17 Lemon Juice Cleaning Hacks: Surprising Household Uses?

The acidity in lemon juice makes it a powerful cleaner, capable of lifting stains and shining pots. Lemon juice also has antiseptic properties, killing some bacteria and mold while leaving behind an uplifting scent.

cleaning with lemon juice

Lemon Juice Cleaning Uses

Leaving a bowl of lemons on the kitchen table works as practical and cheery decor, but this powerhouse fruit has more to offer. Here’s a look at the top ways to clean your house with lemon juice.

1. Make a Homemade Cleaner with Dawn and Lemon Juice

Add ½ cup of lemon juice, 1 cup of white distilled vinegar, ¼ cup of Dawn dish soap, and 1 ¼ cups water to a spray bottle to make a non-toxic, multi-purpose cleaner. Use this spray to clean the inside of ovens, showers, tubs, sinks, and toilets.

2. Steam Lemon Juice to Breakdown Grime in the Microwave

The acidity in lemon juice is ideal for breaking down baked-on food and grime inside a microwave. Add one cup of water and three tablespoons of lemon juice to a small microwaveable bowl and run the microwave for five minutes. Once done, wait another five minutes and remove the bowl. Use a sponge or microfiber cloth to wipe away all the build-up inside the microwave.

3. Descale a Coffee Maker

Eliminate mineral deposits in a coffee maker by filling the water reservoir with half lemon juice and half water. Empty any existing coffee grinds and ensure your carafe is empty before running the machine. After you descale the coffee maker, run water through the machine another 2-3 times to rinse it.

4. Polish Copper Pots and Pans

Lemon juice is the top choice for polishing copper pots. Create a paste by combining lemon juice with baking soda until a thick consistency forms. Dip a damp microfiber cloth in this paste and shine your copper pots and pans using circular motions. Rinse and dry afterward.

5. Clean a Glass Shower Door

Clean your glass shower door by filling a spray bottle with one cup of water and three tablespoons of lemon juice. Spray the glass and let the solution work for five minutes. Wipe clean with a fresh cloth. The mixture will break down soap scum and hard water deposits, leaving your bathroom smelling fresh.

6. Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent

Lemon juice is a potent ingredient in homemade dishwasher detergent. Try this recipe if you’re out of your regular dishwasher tabs or want to switch to an eco-friendly product.

  • Mix one cup of baking soda, one cup of washing soda, and 1 cup of kosher salt in a large bowl
  • Add ¾ cups of lemon juice and combine.
  • Once the mixture stops fizzing, scoop tablespoon-sized portions into an empty ice cube tray, tightly packing the mixture.
  • Allow the cubes to dry overnight.
  • Pop out the cubes and store them in an airtight container

7. Clean Wooden Cutting Boards

Since lemon juice has natural disinfecting properties, it’s a great wooden cutting board cleaner. Start by sprinkling coarse salt onto the cutting board, massaging it in with your finger. Let it sit for ten minutes, and then cut a lemon in half and rub it on the cutting board while squeezing the lemon juice over the salt. Rinse the cutting board with water and dry it with a towel.

8. Remove Tupperware Stains

Banish pasta sauce stains from your Tupperware by cutting a lemon in half and rubbing it over the stain. Squeeze out lemon juice directly on the stain while you rub. Place the container in a sunny area until the lemon juice dries. Then, wash as usual.

9. Shine Stainless Steel Faucets

Lemon juice will polish most types of metal, including stainless steel faucets. Mix half lemon juice and half water, dip a rag in the solution, and use it to wipe down your faucet. Another option is to cut a lemon in half, rub it on the faucet, and then wipe it clean with a damp microfiber cloth.

10. Freshen the Garbage Disposal

The acidity in lemon juice can dissolve grease and grime off your garbage disposal blades and deodorize a musty smell. Cut a lemon into small wedges, turn the cold water on, and run the garbage disposal. Drop the lemon wedges into the disposal, one by one, until pulverized.

11. Remove Rust on Stainless Steel

Remove rust from most types of metal with salt and lemon juice. First, sprinkle salt on the rusted area, then cut a lemon in half and rub it against the salt, squeezing the juice out on the stain. Allow it to sit for two hours, then use a damp microfiber rag to wipe away the rust.

12. Make a Stovetop Potpourri

Freshen your home with a stovetop potpourri featuring lemon, vanilla, and rosemary. Fill a pot with eight cups of water. Then, add two sliced lemons or three tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of vanilla, and fresh rosemary. Bring to a boil. Once at a rapid boil, turn the burner to simmer. The potpourri will last a few hours before all the water evaporates. Keep an eye on water levels.

13. Dissolve Toilet Bowl Rings

Banish built-up toilet rings with the power of salt and lemon juice. Squeeze lemon juice over the toilet ring (if you don’t have lemons, pour it from the bottle) and then sprinkle salt over top. Use your toilet bowl brush to scrub the ring away.

14. Deodorize the Fridge

Cut a lemon into medium slices. Place the slices in a bowl and put on your refrigerator shelf. Your fridge will fill with the smell of fresh lemons.

15. Wash Windows

Lemon juice works like vinegar in a homemade window-washing solution. It cuts through grime, leaving glass streak-free. To make it, add one cup of hot water and two tablespoons of lemon juice to a spray bottle.

16. Make a Wood Furniture Polish

Mix one cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of lemon juice to make a wood furniture polish. Use a soft cloth to wipe the polish in the direction of the wood grain.

17. Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

Remove rust stains on a cast iron skillet by sprinkling salt on the rust area. Then, cut a lemon in half and rub it over the salt in circular motions. Let the salt and lemon solution sit for at least two hours, and then scrub with a soft-bristled brush.

Cleaning with Lemon Juice vs. Vinegar: Which is Better?

Lemon juice contains citric and ascorbic acid, while vinegar contains acetic acid. On average, lemon juice is more acidic, with a pH level of 2.3, and white distilled vinegar has a pH level of 2.4. You can use both for many of the same cleaning tasks, like breaking through mineral deposits, removing rust on metal, polishing sinks, and deodorizing. Those who don’t like the smell of vinegar can opt for the fresh scent of lemon juice instead.

What You Shouldn’t Clean with Lemon Juice

Because of the high acid content in lemon juice, it’s not safe for all surfaces. Don’t use it to clean any of the following:

  • Natural stone countertops
  • Unfinished wood
  • Brass
  • Hardwood or laminate floors
  • Textiles (lemon is a bleaching agent)