When Life Gives You Lemons, Find Some Useful Hacks!

Lemons aren’t just cute patterns for hipster t-shirts; they also smell lovely and taste great. Oh, and more importantly, they’re multi-purpose. Lemons, or as I like to call them, the jack of all trades fruit, can do wonders for cleaning, cooking, beauty and skincare, and more.

Cleaning the grill with a lemon
Source: Cool Mom Eats

Lemons can get rid of the most annoying stains, remove the smelliest odors, and even keep you looking your Sunday best. Let’s see what lemons have to offer us. And you know what they say – when life gives you lemons, hack them up.

Keep Apples and Avocado from Browning

When life gives you lemons: Use them to keep fruit from going brown

What you need to do: place your avocado or apple slices into a plastic bag with small slices of lemon

Squeezing a lemon onto apple pieces
Source: Pinterest

Remember when mom would put apple slices in your lunch bag in the morning only for you to open it up at lunch to find brown slices? It’s not appetizing, to say the least. The lemon juice keeps them from browning because it’s full of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). To all the parents that want their kids to eat fresh and healthy food at lunch, you’re welcome.

Clean Your Cutting Boards With Lemon

When life gives you lemons: Use them to clean your overused cutting board

What you need to do: Squeeze a lemon onto the stained surface of the board and rub for a few seconds. Keep it on for about 20 minutes before rinsing it with clean water

Someone cleaning a cutting board with salt and a lemon
Source: A little craft in your day

Those stubborn food stains are hard to remove from light wood and especially from plastic cutting boards. But lemons do the job. You can also sprinkle sea salt before adding the lemon juice give it a harder scrub.

Clean Your Microwave

When life gives you lemons: Use them to clean your microwave

What you need to do: Microwave one cup of water with 1/4 of lemon juice for five minutes

Putting a lemon into a microwave
Source: Pinterest

Once that heats up, the stubborn stuck-on grease inside your microwave will come right off. It loosens grease or any other grime stuck inside on the walls. Now you have no excuse for those leftover tomato sauce splatters.

Whiten Your Clothes

When life gives you lemons: Use them to whiten your white clothes and linens

What you need to do: Mix half a cup of lemon juice with a gallon of hot water and let the fabric soak for a few hours

White t-shirts in a pot of lemon water
Source: Brightside

Have your whites stopped looking so white? It can be those pesky armpit stains on t-shirts or your kids’ food stains on their clothes. Lemons are safer and better for the environment than bleach. You can also add three teaspoons of lemon juice to your next load of whites.

Kitchen Sink Cleaner

When life gives you lemons: Make your kitchen sink nice and shiny

What you need to do: Blend baking soda and lemon juice and then pour it in and around the sink. Rub the mixture on the surface and rinse it with hot water after a few seconds

Lemon and salt in a kitchen sink
Source: Pinterest

Kitchen sinks are a cesspool of bacteria. All that food that sits in their can add up and make your sink lose its shine and craves a good cleaning. So it’s imperative to sanitize it. Use the above method at least once a week.

Clean Your Kettle

When life gives you lemons: Clean your electric kettle

What you need to do: Pour some lemon juice into your kettle, boil it, dump out the water, and give it a quick rinse

Before a kettle was cleaned and after
Source: YouTube

You know those crusty, white scales that forming at the bottom of your kettle? That can be fixed with some lemon juice. They’re actually calcium deposits, which are easy to get rid of with the acid from lemons.

Tenderize Your Meat

When life gives you lemons: Use them to make your meats even tastier

What you need to do: When marinating meat, you can add some lemon juice and put it aside for a few hours to let the meat soak it up

Squeezing lemon on chicken
Source: elenathewise

The acid from lemons helps tenderize meat by gently breaking down its fibers, leaving it softer and more succulent than it would have been without adding lemon. Your next chicken dinner just got a whole lot tastier.

Clean Your Garbage Disposal

When life gives you lemons: Use them to finally clean your garbage disposal

What you need to do: Throw a few ice cubes, a bit of salt, and a few lemon peels into your disposal and turn it on

Ice and lemon pieces in the kitchen sink drain
Source: Express Plumbing

Anyone who has garbage disposal knows that after time and a few certain meals, it can get a bit stinky. So if you’re dealing with a smelly garbage disposal, a few lemon peels could help with that. once you do this trick, your disposal will smell much fresher.

Keep Bugs Away

When life gives you lemons: Use them to keep those pesky bugs away

What you need to do: Take some lemon scraps and wrap them in a paper towel to form a bundle. Leave them by doors, windows, or anywhere bugs come in

Putting a lemon next a window
Source: One Good Thing

Here’s a fun fact: bugs like ants and flies actually hate the smell of citrus, especially lemons. Due to the acidic nature of lemons, it wards off all those annoying insects. This is also a lot better than spraying your house down with bug pesticides!

