Lemons: the secret cleaning superpower

Stop forking out for expensive (and toxic) cleaning products, when all you need to do is look in your own pantry! There are so many natural products that have proven to be powerful cleaners, and the latest that we’ve jumped on is the humble lemon. Not only is the acidic nature of lemons perfect for cleaning, but they also act as antibacterial and antiseptic sanitiser. So how can you use them? Read on…

In the kitchen

The microwave

It makes me cringe to think how little I clean our microwave. There must be so much bacteria and lingering smell from all the food that gets cooked and reheated in there. You can get rid of any funky smells and also give the microwave an antibacterial clean by putting a bowl of water with lemon slices in it and cooking on high for one minute. The steam with help to loosen any caked-on mess, which you can wipe down afterwards. I think this might be tonight’s job…

Your dishes

Run out of dishwashing liquid? Never fear! Cut a lemon in half, sprinkle with baking soda, and use it as a sponge. Your hands will probably love it more than your typical washing up liquid too.

If you’re noticing a gross smell coming from the dishwasher (we’ve all been there), put a cup of lemon juice in the bottom tray and run the rinse cycle with an empty dishwasher. It will deodorise as well as disinfect!

Chopping boards

These are something that I never want to look at under a microscope. You can only imagine the bacteria there. Sanitise yours by squeezing half a lemon over it and letting it absorb for 10 minutes. Wooden boards will absorb the juice (yes, they’re absorbing everything else too) but it works for plastic boards as well. After 10 minutes, kill any remaining bacteria by scrubbing the other half of the lemon all over the board.

In the bathroom

Soap scum in the shower

Instead of spraying chemical treatments on your shower tiles, screen and fixtures, try this homemade natural remedy: Juice six lemons and pour the contents into a spray bottle and spritz over shower surfaces. The citric acid will break down hard water deposits and dissolve filmy soap scum. Plus, the antibacterial and antiseptic properties will also sanitise your bathroom.

Get rid of mould

Rid your home of mould by using a paste made from equal parts lemon juice and salt and scrub away mildew and mould from tiles and other surfaces.

Clean your drains

This is particularly important if you have a septic system. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup or more of hot lemon juice. After a few minutes, rinse with hot water. Also, if you have a garbage disposal unit – toss lemon peels into it and grind these to help get rid of odours and keep it smelling fresh.

Glistening glass

To give your shower glass (or any other glass for that matter) a natural clean, simply mix four tablespoons of lemon juice with eight cups of water. The powerful citric acid will dissolve dirt, grime and water stains, leaving your glass glistening and streak-free.

Around the house

Freshen your laundry

Combat the odours of work, sport and everyday living and give your clothes a sweet scent by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice to your washing load, along with detergent.

Make metal all shiny and new

Want to polish your copper, brass and chrome the natural way? Put some elbow grease behind half a lemon and allow the acidic power to cut through grease and loosen mineral deposits, making them easier to wipe away.

Clean with a natural cleanser

A combination of lemon juice and borax (or baking soda) – mixed to the consistency of peanut butter – makes a powerful cleaner which is perfect for cleaning your bathroom, as well as hard-to-reach-places. Use the fresh-smelling cleanser with a toothbrush to scrub tiles, around drains as well as little nooks and crannies.

NOTE, don’t use borax in the kitchen (unless you thoroughly rinse it off) and keep it away from little ones and animals because it is toxic if swallowed.



  1. Hollie Laird November 16, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    I have always known that lemon is one of those all-rounder things with multiple purposes but I really like the microwave idea. Must try it!

  2. Kym Moore October 18, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    So many uses! I have used it in the microwave. That method is so simple. But never thought about using the lemon halves as scrubbing brushes!

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