When life gives you lemons (or you buy them at the grocery store) don’t just make lemonade, try one of these surprising uses for lemons, too!
Believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, lemons spread to Spain and North Africa during the Middle Ages. Nowdays, they’re one of the most often-purchased fruits in the supermarket, and the demand for lemons is growing.
Maybe that’s because lemons have such amazing properties. They’re high in vitamin C–which is why sailors in the 15th century ate lemons to fight off scurvy. The medicinal properties of lemons had been suspected long before then, however; the Romans believed (incorrectly) that they were the antitode to all forms of poison. While the Romans may have been wrong about lemons, these surprising uses for lemons are right on!
22 Surprising Uses For Lemons
1. Add lemon juice to the water when making rice and it will come out fluffy.
2. Get rid of sweat stains on white t-shirts by squeezing lemon juice onto the stains. Let sit for 20 minutes then wash in COLD water. (Hot might set the stain.)
3. Before juicing lemons, slice off and dry their peels. Gather these in an old nylon and hang in your closet to repel moths.
4. Wooden cutting boards pick up all sorts of nasty smells. Deodorize yours by scrubbing it with half a lemon dipped in salt, then rinse and dry it before sealing the board with a thin coat of mineral oil. (For wood spoons, try these tips.)
5. Can’t get those socks bright white again? Boil them in a quart of water with half a lemon for 10 minutes.
6. Sprinkle lemon juice on sliced apples, avocados, or bananas to keep them from oxidizing and turning brown.
7. Remove stains from a plastic food container by squeezing an entire lemon into it then topping it off with hot water. Let this sit in a sunny spot for a day and the stains will disappear.
8. Toss cauliflower florets with 1 tsp. of lemon juice before steaming to help them retain their whiteness.
9. Fix funky microwave odor by microwaving lemon wedges in a bowl of water for two minutes.
10. Keep flies away from your picnic by slicing a lemon in half then poking 10 whole cloves into the fruit’s flesh. Leave the lemon sitting cut-side up on your table and flies will steer clear of you.
11. Remove hard water stains from vases and teapots by scrubbing them with a lemon wedge dipped in baking soda. Let sit 5 minutes then rinse.
12. Aloe vera leaf gel mixed with lemon juice will, over time, fade dark spots as well as any pricey store-bought remedy.
13. Soup taste too greasy or bland? Add a splash of lemon juice to balance the flavors.
14. Add a dash of fresh lemon juice when creaming butter and sugar to make a cake and it’ll be extra fluffy.
15. Get rid of bleach smells on your hands by rubbing them with a lemon wedge which will neutralize the bleach. Be sure to rinse and moisturize them well afterward.
16. Remove ink stains from carpeting with a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Let sit for 10 minutes, dab away with a clean cloth. (More carpet stain removal tips here.)
17. Don’t panic if you find the coffee has burned on the bottom of the pot. Add ice, a little salt, and the juice of half a lemon then swirl it all around. Let this sit for an hour and the gunk will rinse right away.
18. Keep fish from sticking to your grill by laying it on a bed of lemon slices. They’ll infuse the fish and add a nice flavor.
19. Lemon juice will get rid of tea stains. Dab the spot with a wedge of lemon, then run under cold water.
20. Fix self-tanner streaks by gently scrubbing with a paste of equal parts baking soda and lemon juice. The baking soda exfoliates, and the lemon juice lightens. Buff in for a minute, rinse well.
21. Cooking fish in the oven? Put a whole lemon in the oven when dinner’s done and leave the door ajar to get rid of the fish smell.
22. You can easily clean a stained coffee mug by squeezing lemon juice into it. Wait five minutes then sprinkle baking soda into the mug, rub lightly, and rinse the stain away.
Like household hacks like this? Buy my book 1,001 Housewife How-To’s and amaze your friends with all of the clever tips you’ll learn!
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