Create Body Scrubs

When life gives you lemons: Scrub your body with them!

What you need to do: Sprinkle some salt on a lemon half and use it to remove dead or discolored skin

Lemon scrub
Source: Pinterest

If you’re tired of wasting money on body scrubs, making your own with lemons and some salt. If you want to get a little fancier and make a little bottle of some homemade lemon scrub, mix some lemon juice, coconut oil, honey, olive oil, and sugar together and enjoy your next shower.

Help With Dandruff

When life gives you lemons: Get rid of dandruff

What you need to do: Massage 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into your scalp and then rinse with water. Then you can rinse your hair with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 cup water

Lemons next to a dry scalp
Source: Home Hacks

Repeat this daily until your dandruff goes away. What lemons do is help balance the pH of your scalp, which in turn keeps dandruff at bay. So don’t be afraid to wear black anymore. This hack will save you!

Lighten Your Hair

When life gives you lemons: Give your hair some highlights

What you need to do: Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice onto a comb and run it through your hair before you go out to sit in the sun

Woman holding a lemon next to her hair
Source: Style Craze

You can also add the lemon juice to your favorite leave-in conditioner. This will make your day of tanning by the pool just a little more fun and exciting when you check yourself out later on. Your skin will get darker and your hair lighter!

Put Lemons in Your Fridge

When life gives you lemons: Keep your fridge smelling fresh

What you need to do: After you’ve already squeezed a lemon (on your salad or in a cup of water), place the remaining half in a bowl with the cut side up

A lemon in a bowl
Source: Icepop

This will freshen up your fridge in a matter of hours. While many people use the old trick of baking soda to keep the fridge fresh, others use cotton balls soaked in lemon juice (which is an alternative way to use lemons in your fridge). Just make sure to switch the swabs every week.

Eliminate Odors in the House

When life gives you lemons: Give a wonderful smell to your house

What you need to do: Leave the lemon and/or the rinds hidden in plain sight throughout the house or throw them on top of the trash

A bow of lemons in water
Source: Buzz Feed

Other than odors that can pop up in your home, odors can also stick to your skin. Like when you’re done cooking, but your hands still smell of onion, garlic, or fish. It’s almost impossible to get rid of the smell by just washing your hands with soap. However, rubbing lemon juice on your hands will neutralize odors from food. Ever been to a Chinese restaurant that gave you warm lemon water at the end of your meal? That’s why.

Some Safe Dog Cleaner

When life gives you lemons: Help clean your dog’s tear spots

What you need to do: Mix equal parts baking soda, water, and lemon juice, and lightly rub in the areas around your dog’s eyes but not in them. Leave on for ten minutes and then rinse with water.

Cleaning a dog’s fur
Source: Ali Express

Dog expert Cesar Millan aka The Dog Whisperer gave some safe options for cleaning your pets. This hack will help brighten those brownish pink spots on your dog’s fur.

Kitchen and Bathroom Tile Cleaner

When life gives you lemons: Clean your bathroom and kitchen backsplash grout

What you need to do: Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a ¼ cup of vinegar, and a ¼ cup of water, then dip an old toothbrush into the mixture and scrub

A bowl of lemons on kitchen tiles
Source: Brit + Co

You can even use this on the grout around the kitchen sink. You can also add salt to the mixture to make it coarser. But don’t use lemon on marble surfaces because it’s too acidic.

Clean the Grill

When life gives you lemons: Use them after a BBQ to scrub down the grill

What you need to do: Combine one cup of salt with 3- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and scrub the grill

Cleaning the grill with a lemon
Source: Cool Mom Eats

This one is for the griller of the house. And if it’s your husband, maybe this hack will make him a bit more excited to do it next time. If you can actually remove the grill grate, by the way, it will be easier.

Makeshift Wood Cleaner

When life gives you lemons: Make your very own wood polish

What you need to do: Mix 1 cup of olive oil with a ½ cup of lemon juice. Simply rub it onto furniture with a soft cloth.

Lemon juice and olive oil
Source: Fab How

You don’t have to spend money on furniture polish or cleaner when you want to shine your gorgeous wooden floors. This method is safer than those products, a heck of a lot cheaper, and smells better!

Infuse Your Water

When life gives you lemons: Add them to your much-needed glass of water

What you need to do: Cut some lemon pieces up and add them to your water pitcher or glass

Lemon water
Source: Shutterstock

Don’t think that fancy and pretty looking water is only something you can drink at restaurants. It’s the easiest thing to do at home, and your body will thank you. Cut up some lemon as well as other fruits with antioxidants and add them to your water.

