Lemon Uses That’ll Surprise You

Written by Brandon Garrett

Lemons are one of those great tools that can help you save money and become more self-sufficient. Knowing its multiple uses can help you become more self-reliant when you are cooking, cleaning, using first-aid or homesteading.

Check out these amazing uses of lemons below and add your own at the bottom!

Disinfect Cuts and Scrapes
This might burn a little bit but you can stop bleeding and disinfect minor cuts and scrapes. Pour a few lemon drops directly on the cut. You can also place a few drops of juice onto a cotton swab and hold it firmly on the scrape for 1 minute.

Keep Ants Out of the Kitchen
Don’t waste money on all those fancy insecticides and ant traps, just give lemons a try! Squirt some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Squeeze lemon juice into holes or cracks that might allow ants to crawl through. You can also scrape some lemon peel around open areas of the doors. You can also get rid of roaches and fleas by mixing 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 1/2 gallon of water. Use the concoction to wash your floors.

Clean Tarnished Brass
By making a simple paste of lemon juice and salt, you can get rid of those gross tarnish marks on brass pots and pans. Create a thick paste and coat the affected areas. Let the paste sit for 5 minutes and then wash with warm water. This will also work on metal kitchen sinks.

Rid Clothes of Mildew
I hate finding that my clothes have mildew on them once I’ve stored them for a long winter. To get rid of mildew on clothing, simply create a paste out of lemon juice and salt and rub the affected area. Dry the clothing in sunlight. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

Make Soggy Lettuce Crisp
It’s important to never waste any food. That’s why it’s so frustrating to see that the lettuce in your fridge has gone soggy. But no worries, lemons can help! Add the juice from a half a lemon to a bowl of cold water. Place the soggy lettuce in the water and refrigerate for 1 hour. Make sure the leaves are completely dry before putting them in salads or sandwiches.

Sooth Poison Ivy Rash
You don’t necessarily need a tub full of calamine lotion next time you come in contact with some poison ivy. Instead, apply straight lemon juice to the affected area to soothe itching.

Remove Berry Stains
Your out picking berries from your bushes and realize that you now have stains all over your fingers. The stains don’t usually come of with soap and water so use lemon juice instead. Wash your hands in the lemon juice and wait a few minutes. After the wait, wash your hands with warm, soapy water. Repeat the process until the stain is completely gone.

Lemons are very acidic and contain a lot of antibacterial properties that are great for sanitizing. You can clean surfaces like cutting boards or counters by rubbing a half a lemon on them. Allow the surface to sit for a few minutes and then rinse.

What Have You Done?
How have you used lemons? Share your knowledge below and help others save money and time!

Updated September 25, 2013


  1. Kathy Wilson wrote:

    When you want to clean and clear pimples, and black heads from your face, mix one egg white with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and apply to your face as a mask. Let dry about half an hour, then peel off. This will help remove dead skin, and all extra oil, and help slough off material clogging pores. Works for me….

    September 26th, 2013 at 3:39 am
  2. Dave wrote:

    Better trick for “mildew” on clothes that have been packed and/or stored. Make SURE they are dry FIRST. Mildew usually takes moisture to form…unless it’s “dry rot”.

    September 26th, 2013 at 5:23 am
  3. fauna wrote:

    I just LOVE LEMONS!! They just smell Clean and now I have an excuse to use them all over my home–a Big THANK YOU!!!

    September 26th, 2013 at 5:29 am
  4. Beth wrote:

    I’ve been asking for lemon powder for over a year-wish you had it to purchase.

    September 26th, 2013 at 6:51 am
  5. Nancy wrote:

    I cut a lemon in half, split the half lemon into quarters, place in a small dish, pour sea salt into the center of the lemon and place in my freezer. There is no lemon smell, but it keeps the freezer smelling fresh!

    September 26th, 2013 at 7:34 am
  6. Ryan wrote:

    Lemons are great for so many things.
    I just use a few drops of lemon oil for most of the things mentioned above. It’s more concentrated and I don’t have to worry about a box of lemons going bad.

    September 26th, 2013 at 8:01 am
  7. Scott wrote:

    To clean a stained glass coffee pot diner style, carefully add a handful of ice cubes, tbsp of salt, and squeeze 1/2 a lemon into it. Swirl the mixture in the pot for 2-5 mins and dump and rinse. Ready for the next pot, clean & clear!

    September 26th, 2013 at 8:23 am
  8. Dave wrote:

    A slice of lemon or lime is an effective deodorant. Just wipe your pits – it works!

    Cut up lemons and boil in water, peel and all, until the water’s half gone. You now have natural styling gel for your hair.

    September 26th, 2013 at 8:57 am
  9. Jim wrote:

    You can used lemon juice to make hair conditioner go a lot further. The leave in conditioners like It a 10 can be mixed 50/59 with half lemon juice so one bottle makes two and it is much more expensive than lemon juice…

    September 26th, 2013 at 9:49 am
  10. Rick wrote:

    I like to mix lemon juice with sugar, pour it over ice and drink it. it satisfies my thirst quite well.

