for lemon confit. I just preserve them in mason jars with a lot of salt, lemon juice, and a touch of sugar. Once you let them preserve for a month or two, they are absolutely tasty on salads, with rice, and on fish.

  • I LOVE LEMONS ESPECIALLY MEYER LEMONS. The meyer lemon is cross between a tangerine and a lemon. It’s sweeter than a regular lemon. So much so, that you (or I) could eat the peels…………I’m thinking of grating the peel and using it to prevent these little black beetles from coming into my house. I will sprinkle it where they come in and see……………….Wish me luck, as these beetles have been a pest for the last month and a half…………I’m tired of having to vacuum them up every 3-4 hours…………..

  • I did the same thing at Christmas, wanted to make an orange cleaner but only had a glut of lemons so I made lemon cleaner. Agreed it does a magic job and the smell is divine however I never once thought to dilute the vinegar prior to use so thanks for the headsup!!

  • I thought the idea of cutting lemon peel “strips” instead of grating them sounded like a good idea. Do you think adding the peels to a dehydrator would work to make the lemon powder?

  • Hi Jillee,

    Love your bog….very informative with so much to learn! I also love love lemons and everything lemon! The lemon vinegar on today’s post, would that be safe to clean my arid wood floors and kitchen cabinets? I use the I gear with warm water on my floors, but my son also complains about the smell?? I figure the lemon scent will be a nicer scent if it won’t hurt the wood? Also, how about dusting furniture, is there enough oil from the lemon to protect it as I clean it?? Very damp dry cloth of course.

    Thank you for your time!

  • The recipe I have for orange vinegar says to make sure there is no pulp with the peels. Your recipe doesn`t seem concerned about pulp, which would make it much simpler to make.

  • […] entre outras coisas, as de laranja para nomeadamente aromatizar a sala e as de limão para, por exemplo, afastar as formigas da […]

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  • So, since you’re the lemon expert, I wonder if you’ve ever had this problem. I have a large plastic beverage container with a spigot. I loaned it out and it was used to store lemon water continuously for 2 days. Since then, I’ve been unable to get all the lemon rind residue to come clean from the inside of the container. Any ideas??

  • […] Couldn’t you just sit for hours scrolling through all the unique projects, DIYs, and articles on Pinterest?! Yeah, we could too. There are some really crazy ideas out there, so when we stumble upon something genius (and cheap!), we can’t help but share it with you! Get ready to have your mind blown by this collection from One Good Thing By Jillee about 25 amazing things you can do with lemon peels. […]

  • All Things Real Estate Newspaper 25 USES FOR LEMON PEELS…INCLUDING LEMON VINEGAR! | All Things Real Estate Newspaper says:

    […] like vinegar just the way it is and the smell never has bothered me, but when I start using it at homethe “boys” act like I’m spraying napalm around the house!  They are so dramatic! (I have no […]

  • I am a citrus vinegar FANATIC! Don’t forget you can eat this stuff, too. I use it in my homemade mayo and salad dressings. And when your vinegar is ready, grind up the vinegary peels in your garbage disposal to freshen it. Finally, if you are going to have this stuff sitting on your counter for two weeks, why not fashion a pretty container to keep it in? If interested, you can read more on grannyfab.blogspot.com.

    Now I’m going to go clean my stovetop with some lemon vinegar. Great post! Thanks!

  • […] One Good Thing suggests combining white vinegar with used halves of lemons. The benefit of this is you can have your cake and eat it to, or lemons, as the case may be. For those of us who can’t resist a nice tall glass of lemonade, we can kill two birds with one stone by squeezing the juice out for a citrusy refreshment and use their empty carcasses for cleaning, by combining them with vinegar. There is a wait time on this recipe, so make sure you read the full instructions. […]

  • […] hydrogen peroxide, citrus peels also serve your hygiene needs. Lemon peel has been shown to lighten age spots, and when mixed with baking soda, the peel can […]

  • […] many uses, especially for cleaning purposes. Check out this all-purpose lemon cleaner recipe from www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com. It will cut through any grease and grime like its […]

