10 Things You Can Clean with Lemon!

By now I’m sure you all know that I love cleaning with baking soda – and the same goes for vinegar, and dish liquid, and rubbing alcohol – in fact, I’ve written about each and every member of this natural cleaning royal family!  It’s high time that I introduce you to another family member…his royal highness – lord lemon!

It’s scent is fresh, clean and energizing, they are quite inexpensive and are easy to come by too; I know sometimes it’s hard to come by white vinegar in certain countries, but lemons? I think we’re alllll good. Lemons contain both acidity found in the juice along with the grease-cutting oil contained within its skin to create a superb cleaning sidekick.

This beautiful, acidic, multipurpose yellow gem can be used to clean countless things in your home and has so many uses outside of cleaning too! Here are 10 great cleaning uses for lemons because as I like to say, when life hands you lemons, start cleaning!


We all know about leaving baking soda in the fridge to manage unpleasant odours, but did you know you could do the same with a lemon? It’s true!  There are a few ways to accomplish this.

You can either soak a cotton ball in lemon juice and leave that in the fridge, leave a small bowl of fresh squeezed lemon juice in the fridge, or you can cut a lemon in half and leave it in a small bowl, flesh up.

Change it out every week or so (whichever method you choose) – or you’ll end up replacing your fridge funk, with the smell of rotting lemon…which is not hot.


You’d be surprised just how easy it is to tackle even the most stubborn stains inside your microwave using nothing more than lemon and a bowl of water.

Simply cut the lemon in half and squeeze each half into a bowl which is filled halfway with water.  Then place the rest of the lemon into the bowl and place it inside your microwave.  Next, set the timer for 3-5 minutes and cook the concoction on highest setting available.  Once it beeps, let the microwave cool down for 5 minutes or so.  Then, remove the dish and wipe the interior with a microfiber cloth.

The lemon will eliminate nasty odours and the steam will mix with the lemon oils and loosen all the build-up on the inside of the chamber.  Works like a charm!

For premium microfiber cloths, check out Maker’s Clean Cloth Bundle, on sale now!


Cheese graters are excellent for grating cheese and horrible at staying clean.  Bits of cheese get stuck everywhere-  sometimes even after a run through the dishwasher!  So, for an easy way to clean your grater just cut a lemon in half and then ‘grate’ the fleshy side of the lemon on both sides of your cheese grater.

The lemon oil and juice help to cut the dairy fat and break up any of those proteins. After a quick rinse you should find that the lemon does an excellent job and it also saves you from ripping apart your sponges!


I made a post about this subject awhile back, but this trick is so good I had to share it again.  All you need is a little course salt and you guessed it, a lemon.

Sprinkle the salt over the entire surface of the cutting board and use half a lemon – juicy side down – and as much elbow grease as you can give’er!

Scrub as thoroughly as you can and you will discover that food stains will start to disappear.  You will also deodorize your cutting board at the same time! Consider finishing this up with a hit of mineral oil to protect your board (full details about this are in that post I linked above).


If you’re a heavy-duty kettle user like I am – here’s a handy tip to easily descale your kettle:

Simply mix 1 ounce of lemon juice to 2 cups water and pour that into your kettle.  Bring it to a boil and then let cool. Empty out the kettle and give it a few good rinses and voila, your kettle should be shiny and clean once again!


Sometimes I think I spend way more time at a toilet bowl than the average person…of course because I’m trying to find the easiest way to clean it!  Either way,  there’s a great way to use lemon juice and salt to rid yourself of ring around the toilet bowl.

All you need is half a lemon, which you will squeeze into the bowl.  Then, sprinkle in some salt – and finally use your toilet brush give the bowl a good scrub.  You can also add baking soda or borax in the mix for even more stain fighting power!  If you are feeling like a brave soul, don a cleaning glove and use the fleshy side of that half lemon to scrub the bowl and under the rim using some salt or baking soda.  It works like a charm!


There’s more than one way to conquer soap scum in your shower and one of my favourites involves nothing more than simple lemon juice!

Just apply the lemon juice directly to the area using a sponge, or better yet pour some lemon juice in a spray bottle and use that to apply to a larger surface.  Allow the lemon juice to sit for a minute and then wipe clean using a clean, damp cloth.  Thanks to the acidity in contained within a lemon, soap scum usually struggles to stick around under lord lemon’s mighty power.  Don’t use this on natural stone, just a warning!

