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10 Bright Ways to Use Lemons to Green Clean

Uplift Your Cleaning Routine with This Fresh Ingredient


Lemons are a great for green cleaning.

Lemons are great for green cleaning.

Photo © Karen Peltier

Enliven your cleaning routine with the fresh scent of lemons. Both lemon juice and lemon essential oil are an essential part of everyday green cleaning and can be used in many ways.

Lemon essential oil is not only antiseptic, antimicrobial, and bactericidal, but has also been shown to actually improve people’s moods according to a 2008 study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, so try using some lemon essential oil to make cleaning seem better! Also, lemon juice's low pH and citric acid content, which is a natural chelating agent, bactericide, and fungicide, make it great for eco-friendly cleaning, too.

So, check out these uses for how to clean with lemons and give one a try today!

Clean your garbage disposals. Adding fresh lemon peels (with the white part removed) and a little baking soda into your garbage disposal will help naturally deodorize it and remove gunk and grime. If it's particularly smelly, add in some vinegar to boost it's cleaning action and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, run hot water while your garbage disposal is on. You'll notice a considerable improvement — an odor-free and clean garbage disposal.

Disinfect. Lemon juice kills bacteria, mold, and mildew due to its citric acid content, which is about 5-8%, so it's great for cleaning your bathroom or kitchen. Squeeze some lemon juice into a bucket of hot water and vinegar to clean, or use lemon juice full strength onto especially germy surfaces, such as kitchen sink faucet handles. You may also add it to this DIY Clean Everything Lemon-Lime Spray and enjoy getting some easy green cleaning done!

Eliminate hard water stains. Lemon juice's low pH and high acid content easily removes hard water stains as it dissolves calcium and lime deposits. Squeeze some lemon juice onto the surfaces you need to clean, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with a soft microfiber rag or soft bristled brush. Rinse well with water.

Freshen the air naturally. Infuse your room with the fresh scent of lemons by using lemon essential oil in an aromatherapy diffuser. Or, make a baking soda and lemon room deodorizer as shown in the video "How to Create a Non-Toxic Air Freshener." For more fresh ideas on how to naturally freshen a room, check out "Top 12 Green DIY Air Fresheners."

Refresh your refrigerator cleaning routine. A paste of baking soda, water, and a little lemon juice deodorizes, cleans, and removes stains from inside your refrigerator and is safe, easy, and non-toxic. Wipe away with a wet microfiber rag.

Remove rust. Forget about toxic rust removers and instead mix lemon juice with a little salt. You can use it on fabrics and hard surfaces like porcelain sinks. Let it sit on the spot for a few minutes before gently scrubbing and rinsing away with water. You'll be amazed at how well it works!

Scrub surfaces without scratching. If you've got delicate surfaces that you need to scrub clean, such as porcelain and stainless steel, try making this DIY Earth Friendly Disinfecting Cream Cleanser with lemon scented castile soap or Aromatherapy Cleanser with lemon essential oil.

Take care of tarnish. Rub tarnished copper pots and pans with a paste of lemon juice and baking soda to remove tarnish with ease. Fabulous!

Whiten your sink. A paste of lemon juice and baking soda remove stains and cleans well, leaving your porcelain sink sparkling like new!

Zap soap scum. Lemon juice's citric acid content helps break down soap scum on shower doors, tile, and tubs, so it's especially great for cleaning your bathroom. Try a DIY spray made with citrus juices and vinegar for easy bathroom cleaning.

Note: Because lemon juice is acidic, don't use it on porous stone surfaces, such as marble. Always rinse the surface you are cleaning with water after using lemon juice.


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