9 clever ways to clean with a lemon

From cleaning the BBQ to removing stains, a lemon makes cleaning easy peasy.


by Bryony Firth-bernard |

Lemons are a brilliant natural cleaning agent as they’re high in citric acid, have a low pH, as well as great antibacterial properties. Whether it's stubborn stains, dirty cutlery or a burnt BBQ, there’s so many ways you can clean with a lemon, which usually only ever requires one or two more ingredients. Here’s 9 different ways you can clean with one…

1. Clean a microwave with a lemon

cleaning microwave with a lemon

Simply fill a microwavable bowl or jug with some water and add a few slices of lemon. Pop the microwave on until the door window is streamy. Let the the bowl sit in your microwave for 3 minutes before opening the door, to let it loosen up all the grease and grime, then wipe clean with a sponge or cloth.

2. Clean a kettle with a lemon

Use a whole lemon to descale your dirty kettle. Just cut into thin slices, pop the lemon into the kettle and fill it with cold water so that it covers the affected areas. Boil the kettle once, then leave it to sit for half an hour, boil it a second time then give it a good rinse. Your kettle should be lovely and clean and lemony.

3. Clean stains with lemon

Some lemon juice and salt can loosen stubborn stains in just a few minutes. Squeeze some lemon juice directly onto the stained area of your clothes, then sprinkle some salt ontop. Rub this into the stained area for a few minutes, then rinse with water. Repeat this a couple of times, then leave to dry before washing it as usual. Don’t use lemon juice on delicate fabrics, such as silk.

4. Clean a BBQ with a lemon

This technique is similar to removing clothing stains. Slice a lemon in half, put some salt into a bowl and dip each half of the lemon into the salt, so it is fully covered. Next, heat up your BBQ and rub the grill with the lemon, just as if you were using a sponge. The abrasive action of the salt and acidic, antibacterial action from the lemon will leave it clean and sterilised.

5. Polish metal with a lemon

Do exactly the same as you would to clean a BBQ with a lemon to eliminate grime and leave your cutlery shining. You can polish brass, chrome, copper, aluminum, bronze and stainless steal with a lemon, but don’t use it on gold or silver, as this could damage the plating.

6. Create an all-purpose cleaner

homemade lemon cleaner

Don’t throw out any leftover lemon peels. Instead, keep them and create this super easy all-purpose cleaner from The Kitchn. Fill half a mason jar with lemon peels, then pour over some vinegar to fill the jar. Cover your jar with a lid and pop it in a dark cupboard and let it sit for two weeks (the longer it sits, the more the two ingredients will infuse together). After two weeks, pour the liquid into a spray bottle and use as you would any all-purpose cleaner.

7. Remove stains from chopping boards with a lemon

Simply cut a lemon in half and use it like a sponge by rubbing it all over your chopping board to lift stains. For those extra stubborn stains and to give your lemon a little extra oomph, add a sprinkling of salt or bicarbonate of soda over the board before rubbing it with your lemon.

8. Remove stains from tupperware boxes

Leftover curry or spaghetti bolognese stains in your tupperware containers? Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the container and then using the lemon, rub the juice all over the stains. Let the juice sit for 15 minutes before rinsing away.

9. Remove stubborn stuck on food

We're all guilty of leaving the dishes overnight and then struggle to wash away leftover bits of food the next day, but a lemon and a bit of salt can help. Dab a cut in half lemon into some salt and scrub away at the dishes. The citric acid and salt will work together to cut through any tough bits of food.

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