11 Household Uses for Lemon Juice

by Sean Bryant on May 31, 2013

Uses for Lemon JuiceSome might use them to kick up the flavors of there favorite dish. Others might like to add them as a garnish to their cocktail. But, were you aware that lemons have so many other uses? Some of them will even save you money.

These alternative uses will help make your home smell and look great, will assist in preserving food and will put a stop to your post-workout odor minus deodorant. So, when life gives you lemons who said you only need to make lemonade?

Natural Weed Killer

Every spring my lawn seems to harvest every type of weed known to man. Since I have a dog that loves to spend his days laying in the backyard soaking up the rays, I hate using weed killers. A great alternative is to use lemon juice. If you have a garden hose filter all to need to do is load that up and give your weeds a good spray. They should be wilted within the day.

Get Rid of Litter Box Odors

How many times have you walked into a friends home and been overpowered by the smell of cat urine? Not the most appealing thing to smell. Give them a little tip that all they need to do is halve a few lemons and put them in a bowl. The lemon aroma will automatically deodorize the urine smell and will save your friend from spending the money on the Glade air freshener.

Use as Deodorant

Have you ever been somewhere and realized that you forgot to put on deodorant and you’re starting to smell a little ripe? No worry, all you need to do is cut a lemon in half and rub your armpit. The acid will help to kill the bacteria. If you really want to save money then you can start using this as your everyday deodorant.

Take Care of Pesky Insects

Last year we had a small problem with ants getting in the door by our kitchen.  That was not a lot of fun.  I found out that bugs are extremely sensitive to smell.  After I got rid of the ants I sprayed lemon juice where they were coming in.  The smell will help deter them from ever coming back.

Remove That Smell From Your Garbage Disposal

How many times have you gone to do something around your kitchen sink and got a whiff of some horrible smell coming from your garbage disposal?  The trick to getting rid of the smell is quick and cheap.  The next time you fix something for dinner that requires the use of lemons don’t throw away the peel.  Instead toss them down the disposal, run the water and turn it on.  This will be the instant cure for that lingering smell.

Stainless Steel Cleaner

Out with the days of having black or white appliances. Today it’s all about having stainless steel. I can tell you from experience they might look sharp, but they show everything on them. There are a bunch of different expensive stainless steel cleaners available, but all you really need is a little salt and lemon juice. Mix the two together and you will get rid of water stains, finger prints and anything else that might be causing your refrigerator to be an eyesore. Once you’re done, make sure you wipe the lemon juice off with a clean towel.

Kick that Sore Throat

The next time you get a pesky sore throat all you need to do is mix a little lemon juice with warm water and give it a little gargle before swallowing. I like to add a little bit of honey to it, so that I can actually stand the taste.

Keep Your Rice From Sticking

I love fixing sushi at home, but I refuse to buy a rice maker. The simple reason is that they are a complete waste of money. Instead, I add a teaspoon of lemon juice to my rice when it is cooking and it keeps it from sticking to the pot.

Natural Hair Highlighter

My wife spends way too much money getting her hair highlighted. If you are not in the mood to spend a lot of money by going to a glamorous salon, then you can easily get highlights in your hair without even leaving your backyard on a sunny day.

All you need to do is mix an even part of water and lemon juice together, place it in a spray bottle and apply to the area you would like to highlight. The mixture can be adjusted based on how light you want your hair to look. Once done, all you need to do is hang out in the sun for a couple of hours before washing it out.

If I suggested this money saving method to my wife she would do nothing but laugh at me, but it’s worth a shot.

Brighten Your Whites

A great all-natural alternative to using bleach in your laundry is to soak your whites in a water, lemon juice, baking soda mixture.  You can also add lemon juice directly to the washing machine. Just like highlighting your hair you can get an even brighter effect by hanging your clothes in the sun to dry.

Keep Your Food Fresh

Have you ever thought about why guacamole recipes all call for lime juice? Yeah I know it makes it taste good, but it also helps it to not turn brown before dinner is over. If you add a small spray of lime juice to your fruits or vegetables, it will help prevent them from turning brown before you have the chance to eat them.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.
  • Francieidy

    No, don’t spray lemon juice on your hair and sit in the sun if you have darker hair. I did that and it literally burned my hair. It was awful, 3 years later and my hair is still not as silky and smooth as it used to be. The acid is too much on the hair follicles. I have some blonde friends who tried it and they were fine but my hair a medium brown and it did not like the acid. – It did make it lighter though. Love the other suggestions, gonna try the lemon juice for ants =)

  • On top of highlighter it does leave the hair very clean, I use it sometimes with honey and olive oil for a hair mask.

  • I never thought about that for darker hair, but it definitely makes sense.

  • We love using alternative cleaning options. Thank you for promoting the option. It is healthier and a lot of times cheaper too.

    • It can be much cheaper. I am going to start doing some DIY posts on cheap alternatives to items we all use regularly.

  • CanadianBudgetBinder

    I use the lemon rind in many recipes as well I mix the rind in a bottle of vinegar and water to give it the lemon scent. Great post.

  • I never would have thought of using lemon juice as a natural alternative to chemical week killer. I am actually going to try this and thanks for the tip.

  • Lemons are amazing!! I start my day having a glass of lemon water…I also use it in homemade body scrubs.

  • Definitely a great idea for sticky rice, I hate having to soak a pot after cooking up rice so I can get the stuck on bits off. Probably would give a nice bit of added flavour as well.

  • Catherine

    I love using the sun to bleach my babies clothes- they’re messy little eaters and the sun gets all the stains out without needing harsh chemicals. If after a day in the sun the stain is still there (unusual) lemon juice on the stain+re-sunning almost always works. I’m going to try the weed thing too since we’ve been over run this year but with neighborhood cats and a baby crawling around I don’t like the idea of pesticides.

  • I love using lemon juice to clean because it’s eco friendly. When I use one for cooking, I nuke it in the microwave for ~1 minute and it’s a great cleaner. All of the microwave gunk wipes right away and it smells great.

  • Yeah it’s really annoying to clean a pot that has rice stuck on it.

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