  • […] Lemon Vinegar This stuff is my go-to general purpose cleaner, and what I love even more is that it is kid-friendly. I add a few drops of tea tree oil, which has antibiotic qualities and I clean pretty much all my kitchen surfaces, doors and cabinets with this. You can also use orange peels. I freeze the peels and pull them out when it’s time to make another batch :) […]

  • After reading all that you can do with Lemon Peels and Lemon in general, I have no excuse to not try every one of the solutions mentioned. I have a Meyer Lemon tree and a Mandarin Orange tree that pollinate together. I still manage to get the lemon in the fruit and never the orange. My lemons are just a tad bit sweeter but still makes you pucker . I will definately be making me some Lemon Vinegar and cleaning solution. Great gift too.

  • You have made some good points there. I checked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.

  • […] juice, I looked up uses for the peels. There were quite a few. In fact, I think next time I will try this cleaning solution, but this time, I tried this recipe for candied lemon […]

  • […] 25 Uses For Lemon Peels…Including Lemon Vinegar! | One Good Thing by Jillee. […]

  • I used half a bucket of hot water, approximately four cups of vinegar and two lemons squeezed and dumped into the water mixture to clean the hardwood floors at the house my son is renting. The flooring was a beautiful blonde color but you couldn’t tell underneath the years of dirt and grime. Most of the discoloration was along the edges making the hallways appear very small. But after using my vinegar mix and lots of hand scrubbing (with a rag) they are clean, have a low sheen and the rooms are much brighter. Even the hallways look larger!!

  • It is very useful and informative. I have tried lemon juice for all types of allergy. One can try using lemon in food and see the effect.

  • For fabric softener, I mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1/2 bottle of Sauve ($1.00) conditioner, and 3 cups of hot water. shake. Add to rinse. I like the rain fresh scent (something like that). No vinegar and a very light scent of conditioner. But I use lemons for my skin, my drain, and with salt to scrub burnt pots. I’m making the lemon vinegar now, just because I’ve seen the same reaction from my family as you did. The fresh squeezed lemonade was a great bonus ;-) Thank you.

  • […] Pinterest but I modified mine just a little bit. I recommend you looking the one from Jill over at onegoodthingbyjillie.com , in her post she also mentions 25 more things you can use with lemon peels, you should read it, […]

  • I eat lemons after I put them in vinegar(half warm water turned cold). I’m Indian and I think the Japanese do something similar with honey or soy sauce. And others just do them with salt or something. Cool stuff. I like eating them more than cleaning with them. You should try if you too like the sour.

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  • Orange Vinegar works as a leave in pest Control For Dogs & Cats With Fleas & Ticks

    You Put It On The Pets and the pest will begin to find there way off of then pet

  • Is there anything I can do with the lemon peels after I make wonderful lemon vinegar? I keep thinking there is still something I can do with them besides throwing them out.

  • […] even use it as a water conditioner for our humidifier. Here is a link in case you haven't tried it: 25 Uses For Lemon Peels?Including Lemon Vinegar!One Good Thing by Jillee | One Good Thing by Jillee Wife to Jim and cat mom to Tucker, Benny, and Sadie Reply With […]

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  • Well I was really skepitcal about the grease cutting abilities if lemon peels in vinegar so I made my kidlets & their friends some lemon coke, cut-up the peels and filled the jar with vinegar. Today I pulled it out from under the sink, dipped a paper towel in it and wiped my VERY greasy range hood…. and well all I can say is HOLY CRAP!! That stuff works amazingly well! It probably smells nice but my sniffer isn’t working. :o)

    Can’t wait to try other DIY cleaners from your blog! You ROCK!!

  • I love lemons and have a million of them in the fridge right now. I love the smell of them when cleaning so I will definitely be trying the lemon vinegar. I use lemon juice and salt to get tough stains out of the kid’s clothes:)

  • What To Do When Life Gives You {Lots Of} Oranges!One Good Thing by Jillee | One Good Thing by Jillee says:

    […] as my Lemon Vinegar…but with an orange […]

  • Love these ideas…seeing I Throw Out tons of lemons are they are used. Even if they have been in ice tea, can you still use them? I would think Yes.

