lemon cleaning recipes

Why spend the big bucks on expensive green cleaning supplies when you can make your own?

We spend more than half of our lives indoors, and that means that the air quality in our homes and offices have a huge impact on our health. Chemical cleaners can not only contain harmful toxins, like carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, but the chemicals that these cleaners can produce become even more harmful toxins when they interact with each other.

There are greener cleaning products, but they are often very pricey. The best way to know what’s in your cleaning supplies and save a buck is to make your own.

Lemon is acidic and has a lot of the same cleaning properties as vinegar. The upside to cleaning with lemons is that you’re not left with a vinegar smell when you’re done.

1. Cleaning cutting boards

You can use lemons to scrub and sanitize your cutting boards. Just squeeze the lemon juice right onto the wood, then use the lemon as a handy scrubber. Let the lemon juice it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it down with a damp rag.

2. Beat mold and mildew

To get rid of mold and mildew stains on bathroom tile, mix lemon juice and baking soda in a one-to-one ratio to make a scrub. Spread it on, let it sit for about an hour, and the mold will wipe away pretty easily.

3. Polish your wood

To make your own homemade lemon wood polish, mix one part olive oil and one part lemon juice in a spray bottle. Spritz onto your wood surface, then use a clean rag to gently wipe it down.

4. Whiten those whites

Who needs bleach when you have lemons? Just add 1/3 cup lemon juice to your laundry to make your whites shine, no bleach required!

5. Busting stains

Apply lemon juice directly to stains on clothing along with a pinch of salt or cream of tartar. Let the clothes sit for 5-10 minutes before washing. You don’t need to worry about this with white clothing, but with prints and colors, you’ll want to do a a small test area first, to make sure the lemon-salt or lemon-cream-of-tartar combo don’t fade the dye.

Have you found other ways to use lemons in your green cleaning routine? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

Image Credit: Remixed Creative Commons photo by sneakums