Here’s 22 Suggestions For What To Do With Lemons
It seems like I’ve written a lot about what to do with lemons over the years, but I just can’t help myself! Not only do I love the flavor of lemon in food and desserts, but I’ve found that lemons are incredibly useful too!
Lemons are an ingredient in many of my homemade cleaning solutions, because they can naturally sanitize, deodorize, whiten, and brighten all sorts of objects and surfaces around your house. In fact, I could probably come up with 100 things to do with lemons!
But if I did, we’d be here all day and night. So I’ve chosen to exercise some self-control and limit myself to sharing 22 of the very best uses for lemons. By the end of this list, you’ll see just how much this little citrus fruit can do!
Check out how to keep lemons fresher, longer in my video at the end of the post!
22 Useful Things You Can Do With Lemons
1. Make Dried Lemon Peels
One of the best things you can do if you have lots of lemons on hand is to make dried lemon peels. They’re great to use in recipes, homemade cleaners, and even beauty products. The peel of the lemon contains oils that are packed with lemon scent and flavor, and you can keep dried lemon peels in your fridge to use for up to a year!
Related: How To Make And Use Dried Lemon Peel
2. Fade Age Spots
Use a lemon to whip up a homemade treatment for skin discolorations! Lemon juice has natural lightening properties which can help reduce the appearance of age spots and sun spots. Get the full recipe at the link below.
3. Make Your Shower Door Shine
Glass shower doors are like magnets for hard water stains and stubborn soap scum. Use a lemon to help you scrub them clean! Dip half a lemon into a small dish of kosher salt, and get scrubbing. Then stand back and admire the shine!
4. Dust Your House
Gather some lemon peels and some white vinegar, and whip up a batch of your own reusable dusting cloths. You’ll love the way they cut through dust and grime, as well as the invigorating lemon scent they leave behind! Get the super simple instructions below.
5. Make Cleaning Vinegar
I love to clean with vinegar. It’s actually one of my favorite natural cleaning agents, but I know a lot of people don’t like the smell. So I created a scented cleaning vinegar that you can use to clean almost anything! Just grab some lemons and a jug of vinegar, and follow the easy steps below.
6. Eliminate Fridge Odors
Use a lemon to absorb lingering odors in your refrigerator. Soak a sponge or cotton ball in some fresh lemon juice, and place it in your fridge for several hours to absorb those odors.
7. Remove Permanent Marker Stains
With the help of lemons, it IS possible to remove permanent marker stains! You can use a mixture of lemon juice and cream of tartar to remove or treat permanent marker stains on fabric or upholstery. (Get more tips on removing permanent marker stains by reading the post below.)
8. Whiten Your Clothes
Lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide are the two main components in the recipe for my homemade bleach alternative. This all-natural mixture is great for whitening whites and removing stains. Get the full recipe below!
9. Keep Bugs Out
Use lemon juice to repel pesky insects in your home! Squeeze some lemon juice into holes and cracks where you see ants coming in, and they’ll avoid the area in the future.
10. Clean Your Kitchen
Use lemons to make two homemade cleaners at once – an enzyme cleaning spray and a scrub! I use this enzyme scrub all the time on my sink, and it works like a charm! My sink is left looking clean and sparkling, and it smells so fresh, too! Get all the details and plenty of photos at the link below.
11. Freshen Your Garbage Disposal
If your garbage disposal is smelling a little funky, there’s a super simple way to clean it! Just pour white vinegar into an ice cube mold, and drop small lemon slices into each section. Freeze the tray, then drop a few of the frozen vinegar cubes into your running garbage disposal. The ice will help keep the blades sharp and clean, and the lemon helps to deodorize the disposal. Repeat the process once a week or so to keep things smelling fresh.
12. Wash Your Veggies
Use lemon juice to clean your fresh fruits and vegetables. Just add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 8 ounces of water, and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray your fruits and veggies, let them sit for a few minutes, and then rinse them thoroughly with cold water.
