Tips and Guides

7 Home Uses for Lemon

More than chilling in a pitcher or baking in a pie, this wonder citrus has more uses in the home


We're used to adding lemon to water or using it to cook our favorite dishes. But did you know that it can serve different purposes at home? Read on to learn more about this versatile fruit.

Styling by Kat Von Einsiedel. Photographed by Ocs Alvarez.

Read the original article ("Lemon Aide”) in the April 2008 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App ( now! Log on to for more details.  

As a fragrant centerpiece

A dozen or so lemons in a glass bowl makes for a stress-free, but eye-catching and fragrant centerpiece. You may simply pile them on and you don’t have to worry about changing the water every day. 

As a kitchen counter staple

Stash a few lemons within reach. Slice one in half to scrub, sanitize, and deodorize cutting boards and knives. A little juice on your hands will also remove the smell of onions and garlic. And thanks to the fruit’s acidity level, its juice will leave steel fixtures nicely polished if you leave some on for a minute before rinsing and wiping them dry.

As a natural pesticide

Keep crawling insects away completely by stashing lemon peels in the corners of kitchen counters and doorways. Pouring juice down drains will also keep your home roach free.

As a dinner must-have

Bowls of cool water with lemon slices can remove grease and fishy smells – leaving your hands clean after a sumptuous seafood dinner. Don’t forget to lay out hand towels for drying off afterward.

As a natural bleach

The next time you load the washing machine, pour in half a cup of lemon juice with your usual amount of laundry detergent. Lemons have a natural bleaching power so you’ll not only have clothes smelling lemony – fresh, but your whites will be whiter, too.

As an alternative to mothballs

Dried lemon rind can replace those pungent white orbs in the wardrobe. Either air – dry the rind in your kitchen for a few days, or pop some into the oven at 175 degrees for 10 minutes. A few pieces in the closet will ward off insects from you precious linens and things, and keep things smelling fresh.

As a natural cleaner

Squeeze the juice of a few lemons and store in a dispenser for quick and easy spot cleaning. Apply juice on areas where ants have invaded to drive them, and other insects, away. You can even spray the juice into the air for a clean and fresh – scented kitchen.


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