  • […] entre outras coisas, as de laranja para nomeadamente aromatizar a sala e as de limão para, por exemplo, afastar as formigas da […]

  • Love your blog and all the ideas you and others post on here. I have a questions about the peels after the 2 weeks is up – could these be reused in the enzyme cleaner or the enzyme paste or would the vinegar soaked into these prevent it from working the same?

  • Thanks for the lemon vinegar cleaner. I just made me a batch of it and like you, can’t really wait for the two weeks to be up. Thanks again for all the wonderful tips and recipes. You are my go to girl for natural cleaning products as I use many of your recipes. My favorite by far is the funiture polish. Rebecca ;)

  • I have added lemon juice to my vinegar n water mixture in the past and have loved it. My question about the peels is mold. I just bought a few days ago meyer lemons and one of them grew mold, hmmmmm. Im worried if I put them in vinegar for two weeks they will get moldy. Any thoughts? Thanks


  • After peeling and cutting garlic, you can put lemon juice on your hands and rub them on stainless steel… like a fork and it will take all the garlic smell off of your hands…

  • […] no secret….I sort of have a love affair with lemons!  I have done posts on 25 Uses For Lemon Peels…Including Lemon Vinegar;  10 Homemade Cleaners Made From Citrus Peels;  Make Your Own Citrus Enzyme Cleaner; & Make […]

  • Great tips! I love lemon. I started making lemon and orange vinegar for my hair before I knew it was a good cleaner! I like the smell of vinegar, but I like citrus more, and it leaves my hair with a light citrus scent, and seems to make it shinier.

    It’s safe on skin and hair, though I wouldn’t spend too much time in the sun with it on since citrus oils on your skin can make you photosensitive. I’ve not had a problem, but some people are more sensitive than others. It has added nice high lights to my hair.

    Any citrus peel works, lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange. My husband and I go dumpster diving and find tons of citrus, which makes me very happy since I have a constant stock of shampoo and conditioner from it! Love my citrusy vinegar, and even more so since the fruit is free most of the time.

    If you’re not squeamish, and there’s no chance you’ll get into trouble, dumpster diving is a great way to get citrus in the bag since they throw the whole bag out if one fruit is bad. In just one trip, we’re over whelmed with oranges, since that’s the most popular down here. When I have vinegar, I make so much orange vinegar I run out of room to put it.

  • I live in one of those lemon UNfriendly growing areas and where individual lemons seem to get more expensive all the time. I ALSO noticed that if you look around usually you can discover BAGS of a dozen or so lemons for MUCH less than individuals cost! Walmart usually has these but you might have to look for them or ask.

    I also notice that the ones in the bag altho a tad smaller have the nice thin shiny skins and are jucier –not the large knobby thick ugly lumpy skins and almost “dried out” interiors.

    For some reasons–I have a theory on this tho!!!–the limes at Walmart and other places are MUCH better quality and cheaper than lemons. (I think because there are Mexican food uses for these they are brought in by the truckload and are better quality!) And yay for that! I LOVE limes and use them for spritzing on chicken and steak–season with cumin and garlic and pepper and grill and add some shredded cheese for an amazing taco/fajita–and season with lime after cooking too! Mmmmm—-

    Also great for adding to water and tea and other beverages–beer too. Will be stashing the peels now tho!

  • YES! I love it. I have done the orange peels and vinegar, and I love it, now I am going to get lemons and do the same, and I love the idea of squeezing the juice and freezing it!!! Thank you for sharing all your wonderful wisdom, I now want to do all of it for myself.

  • I am madly in love with my 2 week old Vinegar and Lemon concoction… I could not stop spraying and wiping all day… It leaves every thing fresh and clean and so sparkly.. I have always been a sucker for anything lemon… Now I can go under my cupboard and get fresh cleanser instead of the ol’ Target’… I added 10 drops of lemon oil… yummy.. thanks

  • It is official….. I have to start budgeting in a “Jillee” fund…..Every time I read this blog, I end up running to the store! I love this site. So many great ideas…..Thanks Jillee!

