As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, add tequila, or make limoncello! Yes, make lemonade too (yawn) but did you know lemons and lemon juice can be used around the house as an all natural and inexpensive polish, cleanser, and deodorizer? Plus its citric acid is anti-bacterial. Put that in your margarita glass and drink it!

Here’s my lovely list of 8 surprising household uses for lemons:

Clean your BBQ grill—for a fast non-toxic way to clean off your grill and cook right on it, just use a half cut lemon, face down, and wipe away the grease.


Deodorize coolers, water bottles, food containers, etc.—get rid of that musty smell with a non-toxic lemon juice wipe down. Put lemon juice in a spray bottle, mist surface, let it sit, then wipe with a clean water-wet cloth. Let it air dry.

Clean cutting boards— use a half cut lemon, face down, and wipe down the surface. Rinse with water and let it dry in the sun.

lemon_cleanerClean and polish wood furniture—make a 1:4 part solution of lemon juice and grape seed or safflower oil and wipe down your wood furniture with a soft cloth in the direction of the grain.

Deodorize your garbage disposal— first run your disposal, removing debris. Once emptied, pour down some baking soda, let it sit, then slowly pour in lemon juice with the disposal on.

Clean a cheese grater—tricky business because the grater will shred a sponge! Instead grate a half cut lemon, the citric acid will degrease the surface, then rinse with hot water.

Remove tarnish and mineral deposits from metals—for brass and copper, make a paste of lemon juice and salt. Scrub over surface and wipe clean. For chrome or stainless, use straight lemon juice, wipe down the surfaces and watch them sparkle.

Keep fruits and veggies from turning brown—stop that unsightly browning that occurs by misting with lemon juice. I do this all the time on cut apples and avocados.

Norma_lemonWhile I’m fortunate to have a brother who has a magic lemon tree in his backyard (his lemons are the size of grapefruits – on steroids – that I hoard from every time I visit), I realize that not everyone has the same citrus hook-up, and sometimes lemons can be costly—but compared to the cost of toxic and pricey cleaning products, well worth it. You can also find bottles of lemon juice concentrate for a dollar at discount stores—just as effective in these applications.

Now you can be lemon-fresh all around your home!

I’m off to find my aunt’s limoncello recipe—cheers!

Norma sig

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Fix-It Friday is an exclusive Women You Should Know® editorial series authored by seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally, the former host of Discovery Home Channel’s series “Toolbelt Diva” and a show on Sirius Satellite Radio by the same name. The weekly column is designed to inspire women – weekend warriors, aspiring handywomen, and even seasoned DIYers – to take on home repairs and maintenance projects with confidence and gusto.