A woven bowl of lemons sits on a table in a stylish home

How to Clean with Lemon

All the Ways You Can Clean with Fresh Lemon 

  1. Odor-neutralizer
  2. Stain remover
  3. Floor cleaner
  4. Degreaser
  5. Rust remover
  6. Appliance cleaner and freshener
  7. Window washer
  8. Grill cleaner

There’s a reason household cleaners have been lemon-scented for decades. Not only is the fresh, citrusy aroma invigorating, but the natural lemon ingredients are proven to be effective for cleaning. 

Before you grab a lemon out of your fridge and start going to town, it’s best to know how to clean with lemon the right way. That’s what our Fresh Experts are here for! Learn more about the benefits of cleaning with lemon juice and how to get started.

Why Is Cleaning With Lemon Juice a Good Way To Clean?

Lemons are good in lemonade, desserts, and a refreshing glass of water or hot tea, so how is it possible that this beloved sour fruit is an effective cleaning agent, too? 

It’s all in the citrus. Citric acid is what makes lemons sour, but it’s also what makes lemons powerful for cleaning. Citric acids can be used to remove grime and stains on their own, or when combined with an alkaline substance, like baking soda. Cleaning with lemon juice and baking soda has been found to be an effective and natural method of cleaning. 

Cleaning with citrus proves to be powerful when removing other weaker, acidic stains like wine, coffee, paint, sweat, and even limescale from the toughest of surfaces. Lemons are also natural and anti-bacterial. Instead of using a chemically-filled spray or cleaner to eliminate germs, bring on the lemons! 

Quite possibly our favorite part (we’re biased) about cleaning with lemons, is that they neutralize odors. Many of the strong smells we cook up in the kitchen can be reduced with the help of a trusted lemon. 

Now that you understand why lemons make such a great choice for cleaning, discover exactly how to clean with lemon for your every cleaning need.

How To Clean With Lemon in 10 Tried-and-True Ways

1. Odor Neutralizer

Open concept floor plans are all the rage right now, but humans are also very sensitive to clutter and busyness. If you’re preparing to stage your home and post pictures to create a listing, consider putting down rugs or strategically placing seating to create visual interest and neaten your home.

Anchor a dining room table with a bold area rug, or place a coffee table between your couch and an accent chair to tie your seating together. This will also help define traffic patterns for buyers as they walk through your open house.

2. Stain Remover

As we said above, the strength of citric acid is very useful when it comes to removing tough stains. Try cleaning with lemon juice the next time you’re fighting off food, makeup, sweat stains, and more. 

Here’s how: Squeeze and juice one lemon. Pour and rub lemon juice into the stain. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, then rinse with water. Do you have a particularly tough stain? Try cleaning with lemon juice and baking soda.

3. Floor Cleaner

Don’t use harsh chemicals on your nice floors — especially if you have pets or children. They’ll smell better, be safer, and cleaner with the use of lemon and other natural products found in your home. 

Here’s how: Mix one part lemon juice with one part white vinegar and two parts water. Use a soft mop or rag to scrub the mixture into the floors and then let dry.

4. Degreaser

Removing stubborn grease and food stains from pots and pans is the worst. Make the process easier by cleaning with citrus. 

Here’s how: Add one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to a pan soaking in water and dish soap. Let rest for 10 minutes then rinse.

5. Rust Remover

If your faucets could use a good de-rusting and like-new shine, brighten them up with lemons. 

Here’s how: Mix one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice with a sprinkle of table salt to form a paste. Scrub onto the fixture with a soft rag (don’t use a toothbrush or it might scratch the surface). Let sit for 10 minutes, then rinse.

6. Appliance Cleaner and Freshener

Cleaning household appliances, like the inside of your fridge, oven, or microwave, doesn’t have to be such a tall task. Lemons are here to help!

Here’s how: For your fridge, simply cut a lemon in half and place it on a shelf in the door. Leave it for at least 30 minutes.
For your oven, fill an oven-safe baking dish with equal parts fresh lemon juice and water and bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven has cooled, use a sponge or rag to remove grease from the oven’s interior.

For your microwave, heat a bowl of equal parts fresh lemon juice and water for 3-5 minutes, until it boils. Wait five minutes before opening the door so steam can stay trapped to make the grease and food grime removal easier. Remove the bowl, then wipe down with a sponge.

7. Window Washer

It’s true. Lemons can also be used to wash your windows! No streaks will be left behind and, by cleaning with citrus, they’ll also smell great. 

Here’s how: Mix equal parts fresh lemon juice and water into a spray bottle. Wipe with a clean rag, not a paper towel.

8. Grill Cleaner

When grilling season is in full swing, it’s easy to forget about consistently cleaning it because you’re using it so much! Just be careful when coming in contact with the heat!

Here’s how: Turn the grill on high and use one half of a cut lemon to rub along with each grate. If you need extra help for especially difficult build-up, dip the lemon in salt before rubbing.

9. Furniture Polisher

Leave your wood furniture feeling and looking new. Spraying harsh chemicals on your dressers, tables, etc. won’t do them any good. 

Here’s how: Combine two parts olive oil with one part fresh lemon juice and place into a spray bottle. Use a soft rag to wipe.

10. Drain Deodorizer

Over time, your kitchen sink will start to smell. It happens. But lemons will be there to save the day.

Here’s how: If you have a lemon you’re ready to throw out, cut it into slices and grind it into your garbage disposal. If you don’t have a disposal, cleaning with lemon juice and baking soda comes in handy, too. Mix two parts lemon juice with one part baking soda and one part water to pour down the drain.

What will you start to clean first?

Clean with Fresh Lemon and Avoid Artificial Scents

On any given day, we all want our homes to smell like things we love. Whether that’s baked goods, fresh linens, or flowers, the smell is a memory-triggering scent, and a seller’s inclination to recreate those scents for their open house makes sense. However, more and more buyers tend to stay away from sellers that try this sentimental device.

If you’re prepping your home for an open house, avoid filling your home with sweet scents like vanilla or sugar cookies. Instead, try fresh scents like linens, lemons, eucalyptus, or a fresh essence like Fresh Wave’s fine mist spray. If you choose to go the fresh route, avoid plug-ins and air fresheners. Opt for a few sprigs of eucalyptus in a vase, essential oils, and open a window to let in a fresh breeze.