  • I also use an almost exact recipe for an all purpose cleaner-but I add fresh sprigs of rosemary to add to the scent! thanks for sharing this amazing blog with these great ideas!

  • THANK YOU for this awesome blog! I stumbled upon it this morning and have been loving all these cleaning tips! I’ve been using vinegar for years to clean; I can’t believe I never thought to add lemon! Just made up my first batch of Lemon Vinegar this morning and I’m impatiently waiting for the two weeks to be up so I can use it!!

  • So many great ideas. Lemons can be frozen and so can the peels. I keep a ziplock bag of lemon wedges in the fridge to add to ice tea, hot tea, V-8, water and other beverages. I also squeeze the lemons and freeze the lemon juice in ice cube trays for anything I might need lemon juice for. It’s healthier than bottled lemon juice which contains sodium. Peels go in a ziplock bag in the freezer too.

    When I was a little girl, my grandma used to squeeze lemons into a bowl of warm water and rinse my hair with it. Then she would let me sit out in the sun for a while. My hair always had nice golden highlights when she did this. I still do it today. It’s safe for children and also alot healthier on your hair in the summer instead of chemicals, dyes or “sun-in”.

    • Hello Jillee;

      My question is on the lemon seeds.. How can they be used? I was thinking of grinding them in the
      coffee grinder. What health benefits do they hold?

  • Hi Jillee–I was so excited when I saw this post and prepared a batch that was ready a couple of days ago. I kept dipping into the batch, like a child peeking at Christmas gifts before the holiday. Today I filtered the final product and sprayed it on the kitchen range hood and backsplash–holy cow, it cleaned like crazy! Thank you for sharing another “Good Thing by Jillee.”

  • What great ideas for lemons. My husband and I have 13 acres of lemon trees and I am always picking lemons that won’t make it to the next harvest. I hate to see them go to waste and I love the smell so I can’t wait to use some of your ideas! Thanks.

  • I LOVE citrus vinegar. I always a a sprig or two of rosemary to my lemon for that Williams Sonoma smell after I finish cleaning. But since we use more of them, I usually make grapefruit vinegar. It has a much lighter fragrance than the lemon or orange.

  • @Stephanie, I don’t see why not. I have made this with orange peels instead of lemons and it turned out great. This would probably work with any citrus peel.

  • I made this lemon vinegar some time ago. I use it sparingly as I still have tons of other cleaners I am trying to use them up first. But I have used it for everything. For instance the dog had a terrible hairball and decided to displace it on top of my suede sofa. Took a dishrag and solution to it and there is no stain of any kind. No smell at all. Have wash mirrors & windows with it and left no streaks and even kept away the steam from bath mirror for a few days of hot showers. I did leave my peels in for the entire time but just strained them a few days ago. Probably set for 2 months in vinegar. Smell of solution has no vinegar scent to it at all. Have shared with friends who have claimed it fantastic as well.

  • Would the lemon vinegar be alright to use on your hair? I know everyone says to use ACV but I absolutely can NOT stand the smell. I think this would be a great alternative because of the added benefits of the lemon.

  • Dog or horse mange remedy = a bunch of lemon peels, (okay if they have leftover stuff clinging to the insides) cover with water, wait 3 days, bathe infected areas with the water. Afterwards, add more water to the lemon peels, in another three days do it again.. Keep doing it till the mange clears up.. non toxic to pets or humans, and it works! I got this many years ago from a book by herbalist Juliet de Barcli-Levy.

  • So many of the comments with detergent people are using just Vinegar in the washing machine rinse water. I don’t know about others, just I can still smell a hint of vinegar on my laundry when pulling it out. Thinking about this lemon vinegar what about infusing vinegar with lavender stalks in the summer months, or mint leaves if you have a mint plant.

    lavender or mint smelling vinegar for laundry or cleaning.

    • I was using just vinegar as my softener too until lately. I made Jillee’s Fresh Scent Homemade Fabric Softener using the Purex Crystals. Love it! I used the same fragrance crystals in my laundry detergent and my clothes smell wonderful! I have turned two girlfriends onto making their own detergent and softener this past week – and these are two who probably would not have considered doing that until they tried a sample. They thought I was crazy to make my own stuff … til they tried it.

