24 Uses for the Heavy Lifting Lemon!

When life gives you lemons, well, you’re lucky! Did you know this vibrant yellow star of the citrus family has great health benefits and surprising uses too?  Spring is lemon season, and we’ve compiled a list of 24 healthy, fun, practical, and sometimes quirky uses for this fabulous fruit. Ranging from health and beauty aids to cooking and cleaning solutions, the heavy-lifting lemon is our go to fruit for spring!

Health and Beauty

Here’s some of our favorite lemon-based health and beauty hacks

  1. Age Spots and Freckles - Apply lemon juice to age spots and freckles with a cotton swab. Do this regularly and watch those stubborn spots just fade away.

  2. Elbows - Our elbows are one of our most forgotten body parts when it comes to self-care.   If not pampered periodically, they can get rough and discolored. Rubbing lemon essential oils or even lemon peels on your elbows daily can make them soft and can bring back their color.

  3. Nails - Keep those nails conditioned and strong with this simple lemon elixir:  Miix lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl then soak your nails for 5 minutes or so. The lemon juice will brighten the nails while the olive oil will give them extra strength.

  4.  Acne - In case you didn’t know, lemon juice is actually a natural astringent. It’s very effective against acne. Apply lemon juice to your acne spots twice a day and let it sit for around 10 minutes before rinsing with cool water.

  5. Dandruff -  No white, flaky scalps allowed when lemons are in the house!  Massage two tablespoons of lemon juice into your scalp then rinse off with lemon water. Repeat until the dandruff problem is resolved.

  6. Sore Throat - There’s a reason why lemon flavor is the most popular for cough drops.  Lemons have both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. If you have a sore throat, gargle with lemon water to soothe it.  Double up and drink more lemon water to provide your immune system with vitamin C.

  7. Coughs - This is a classic!  Mix hot lemon water with honey to relieve that itchy feeling on your throat. Moreover, this mixture can also prevent mucus buildup and will help treat the cough at the same time.

  8. Rashes and Bites - The anti-inflammatory properties of lemons also help in treating rashes and insect bites. Soak a cotton ball in lemon juice and dab it onto rashes caused by poison ivy and insect bites.

Who needs first aid when you have lemon-aid?  That’s right, lemons can also do some heavy lifting when it comes to staying healthy!

  1. Promotes Heart Health. A single lemon contains around 31 mg of vitamin C which is more than half of the suggested daily intake. According to studies, eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C can promote heart health and can reduce the chances of you getting heart diseases and stroke.  

  2. Prevent Kidney Stones - Kidney stones are nasty little  lumps that form when waste products crystallize and build up in the kidneys. Consuming citric acid that is highly present in lemons can be a way of preventing these stones from building up. The way it works is that the citric acid can increase the urine volume and urine pH so that there is a less favorable environment for the stones to build up.

  3. Improves Digestive Health - Lemons contain about 10% carbohydrates in the form of soluble fiber and simple sugars. To get the digestive benefits of lemons, you actually need to consume the pulp and not just the juice. The soluble fiber in lemons in the form of pectin can improve gut health and can slow down the digestion of sugars and starches; thus, also making it an effective agent in reducing blood sugar levels.

Lemons aren’t just good for health and beauty hacks, they’re happy little homemakers as well!

  1.  Garbage Disposal-  Keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh as a spring breeze!  Freeze some lemon slices and vinegar in ice cube trays. Drop the frozen lemon cubes down the running disposal for cleaning and freshening.

  2. Refrigerator - Something rotten in Denmark?  Or your refrigerator for that matter?. Many people use baking soda to remove the odor but a much more effective solution is to soak a sponge with fresh lemon juice and let it sit inside the fridge for a few hours.

  3.  Room Freshener -There are two ways you can use lemons to freshen up your room. First, you can simmer lemon peels, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a pot of water and leave it in the middle of the room while it’s still steaming. Second, you can add lemon juice with water in the humidifier and let the machine do the magic.

  4. Fresh breath - Drinking lemon water regularly can help freshen your breath!   (Just don’t forget to rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards because lemon juice can erode your teeth)

  5. Furniture Polish -  Make your own furniture polish!  In a spray bottle, combine lemon oil, lemon juice, and olive oil. Spray the mixture on your furniture and wipe it with a clean cloth.

  6. Microwave - Cooking in the microwave may be fast and easy, but they can be tricky to clean, especially if food splatters harden. To solve this, mix water, lemon juice, and lemon slices in a bowl and microwave it for three minutes. The food remnants will soften and they’ll be easy to wipe off.

  7.  Surface cleaner - Lemon juice is very effective in removing grease and grime. Combine lemon juice with cornstarch, vinegar, and water to make a paste-like mixture and use it as a surface cleaner.

  8. Coffee Maker Stains - Does your coffee maker look like it’s having its own cuppa in the morning with all the coffee residue left on the glass?  Get rid of it by running a cycle with plain water first. Then, add water and lemon juice mixture into the water tank. Let it sit for a while before running it through a cycle twice. Lastly, run a plain water cycle again. Wash the coffee pot after to remove lemon taste.

  9. Plastic Container- It’s always advisable to store food in glass containers but if you prefer plastic containers, here’s a simple way to clean them after use. Rub lemon juice all over the container and pay extra attention to stain pots. Dry them in the sun and wash with water and soap.

  10. Drains- Having trouble with clogged drains?  Try this simple solution. Pour boiling water down the drain then pour half a box of baking soda followed by 8-12 ounces of lemon juice. The mixture of lemon and baking soda will create a foam that is effective in removing the clog. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then pour another pot of boiling water to rinse.

Laundry meets Lemon - a match made in heaven! (Come on…it rhymes!) 

  1. Gentle Bleach - Commercial bleaching agents can sometimes be too strong for your clothes and they might cause damage than good. Add lemon juice to hot water and soak your white clothes and linen. Rinse and wash as normal.

  2.  Spot Treatment - Underarm stains can be hard to remove but with a little trick with lemons, you can remove them in no time. Pour lemon juice on the stain and follow it with salt. Rub the stain and rinse. For more stain-fighting power, dry it under the sun.

  3. Grease Stains - Mix lemon juice and vinegar together and apply to the grease stain. Let it sit for a while and rinse.

  4. White Shoes - If you have white sneakers and you have a hard time brushing away the dirt, try spraying lemon juice onto your shoes and dry them in the sun. It doesn’t just whiten your shoes but it can also remove the odor on them.

That wraps up our list of lemony goodness!  I’m off to pour myself a healthy, vitamin C packed glass of  icy, cool lemonade! Cheers!

LifestyleHeather Schwarm