Whiten Your Nails

When life gives you lemons: Make your nails whiter

What you need to do: Cut half a lemon and squeeze it into a small bowl. Soak your fingers for ten minutes. Rinse with vinegar.

A hand in a bowl of lemons
Source: The nail and tanning salon

Are you going to have a girl’s night anytime soon? This is the perfect homemade manicure for a night in. Turn your home into a salon and get those nails whiter. Nails naturally get a yellow tint to them with time and age (and even worse if you smoke). But lemons are here to save the day.

Get Rid of Acne

When life gives you lemons: Use them to get rid of pimples

What you need to do: Cut half a lemon and rub the juice on your face, especially in the problem areas. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse off.

Teenage girl with acne problem holding lemon against color background
Source: Shutterstock

This is a quick and easy home remedy that can help those with mild acne. Your diet also has a lot to do with the quality of your skin, so be sure to eat healthy foods if you want to avoid breakouts.

Kill Weeds in Your Yard

When life gives you lemons: Make a natural weed killer

What you need to do: Squeeze lemon directly onto the weeds or squeeze some juice into a spray bottle. Coat the leaves in the juice, then let it sit for a couple of days.

Spraying lemon juice on weeds
Source: The Krazy Coupon Lady

After a few days, you’ll notice the weeds will start to disappear. You can also mix some vinegar into the spray bottle if you want to give it an extra boost. Vinegar smells a bit funky, though, so it’s not going to smell as fresh.

Clean Your Pots

When life gives you lemons: Make your pots squeaky clean

What you need to do: Mix together lemon, distilled white vinegar, and baking soda to scrub down those pots and pans

A dirty and clean pot
Source: YouTube

Pots and pans can be expensive. But once they’ve tarnished, it doesn’t mean you have to buy new ones. You can use this method to scrub them down and get them looking almost new again.

Fluff and Separate Rice

When life gives you lemons: Make your rice fluffier

What you need to do: Add a little bit of lemon juice while the rice is boiling

Pouring lemon juice into a pot of rice
Source: Jillee

If you make rice, you’ll know that it can get clumpy and stick together. And no one wants clumps of rice. This hack will make your next pot of rice a lot fluffier and have a slight lemony taste. Yum!

Clean Your Silver

When life gives you lemons: Keep your silverware and jewelry shinier

What you need to do: Use two tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 cup of water and lightly rub the silver with a cloth

Spoons and a lemon
Source: Hive Helper

Whether your silverware or silver jewelry is tarnished and dull, use this mixture of lemon and warm water to bring them back to life. The acid in the lemon juice will clean the tarnish. Voila! You silver just got a lot shinier.

Clean Plastic Containers

When life gives you lemons: Use them to keep your Tupper wear clean

What you need to do: Use water and lemon juice to cover any stained area. Once you fill it, let it soak for about 24 hours.

Holding a lemon in a plastic container
Source: YouTube

If you’re anything like me, you use plastic containers on a daily basis. Lunches, leftovers, etc. But they can get stained (hello, spaghetti!) So you can just take a day and soak them all in the lemon water for a full 24 hours, and you’ll be good to go.

Freshen a Humidifier

When life gives you lemons: Use them to freshen up your home humidifier

What you need to do: Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice to the humidifier

Source: Shutterstock

Is your humidifier getting a little bit musty? You don’t want to be breathing in musty humid air, do you? Especially if it’s in your kids’ rooms. The lemon juice will not only freshen it up, but it’ll disinfect it, too.

Make Your Own Lemon Oil

When life gives you lemons: Turn them into oil!

What you need to do: Simmer it in an oil of your choice and then strain out the lemon remains when it’s cooled down and ready to use

Lemons and a bottle of oil
Source: Clean MySpace

Another way to make your own lemon-infused oil if you’d rather not get your stove involved is to let lemon rinds soak with cold oil for a few weeks until it becomes fragrant. The lemon oil really tastes great on salads or in pasta.

Make Decorations and Garnishes

When life gives you lemons: Make them look pretty in your home and in your cocktails

What you need to do: First, you need to dry a bunch up and then use them as nice additions

Cocktail with a lemon garnish
Source: Shutterstock

Make some homemade household decorations and cocktail garnished with lemons. Turn lemon rinds into garlands, hang them on the rim of cocktail glasses, or even them to warm drinks like tea for a hit of concentrated lemon flavor.