  • When someone in my house has a lot of congestion or a sore throat we make hot lemonade. It cuts the congestion in your throat and it feels much better.
    The other day we cut up lemons and ginger and put it in jars covered with honey to use as a tea base for sore throats and coughs.

  • Just wanted to post a little something to those with cat problems… I read online that you can take the egg shells.. crush it up, and sprinkle it into your garden… I think egg shells can be used as fertilizers as well.. but anyway, the cats supposedly don’t like the feel of prickly shells on their paws, so they will stay away from your garden…

      • To get rid of unwanted cats in your garden, sprinke alot of cayenne pepper among your rows of flowers/veggies, etc. Sprinkle it on kind of thick too. It won’t hurt your flowers or veggies in any way. The cats get it on their paws, lick them and they don’t like the intense heat in their mouth! I used it in my mulch in the front yard near my front door because they kept peeing in it and all I could smell was cat urine. I bought a large container of cayenne pepper from Sams Club, sprinkled it all over the mulch and had no problems after that. A friend told me about it as she used it all the time for her veggie garden to keep cats and other critters away.

  • Place the peels of 8 to 14 lemons in a large gallon jar cover completely with a 5th of vodka. Place out for 3 weeks. Shake gently every day. Let it sit for 21 days. Mix with simple syrup and you have homemade Limencello. It is delicious. Save the peels and dry them after soaking to make a garnish. This is great over fruit salad as well.

  • Thanks for posting this. Everyone is always going on and on about cleaning with vinegar, but I can’t stand the smell. My mom used to run it through the coffee pot to clean it. I couldn’t stand being in the house on those days.

    • I would guess that mixing the powdered lemon essence from above with some sugar/sugar alternatives and adding to some water would do it. If not, then dehydrate the lemon pulp until brittle. Whirl in blender/food processor, add sugar/sugar substitute and water.

  • I LOVE Lemon. Great uses!
    Here are additional uses. Most are from Reader’s Digest.
    Eliminate Fireplace Odor – toss into a burning fire
    Last Resort to remove stains on marble – warning, it’s an acid, but it will bleach the stain
    Neutralize Cat Box Odor – a couple wedges in a bowl, will remove the scent from the air
    Deodorize Humidifier – 3 to 4 tspn. added to the water every few weeks will remove any odor and leave a nice lemony scent
    Prevent Potatoes and Cauliflower from turning brown – put a teaspoon of lemon juice in while they’re boiling and they won’t brown
    Brighten dull aluminum – rub the cut side of a lemon inside and out and buff with a soft cloth
    Keep rice from sticking – add a spoonful to boiling water, when done – let sit to cool and fluff with a fork
    Keep guacamole green, apple slices from browning, fruit salads fresh – just sprinkle liberally
    Make soggy lettuce crisp – Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl of cold water. Then put the soggy lettuce in it and refrigerate for 1 hour. Make sure to dry the leaves completely before putting them into salads or sandwiches.
    Insect cleaner – you touched on this – here’s what I do – Simply mix the juice of 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water and wash your floors with it; then watch the fleas and roaches flee. They hate the smell.
    Clean your microwave – Mix 3 tablespoons lemon juice into 1 1/2 cups water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High for 5-10 minutes, allowing the steam to condense on the inside walls and ceiling of the oven. Then just wipe away the softened food with a dishrag.
    Soak delicates in baking soda and lemon juice for at least half an hour before washing
    Remove underarm stains

  • I am sooooo happy you posted this! I cleaned my stove with baking soda and lemon juice today and I claimed out loud I LOVE LEMONS! AND BAKING SODA! I love the smell of citrus as well, so anything to make the place smell like it I am down! Definitely want to make the lemon vinegar as I am in love with that as well. I also love those red sparkly nails you have there!

  • I’ve become so conscious of all the nasty germs lurking around everywhere these days. And when I was made aware of all the crud living on menus in restaurants, I kinda freaked for not having thought of it sooner! So now, after I have ordered my meal and before I touch anything else, I use a slice of lemon to sanitize my hands. Keeps me from having to run to the ladies room to keep washing my hands!