This also works great on glass shower doors and even in the bathtub.  In fact, I’ve even used a half-lemon to melt soap scum right off a bathtub, just rinse and dry and no more scum.


There’s nothing quite like the appeal of a shiny, streak free faucet, that just screams clean.  Whether yours are made of chrome, brass or even copper, there’s a hassle-free way to make them sparkle with lemon power.

All you have to do is cut a lemon in half…and that’s it! Seriously, just work the fleshy part of the lemon directly on the faucet, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies where the acidic juices will cut through grease and loosen mineral deposits.

Finish up by wiping everything away using a clean, dry microfibre cloth.


For those that just can’t stand the smell of vinegar, do I have a glass and mirror cleaner for you!

Squeeze about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice into a spray bottle and then add about a cup of water.  Next, you’ll shake the bottle and spray your mirror down.

Then wipe away using a clean microfibre cloth.  Be sure to use this solution up sooner than later, as lemon juice will go rancid after a couple of weeks.


Finally, when you’re done using the lemon for all these other great tasks,  you can use the peels and any other remains to clean out your garbage disposal.

Now, I don’t have a garbage disposal (I miss the one I had growing up) but all you have to do is drop the lemon remains and turn on the disposal which will probably sound like this…SSSCCHHCHCHSHS (earplugs, please).

The lemon bits will freshen the garbage disposal parts and even deodorize making it a true 2 in 1 solution!

Oftentimes, when I finish cooking with a lemon, I’ll use it to do a secondary task like clean the cutting board, the microwave or shine up some chrome. Now, you’ll always find a way to get a second life out of that lemon.

I recommend using a fresh lemon whenever possible for these tasks. You can use the bottled stuff if you need to, but I believe a lot of the value comes from the skin where the lemon oil is contained, so just keep that in mind.

For more cleaning tricks check out our E-Book Bundle! It gives you three fantastic e-books full of cleaning secrets that I have learned throughout my 20 years in the cleaning business.

Let me know how you like to use lemon for cleaning!


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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. Hi Melissa a quick question if I may, could I use grapefruit instead of lemons I have a grapefruit tree so I have far more grapefruit than I need and I’m looking for other ways to use them. Thanks.

  2. I confess, I hadn’t realized that my tea kettle had developed somewhat of a crust of mineral deposits on the bottom. Ew! I followed the manufacturer’s instructions that included the use of cream of tartar rather than lemon juice. After 2 tries, there was still a bit that wasn’t coming off. Came here, used Melissa’s hack of lemon juice, and voila! I didn’t even have to scrub, it was gone! Thanks, Melissa!

  3. Wow, thanks for the tip that lemons can be used to clean shower screens. I’ve been thinking about getting a shower enclosure installed in my home because I’d like to be able to take quick showers and not spend way too much time waiting to fill up my bathtub every time I feel very sweaty. I’ll remember these tips so that cleaning the glass wouldn’t be so difficult for me.

  4. Help! My aunt is older & confused and spraying straight, concentrated lemon juice on everything in the house. This has resulted in a buildup of what appears to be similar to shellac Coating on EVERYTHING! Any ideas how to remove this buildup?

  5. I just used lemon to clean my house numbers (brass). I used the juice and a very fine sandpaper (200 grit). Just melted off like butter! (Wouldn’t use on really precious items though since it might scratch the surface)

  6. if you use lemon for garbage disposal make sure you rinse it when done the acid will eventually eat thru the metal bottom of disposal as it did mine

  7. This is a great site! I love cleaning, but I’m tired of spending a lot of money on products that don’t deliver what they promise. I’m definitely going to start using more natural products. Also, I have another suggestion for cleaning cheese graters…use a toothbrush! It works really well, and as you stated in your post about using a lemon, this method will not rip up your sponges. Thank you for tips!

  8. Love your natural fresh suggestions of using lemon for round the house cleaning.
    A lot of people use chemical ridden cleaning products that are harmful not only to the environment but also to us. My mother cleaned homes for a living and had respiratory issues in her later years and she was not a smoker nor was she exposed to second hand smoke. I’m convinced that all the cleaning chemicals she was exposed to caused her harm in later years.
    I saw you on Marilyn Dennis show.Great video and keep up the good work!


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