If life gives you lemons; use them to clean the eco friendly way!

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the juice of fresh lemons, for natural, eco friendly cleaningThis week, I’ve shared some ideas for using kitchen ingredients to add a natural, eco friendly shine to your home. The benefits of this are to your health, the environment and your pocket!

Many conventional cleaning products contain toxic chemicals which are best avoided. Using household ingredients is the green option and more self sufficient. You can make cleaners for a few pence that are just as effective as chemically-loaded products.

Fresh lemon juice is a good stain remover as it has a mildly bleaching effect. Some of us girls might remember squeezing lemon juice onto our freckles to fade them or through our hair to try and get some natural highlights! Use lemons to fade stains on work surfaces or tables in the same way.

cleaning with nature's giftsAs an acid, lemon juice can help dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits. Rub a cut lemon around your taps if you live in a hard water area.

If you are fortunate enough to have copper saucepans, lemons will restore a beautiful shine to them. Simply cut a lemon in half, sprinkle some salt onto it, and use it like a scouring pad. You can also use this method to cleanse and deodorise wooden chopping boards.

With some antibacterial and antiseptic properties, lemons are ideal for cleaning surfaces such as kitchen work surfaces or tables. You can sprinkle half a lemon with bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to use as a quick and effective multi surface cleaner.

Finally, you can mix one cup of olive oil with 1/2 a cup of lemon juice to use as a nourishing wood furniture ‘polish’. Unlike a traditional polish which sits on the top of the wood, this recipe will penetrate the wood and feed it.

The most beautiful thing about using lemons is the zingy, fresh smell that will waft through your home. Many conventional products add synthetic lemon to symbolise cleanliness but you can get the natural smell for free!
cleaning copper with lemons
When you’ve squeezed the juice from the lemon, be sure to use the peel for a truly frugal lifestyle!

Either grate it and store for cooking, put it in the compost heap (not too much – the antibacterial properties will stop your compost breaking down) boil it up and use as a hair rinse, dry it and use as a fixative in pot pourri (mixed with cinnamon and ginger, it creates a wonderfully warming and uplifting smell) , soak it in a bowl of hot water and use the water to wash up or, if you use open fires, dry the skin and use as tinder. It will work as a barbecue starter as well.

If you want to learn more, click on the books to buy!

lemon magic by Patty Moosbrugger

Lemon Magic

Natural stain remover by Angela Martin

Natural Stain Remover: Clean Your Home Without Harmful Chemicals

Clean house, Clean planet by Karen Logan Clean House, Clean Planet: Clean Your House for Pennies a Day, the Safe, Nontoxic Way

Photo credits: photograph of cleaning a copper pan with lemons comes from the gorgeous “Free Range Living” blog

Photo of the cut lemon, from the talented ‘ThinkDraw‘, courtesy of Flickr

Photo of nature’s cleaning products from Water sense who campaign to raise awareness of the toxic chemicals in everyday household products and the problems they can cause to the water environment.


  1. Green Cleaning on May 19, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Mrs. Green – I love your recipes. These are great ideas to green cleaning. I love that we can create our own solutions with natural products to clean!

  2. Mrs Green on May 23, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Hello Green Cleaning – is that your site over there? It’s fabulous! I’m glad you like the recipes and I too love that we can create solutions with the simplest and most natural ingredients.

    What is your favourite cleaning tip?

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