  • I love lemons too and love the idea of using lemon peel to make lemon vinegar. I do think using lemons as cleansers is impractical if you don’t live in an area where they are inexpensive. I lived for 4 years in Houston and you could buy 10 lemons for $1.00 year round. But for most of the country (and where I live now) we are lucky to get 3 lemons for $1.00. That adds up to mighty expensive cleaner.

      • You know, I don’t see why not. I haven’t tried it but my guess is that it would work just fine.

    • I have a “99cents Only” dollar store near me that has an assortment of vegetables, fruits and other food items, check there for bags of lemons if you have a “99cents Only” dollar store near you. And you guessed it, a bag of lemons is a buck!

  • […] life is awesome, you only get one run at it, and if you do it right, you can make lemonade (or super swank DIY projects) out of the lemons life throws your way every single day. And I carry a reminder of that with me […]

  • In Indian restaurants, after a meal, they place little bowls of warm water with a thin lemon slice/wedge in it. One can dip one’s hands & fingers, swirl around & then wipe clean. It is Very refreshing, cleansing, & removes all traces of oil, greasiness. It leaves one’s hands feeling soft & clean.
    I do this as part of my home manicure routine.

  • Have any of you used the lemon zest in a cake. Oh my! If you like lemon as much as I do, try it. And I use the juice with powdered sugar to make the glaze. (I only make bundt cakes any more.) The lemon is so good, too. Just remember that with the zest, a little goes a long way. (I put a tad too much in the cake, but I still ate it all! I loved it!

  • Jillee asked what we use lemon peels for and the first thing that came to mind was a remedy for sore throats. Take a lemon and cut the top 1/4 off. Score an ‘x’ in top, now exposed portion of the remaining lemon. Place a peppermint down into the ‘x’. Gently squeeze the lemon (or rol it between your two hands) to release some of the juice. Now simply suck on the lemon, drinking the juice. Do this until there isn’t anymore juice. Something about this magical concoction relieves your sore throat.

  • If you are familiar with Feng Shui, lemon rinds (& whole fruit) are perfect. Place a bowl of rinds in a spot where stagnant air hangs around. It energizes chi and keeps it flowing.

  • I’m going to post this question in the forum as soon as my registration gets approved, but thought for now I would ask here, as the whole lemon vinegar thing made me think about it again:

    Does anyone have a good recommendation on where to get good reusable cleaning supplies, such as spray bottles / scrubbers? Jillee’s had me making my own everything for long enough that I don’t have much left in the way of old brand-name spray bottles, and the ones I have re-used never seem to last very long before they start leaking everywhere.

    I’d love to find things that are eco-friendly AND that don’t cost an arm & a leg – but that may be too much to ask. :O) I’ve found plenty of websites selling cleaning supplies but have no idea which ones I can trust.

    • The cleaning row in most any store has spray bottles & scrubbers near the mops & things. Also bottles can be found near the ironing boards in Walmart & around the kitchen/home supplies in The Dollar Tree. Those bottles should be $1 or less depending on the store. Also, many garden centers sell them, but I noticed the garden center here charges more for spray bottles than those in the cleaning area.

    • I looked online for bottles and sprayers, etc. By the time you pay shipping, it’s not worth it. I finally went to the Dollar Tree and bought 3 bottles of spray cleaner just for the sprayers and containers. I bought the big empty white bottles with sprayers at the Dollar Tree in the past, but they break down easily. The ones with cleaner already in them seem to be a much better quality.

    • I bought mine at Ace Hardware Store (a chain hardware store). Cost from 99 cents for a pint bottle to 1.29 for the quart size bottles. You can probably find them at Lowes or Home Depot as well.

  • Jillee–this is just fantastic! Such great ideas! LOVE the smell of lemons! And of lavender, like you! I want to try this cleaner and add a few drops of lavender EO :)

  • great round up of ideas for our bursting lemon tree! when i have a half of lemon in hand, i give the sink faucet and sink basin a quick scrub with it. helps break up our hard water deposits.