    September 26th, 2013 at 10:05 am
  11. Jon wrote:

    Lemon juice will take the smell of fish from your hands or ice chest.

    September 26th, 2013 at 2:51 pm
  12. Glennon wrote:

    It’s also great in rum, vodka, and gin!

    September 26th, 2013 at 5:25 pm
  13. Jason wrote:

    I like to slice them up and add to herbs from garden to make a marinade. Lemon basil lemons oregano olive oil. Soak herbs n lemonsfirst in small amount of vodka then when you see it change color add to olive oil vinegar and water and more fresh herbs makes great for chicken seafood.

    September 26th, 2013 at 8:49 pm
  14. Will wrote:

    These are awesome tips. I have 2 lemon trees in my yard and they don’t stop sprouting fruit… I have endless supply of lemons so this will help me get more use out of the lemons.

    I just juice mine and pour in ice cube trays and drop a few lemon juice cubes into my drinks for a time release hint of lemon in my water or soda but that is mundane compared to some tips here. Thanks!

    September 27th, 2013 at 7:57 am
  15. Diana wrote:

    Unless you, like Will, have an endless supply of homegrown lemons, I would respectfully suggest it is a lot more economical to restrict your lemon household hints to such peels of lemons squeezed for juice as you may occasionally have around and substitute cheap citric acid for expensive lemons in a lot of the above.

    And Beth, what is usually sold as lemon powder or lemon juice powder is generally not powdered lemons/lemon juice, but rather a concoction of flavored maltodextrin, corn syrup solids and lemon oil, or something similar. Such products are strictly for adding lemon flavor to baking/cooking and would not substitute well for lemons in these hints, any more than the “granulated honey” the Ready Store sells that is really crystalized cane syrup (ordinary table sugar) flavored with some honey will make an adequate substitute for real honey in your medicine chest. For real storage lemon powder you would need powdered freeze-dried lemons or possibly dehydrated lemons (and good luck on finding any freeze-dried lemons for retail sale, plus even if you could, they would be rather expensive stuff to use for household cleaning).

    Powdered versions/substitutes for what is ordinarily a liquid may have a place in your food storage, but they are only rarely the straight dehydrated or freeze-dried liquids, so you should know exactly what it is you are storing and how and where it can be used successfully before spending money on any of them.

    October 9th, 2013 at 1:54 pm
  16. Liz wrote:

    I dehydrate my lemons and reconstitute as needed. I recently used my dry lemons as part of my concoction for my Christmas turkey brine. The family thought it was the best bird yet.

    January 12th, 2014 at 3:10 pm
  17. Vicci wrote:

    For years I’ve been using lemons and ice cubes to clean and freshen my garbage disposal.

    January 12th, 2014 at 5:50 pm
  18. Ashley wrote:

    Recently I used lemons cut in half and salt to scrub my tub. It took more elbow grease than my favorite bleach spray, but it was much kinder to my septic system.

    January 31st, 2014 at 10:09 pm
  19. Sam wrote:

    Why can’t you just dehydrate sliced lemons, blend them into powder. We dehydrate sliced oranges and oven seal them for future use. At least you know your using the real thing.

    April 17th, 2014 at 6:08 am
  20. Patti wrote:

    It is a medical fact that by drinking a small amount of lemon juice it cures hiccups!

    April 17th, 2014 at 7:37 am
  21. Storm wrote:

    I changed the “Disinfect Cuts and Scrapes”. After adding the lemon to the wound, I usually rub salt in as well.

    April 17th, 2014 at 12:31 pm
  22. Robin wrote:

    When I was a little girl and sick, Mom would mix honey and lemon and use it to calm coughs and sore throats.

    April 17th, 2014 at 10:34 pm
  23. Kathy wrote:

    I’ve always used lemon juice to keep sliced fruit from turning brown. Put sliced fruit into a container, squirt some lemon juice in there, toss the mixture, then drain. You can cover the container,(or a Ziploc bag) to save for a little later.Doesn’t’ change the flavor either!

    April 18th, 2014 at 6:15 am
  24. Fran wrote:

    I like lemon juice mixed with water and a little stevia. It is thirst quenching and I don’t worry about the additional sugar.

    April 20th, 2014 at 4:19 am
  25. Sandra wrote:

    I read that you should freeze lemons, then grate them into just about every thing you eat. It supposedly doesn’t change the flavor, but gives all the benefits. I haven’t tried it yet, but plan to soon.

    April 20th, 2014 at 9:26 am
  26. Ed wrote:

    I’ve enjoyed just eating lemons and salt. I’ve been doing it almost 65 years, I not only have all of my teeth, but my dentist says they’re in great shape.

    April 30th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

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