I’m the proud owner of a lemon tree, which means that I have a LOT of lemons. I do use 3-5 lemons a week in cooking, but I’m going to have get much more creative to keep all that bounty from going to waste.

Fish: Fish and lemon just go together. Squeeze a bit over the top or add it to the pan juices for a lovely sauce.

Lettuce: Resurrect wilted lettuce by mixing a blow of water with the juice of one lemon. Place the lettuce in the bowl, then set in the fridge for an hour. Remove and dry the lettuce. It should be crisp again.

Lemonade: Is there anything better than fresh lemonade? You can be simple and make a basic lemonade with lemon juice, water, and sugar, or get fancy with this ginger-berry lemonade.

Lemon Curd: Make pies, meringues, shortbreads, a yummy topping, etc. Lemon curd is really easy to make.

Lemon Juice: Numerous recipes call for lemon juice in varying amounts. Squeeze several lemons into ice cube trays, then defrost one cube at a time for your recipe, and probably the rest of the week. Each cube equals about two tablespoons. If you live in an area where citrus trees go dormant during winter, you’ll have free lemon juice all winter long.

Garbage Disposal: My mom keeps lemon and lime halves behind the sink after she’s used them. If she gets a funny smell in the sink, she just shoves a lemon remnant into the disposal and flips it on. Instant fix.

Disinfectant: Lemon juice is a natural disinfectant, so pour it on counters and other surfaces that have been exposed to germs. Be sure to follow it with a clean sponge, so you don’t have sticky counters. Rub it into wood cutting boards to remove smells.

Rough Skin: Mix lemon juice and brown sugar, then scrub heels, elbows, knees, or any other spot where you have dry, cracked skin. Follow-up with an olive oil massage.

Limescale: You don’t need a fancy cleaner to get limescale off your faucets and fixtures. Squirt with lemon juice and scrub away.

Soap Scum: Spray lemon juice on soap scum to remove hard water stains and soap scum from shower doors and walls.

Sore Throat: Mix lemon juice and hot water for a nice, soothing beverage that will also help sooth your sore throat. The steam may also help your congestion.

Cut Fruit: Keep cut fruit fresh by adding lemon juice to water and soaking the fruit before cooking it. If you’re setting the fruit out to serve, sprinkle it with lemon juice to ward off brown spots.

Cut Potatoes: Sprinkle cut potatoes with lemon juice to prevent browning before you cook them.

Weeds: Rather than buying a weed spray, squirt lemon juice between the cracks on the sidewalk where weeds are springing up.

Highlights: Mix the juice of one lemon (usually ¼ cup) with one teaspoon salt and apply to hair. Go out in the sun for an hour or two for natural highlights. Make sure you wash your hair after that or it will keep working.

Laundry: Add lemon juice to the wash cycle to brighten whites and make your laundry lemony fresh without harsh chemicals. You can also use it to remove some stains, like ink. Pre-soak garments in baking soda and lemon juice for half an hour immediately before washing to remove tough stains.

Dishwasher: Add half a lemon to the top half of the dishwasher (spear it on a divider) for cleaner, fresh-smelling dishes.

Household Cleaner: Mix lemon juice, vinegar, and water for a multi-surface cleaner.

Metal Polish: Make a paste from salt and lemon juice, then use to polish copper, chrome, aluminum, brass, and stainless steel. Don’t use it on silver or gold.

Ants: Ward off ants by spraying lemon juice into cracks and gaps they may use to enter your house.

Grease: Get out grease stains or cut the grease on dishes with lemon juice. It’s a natural de-greaser.

Chicken: Mix herbs and lemon juice, then pour under the skin of a whole chicken to add flavor to the breast while you roast it. Also stuff a cut lemon inside the cavity for even more flavor.

Salad Dressing: Many dressings and vinaigrettes call for a teaspoon of lemon juice to add a bright, fresh flavor. Try it with your favorite homemade salad dressing to see what happens.

Refrigerator: If you have a bad odor in the fridge, first remove the offending item, then put lemon juice on a sponge or cotton ball and set it in the fridge for a few hours.

Scurvy: Obviously, this isn’t a major problem for most Americans, but it’s good to know that drinking lemon juice can prevent scurvy if you’re ever lost on a deserted island. Orange juice works just as well, and tastes better, but beggars can’t be choosers when stuck on deserted islands.

Got more uses for lemons? Share them in the comments. I’ve got a lot of lemons to use up, and I only have so many friends I can pawn them off on.

Comments

One Response to “25 Household Uses for Lemons”

  1. steve on February 15th, 2011 6:09 am

    I squeeze limes lemons place in ziplocs and freeze. 3 lg. limes per bag. Perfect for lemonade pitcher.

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