13. Get Silky Smooth Legs
Lemon juice is a component in my homemade exfoliating scrub for super soft legs. It’s great to use right before you shave, and it will help combat dry and itchy skin during the winter. If you’ve never tried this before, I highly recommend it! You won’t believe how silky smooth your legs feel. :-)
14. Clear Up Blackheads
Lemon juice can help you get rid of pesky blackheads, and even out your skin tone in the process! Apply a simple mixture of lemon juice, baking soda, and honey and give your pores a good steam, then gently remove the remaining blackheads for clear, glowing skin. Get the full details on this treatment below!
15. Eliminate Garbage Can Odors
Save leftover lemon peels to eliminate odors from your garbage can! After you take a full bag out of the trash, place a handful of lemon peels at the bottom of the can, then put your new trash bag in. The lemon peels will help keep your garbage can smelling fresh and clean.
Related: 20 Uses For Lemon Essential Oil
16. Heal Cracked Heels
If you struggle with dry, cracked heels, a lemon can provide relief! Just remove the flesh out of one half of a lemon, then place the empty “shell” on your heel. Put a sock on to hold the lemon in place, and leave it for 30 minutes. The acid in the lemon juice will help slough off dead skin cells, leaving softer, smoother skin behind. Get more details below.
Related: A Simple Solution For Cracked Heels
17. Make Your House Smell Amazing
During the cold winter months, I love mixing up potpourri to make my house smell warm and inviting. It’s an easy way to fill your house with the scents of the season! Check out the link below to get the recipe for a lemon-rosemary potpourri… mmm!
18. Keep Guacamole Fresh
Lemon juice can help you keep avocado fresh for a couple of days in the fridge. Squeeze half a lemon over guacamole or smashed avocado, then press a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface. It’ll stay green and fresh, at least for a day or two!
19. Clean A Stained Cutting Board
I thought my stained plastic cutting boards were beyond saving, until I found this amazing trick! Using lemon and good old fashioned sunshine, you can lift those unsightly stains right out of your white cutting boards. Get the details below!
20. Treat Dandruff
Treat annoying dandruff with the help of fresh lemon juice. Massage 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into your scalp, then rinse. Repeat the process daily until your dandruff disappears.
Related: 22 Health Benefits Of Lemons
21. Cook With Lemons
Whether as the star of the recipe such as with lemon curd and lemon jam, ways to use lemons in recipes are almost unlimited. Need some ideas? Check out this list of delicious lemon recipes like lemon chicken, old-fashioned lemonade, slow-cooked lemon chicken, and more. Lemon juice also makes a great substitute for cream of tartar in a pinch.
22. Drink Lemon Water
A glass of water with the juice of one lemon has about 10 calories, and contains vitamins C and B, folate, potassium, and iron. Aside from promoting hydration, lemon water has other great benefits: it is packed with antioxidants, may support weight loss, and can even help prevent kidney stones. Maybe we should change that old saying to “a lemon a day keeps the doctor away”!
BONUS: Tips For Storing Lemons
How long will lemons last on the counter? Whole lemons can usually be stored at room temperature for about a week, but if you have lots of lemons and can’t use them right away, here are a few tips that can help you keep them fresh longer (and some clues so you can tell if they have gone bad).
Store Lemons In A Jar Of Water In Your Fridge
To prolong the life of your fresh lemons, a reader suggested storing them in a jar of water in your fridge! We gave it a try, and it kept our lemons good for about a week longer than storing them on the counter. Smart!
Can you freeze whole lemons? Yes, you can! You can freeze lemon slices or wedges, zest, lemon juice, or whole lemons. For whole lemons, place them in freezer bags and remove as much air as possible before freezing. To thaw, microwave for a few seconds or put them in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Ice cube trays are great for freezing lemon juice.
When Should You Throw Away Lemons?
Not even the best storage methods will preserve fresh lemons forever! If you have any lemons that look shriveled, feel squishy, look powdery or dusty, or have any dark spots or mold on them, it’s time to throw them away. But try the tricks above first, so they don’t go bad before you can use them.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy the scent, taste, or usefulness of lemons?