When life gives you lemons, do this...

Bright, yellow, and versatile, lemons are useful for more than lemonade. Follow these tips to get the most out of those lemons that sit on your counter. 

Use lemon juice as cleaning product 

If you’ve ever attempted to eat a lemon by itself, you know how sour and acidic it is. The acid in lemons acts as an anti-bacterial cleaning agent good for home surfaces. By deactivating bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella, it’s perfect in the kitchen to clean cutting boards and counters. In addition, try using lemon juice with equal parts water for other bacteria hotspots like doorknobs. If you have buildup of limescale in sinks and showers, the acidity of the lemon will remove these deposits.

A natural air freshener 

Have a lingering fishy odor in your home from cooking? These odors are usually alkaline, and the acidity in lemons can neutralize it. Use lemon peel by placing it in your garbage disposal and turning it on. The room will instantly smell refreshed, so this is a good quick fix if you have unexpected guests or need to freshen up in a hurry. 

Keep away bugs

Flies are one of the most annoying and hard to get rid of home pests. Fill a cup or glass with lemon juice, put a lid with a small hole on top, and place it in an area away from where food is prepared. Flies and other insects are attracted to the strong fruit smell. They believe it’s a source of sugar, but when they land on the concentrated lemon juice, the acidity will slowly kill them. If the hole on top of the trap is small enough, they won’t locate it again and are trapped inside. 

Clean and keep vegetables fresh

Vegetables are fantastic, just not when they rot so quickly. Preserve and elongate the lifespan of your veggies by gently passing over already cut vegetables with a sliced lemon. Rubbing the lemon residue over food prohibits oxygen from bonding with chemicals in the food that would typically turn them brown. By doing this, it can add up to a week of shelf life for common vegetables.

Stains be gone 

Tough stains like coffee are frustrating to remove. Mix equal parts water and lemon juice in a small spray bottle for on-the-go stains. Spray directly on the stain until completely covered, then rub, and rinse with water.


Spicing up your decor for a party is simple. Take a few lemons and cut them up into slices of medium to thin thickness and place in water dispensers to float on top. They also look pleasant as food garnishes when plating.

Lemons are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. From fighting stains and bacteria to looking fancy on party plates, investing in this small fruit has a big impact around the home.

For more home tips visit starthealthy.com/life/

Article for LUX Living SoCal, by Rachel Stevens Start Healthy Magazine