Use Dried Lemon Peels in Your Fireplace

When life gives you lemons: Turn them into fire starters

What you need to do: Take dried lemon peels and throw them into your fireplace to get the fire started

Source: Shutterstock

Dried lemon peels make for perfect fire starters. Along with a few logs, dried peels in your fireplace will get the fire lit in no time. And the best part is that your fire will smell amazing! I wish I had a fireplace to try this out.

Homemade Potpourri

When life gives you lemons: Make your own homemade potpourri

What you need to do: Take 2 sliced lemons, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Place them into a pot and fill with water to about 1 inch below brim and simmer.

Lemons and rosemary in a pot
Source: Huffpost

Ever been to a home that smells absolutely delicious and it wasn’t from cooking anything? They probably had some homemade potpourri lying around. Become one of those families by making this amazing potpourri. It should last a few days. But since it’s so easy, do it every week!

Make Fancy Finishing Salts

When life gives you lemons: Make some infused sea salt


Zest from one lemon

1/2 cup coarsely ground sea salt

2 tsp fresh thyme

Seasonings and salt
Source: Food Hacks


Combine ingredients in a small bowl and place the salt mixture on a cookie sheet and spread out thinly. Bake in a 225-degree oven for two hours, mixing gently after one hour. Remove from oven and let cool. Use the flat part of a spoon to gently press out any lumps that formed. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar and sprinkle onto seafood or other dishes before or after cooking.

Homemade Vinaigrette

When life gives you lemons: Use them to make your own salad dressing

What you need to do: Add lemon juice to olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other flavoring agents honey and Dijon mustard, for example.

Lemon vinaigrette
Source: Shutterstock

With the help of lemon juice, a super easy salad dressing is within reach. Make your own vinaigrette with the ingredients above and store in the fridge. You’ll have a go-to salad dressing for every salad you make.

Don’t Be Wasteful

When life gives you lemons: Use them in their entirety

What you need to do: When baking your favorite cakes and other baked goods, use the entire lemon

Dessert with lemon zest
Source: Shutterstock

Double down on all the lemony flavor in when making baked goods by using both the juice and the zest. And just so you know, using the zest will make you look fancy AF. And it’ll impress your friends or better yet, your mother in law.

Add Lemons to All Your Recipes

When life gives you lemons: Make life taste better

What you need to do: Add a squirt of lemon juice to your food

Man hand squeezing lemon on avocado.
Source: Shutterstock

I personally have a bowl of lemons out in the kitchen all the time. Why? Because they’re perfect for pretty much anything, you’re going to make for dinner! Lemons are great additions to pasta, soups, salads, and roasts alike. The juice brings a much-needed freshness and contrast.

Write Secret Messages

When life gives you lemons: Make some magic with invisible ink

What you need to do: Use the lemon juice as a sort of pen and use heat to reveal the message

“I Spy” written with lemon juice
Source: FMS Blog

This is perfect for your little ones! Show them how to make magic by having them write secret messages to people with lemon juice. After applying heat from a blow dryer, they’ll see the message come to life. Cool, huh?

Lettuce Reviver

When life gives you lemons: Use them to revive your wilting lettuce

What you need to do: Adding juice to a bowl of cold water and put in the limp lettuce leaves to soak for an hour

A bowl with lettuce and a lemon
Source: Pinterest

Make your wilting lettuce a little bit crispier by adding a little lemon juice. Once dry, the leaves will be crispy again. You can also use this tip for apples, avocado, potato, cauliflower, and pears to keep them from browning.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

When life gives you lemons: Clean your toilet!

What you need to do: Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle the bowl with coarse sea salt. Wearing rubber gloves, scrub the bowl until any stains start to lift

Squeezing a lemon into the toilet bowl
Source: Sungazing

Not all toilet bowls are alike. Some are more stubborn than others and need a hack like this to do the trick. So if your toilet is one of those, you’ll be happy to see that this tip really does the trick.

Soothe a Sore Throat

When life gives you lemons: Put them in your tea

What you need to do: Gargle lemon juice with salt and water and drink lemon, honey, and ginger tea

Lemon tea
Source: Shutterstock

If you have a sore throat, you’re more than likely on the brink of a cold or flu. Don’t bother buying sugar-filled lozenges, though. A good old gargle and some hot tea (all with lemon, of course) will do the trick.

Make Lemonade

When life gives you lemons: Make lemonade!

What you need to do: Cut a lemon in half and squeeze both parts into a cup, then put one of the halves into the cup as well. Boil sugar and water to make a simple syrup. Fill a fourth of the mixture into the cup with the lemon. Add ice and water to the brim of the cup and enjoy!

Source: Shutterstock

If you got to this page, good job! You clearly love your lemons and want to use them for good. But let’s not forget what lemons are best for – lemonade! It’s the perfect drink on a summer day. Enjoy!