  • Oh how I love your blog!! Found you through Pintrest and after browsing so many other DIY, mommy and other (great!) blogs, I am officially addicted to One Good Thing…THANK YOU!! :)

  • Lemon is my absolute favorite scent and flavor! I use lemon weekly in my garbage disposal and on my cutting boards. I will definitely be giving the lemon vinegar a try! Did you know that lemon is also a natural detoxing agent for your liver? I drink lemon first thing in the morning (before my coffee) and throughout the day and before going to bed (about an hour before, if not I will not get any sleep). If you are trying to lose weight or decrease bloating, try lemon water. Be careful of the acidity with your teeth, I use about 1/2 a lemon daily. And it just tastes so good!

    • Lemon and some honey mixed in with slightly warm water. Drink first thing in morning for detoxification & weight loss. Honey & Warm water neutralize the acidity of lemon while keeping all the useful properties intact. This is an Ayurvedic ‘tonic’ too.

    • Ooooo. Love the lemon water idea. When ever I find lemons on sale I buy about 9 or 10, squeeze the juice and freeze a TB in each of the ice cube tray partitions. Then pop them all in a plastic bag for the freezer to use in anything I need. Lime too. Now I have a ton of ways to use the peels. Thank you girls!

  • What about pouring some of the lemon/vinegar mixture in the rinse cycle when washing clothes? Will it still soften? and leave a lemony scent to the clother?

  • I have a Meyer lemon tree and right now it has dozens of lemons in various stages of ripening. I just love it and give away lots. Thanks for all the tips! Last year I made Limoncello from lemon rinds using Giada’s recipe. Delicious!

    • I was going to recommend making Limoncello too! I have a Meyer Lemon tree (it’s a lemon crossed with a tangerine I think?) and my Limoncello turns out orange, but is super delicious! I buy French lemonade at World Market (with the wire swing tops) and after I drink the lemonade, I sterilize the bottles and use them for my homemade limoncello.

  • i dry the lemon peels. when they are completely dried out i grind them down in a coffee bean grinder. i mix this in with my homemade dishwasher soap to use as the ctiric acid. has been working great and smells divine

  • I clean my white sink with lemon and baking soda. I sprinkle baking soda in the sink and then scrub with non scratching sponge (I use the new one natural one that can go through the dishwasher to sanitize it). Then go through with a couple of lemon slices, the lemon juice reacts with the baking soda on tough spots. Scrub the sink with the lemon (mostly the pulp, but use the peel like a scrubber on dark marks from utensils), let dry then rinse away. Run left over lemon down the disposal.

  • I LOVE CITRUS ALSO.. so glad to see this post, as it reminds me to get some, and freeze it while its still fresh. i hate not having fresh citrus and Cilantro in the Winter months. My mouth waters at the thought of squeezing them.. lol LOVE your blog and so happy to get the daily post with all your hard work.. THANKS Jillee =)

  • You’ve just reminded me about a tip I heard about the lightener. You can supposedly put lemon juice on sunspots and greatly reduce it’s appearance. I keep meaning to do it on an accidental souvenir from Kauai on the side of my face and this was a perfect reminder!

  • I have one with lemon going right now. I can’t wait to use it – I opened it and it smells wonderful! I did one with orange peels the first time but the lemon one seems much stronger and very lemony. I love this stuff. Can you put the flesh in too or just the peel?

  • I tear lemon peel into ½” pieces and sprinkle them outside in areas that I don’t want the neighborhood cats to, uh, use. They really do seem to hate the smell and avoid the area now!

  • First, Thank you for the work involved in this daily blog. Second, I have been making the lemon enzyme for months, and two weeks ago I pulled out my most recent batch and it had the mother of all ‘mother’s growing. It smells like vinegar and not at all like previous batches, My question…how is this different? I’m not talk’n techno stuff…I’m curious as to smell, color, clarity, general cleaning….
    Thanks again to you and your forum for us ‘not so hard core’ living frugal individuals.

    • Laura…I’m not quite sure but I would try giving it a good shake, strain it, dilute it and clean as usual. Shouldn’t hurt anything. If you find it’s not as effective as before you might want to start another batch. I’m going to look into this some more.

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