Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pucker Up!

Yes, that's right, pucker up! Today's blog is about one item I ALWAYS make sure I have in my pantry.
Lemon Juice!
I know, lemon juice doesn't seem that exciting, but I LOVE it! It is one of the most versatile items you can have on hand,
I get 32 oz bottles of lemon juice at my local Family Dollar store for $1.50, although sometimes they have it on sale for just $1.00. That's a great bargain (at either price).

Lemon juice can be used for cleaning:

Air freshener

An equal amount of lemon juice and water added to a spray bottle that sprays a fine mist will create a wonderful chemical-free air freshener for your home.

All purpose cleaner

Again, an equal amount of lemon juice and water added to a spray bottle is an effective kitchen and bathroom cleaner and can also be used on walls (spot test first).

A small amount of lemon juice can also be added to vinegar based cleaning solutions to help neutralize the smell of the vinegar.


Heat a bowl of water and lemon juice (about 1 cup of water and 3 tablespoons lemon juice) in your microwave for 30 seconds to a minute; then wipe out the oven. Stains will be easier to remove and old food odors neutralized. I have found that a shallow bowl is best---more surface area has something to do with it, I think.


Like baking soda, lemon juice stored in your fridge will help control and eliminate unpleasant smells. Put a small bowl or tupperware container with a small sponge in the bowl. Moisten the sponge with water and lemon juice (50/50 mix), then set the open bowl in your fridge. Change every one to two weeks.


Rub a lemon juice and baking soda paste onto chrome or copper, rinse and then wipe/buff with a soft cloth or paper towel.


Mix 1/2 cup borax and a cup of lemon juice for a powerful toilet cleaner that will leave it smelling extra clean!

Lime scale

Use lemon juice--full strength-- to clean the lime scale off a sink or taps/faucets; just dampen a sponge with lemon juice, apply, let set for a few minutes and then wipe off and rinse well.

Clogged up shower head? Soak overnight in a bowl of lemon juice.


For bleaching purposes, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle and hang clothes outside to dry.

A teaspoon of lemon juice thrown into your wash can also help your clothes to smell fresher.

For Blood stains particularly on white fabrics, rub lemon juice and salt and hang in sun for about 4 hours.

Please remember to NEVER use lemon juice on SILK fabric! It will eat a hole in them!


A teaspoon of lemon juice added to your dishwashing detergent can help boost grease cutting power

Ever get a residue on the inside of a crock pot that won't come off no matter how much you scrub or soak? Fill 3/4 full with water, then add 1 cup of lemon juice. Turn the crock pot on high and leave it for 2-3 hours. Allow to cool before rinsing; all the stains will be gone. It's like having a brand new crock pot!


Hot lemon juice and baking soda is a good drain cleaner that is safe to use in septic systems.

Chopping boards

Rub lemon juice into your wooden chopping board, leave overnight and then rinse. Wood chopping boards appear to have anti-bacterial properties anyway, but the lemon will help kill off any remaining nasties and neutralize odors.

Glass and mirrors

4 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with half a gallon of water makes an effective window cleaner


Straight lemon juice can be used as a general degreaser


2 parts olive oil or cooking oil mixed with 1 part lemon juice makes for an excellent furniture polish!

Personal Hygiene and Medicinal Uses for Lemon Juice:


To lighten hair, dampen it with lemon juice and sit out in the sun for an hour. This does work, I tried it myself. Hey, it was the 70's!

I've read that the juice of a lemon mixed with one cup warm water makes for a great hair conditioner. It should be allowed to stay in your hair for a few minutes then washed off. Exercise caution if you have a sensitive scalp.


The smell of fish or onions or garlic can linger on your hands, even after scrubbing with soap - rubbing your hands with lemon juice will neutralize the smell and leave your hands smelling wonderful.

Itchies, Stings and Bites

Dab lemon juice on mosquito or chigger bites. Dabbing lemon juice on itchy rashes can also help. If straight lemon juice proves to be too harsh for your skin, use a 50/50 mix of lemon juice and warm water.


Dabbing lemon juice on pimples, blackheads and whiteheads before bed helps dry them up before morning! Wash face with a mild soap to wash off in the morning.

Foot/Body Scrub:

Mix regular table sugar or brown sugar with lemon juice to make a foot scrub. If you have problem perspiration, use the scrub all over! It exfoliates skin and will leave you sweet smelling all day! This is really good for scaly dry elbows!

Lemon Juice for Deodorant:

Use lemon juice as an alternative to high-priced chemically nasty deodorants.

Just wipe lemon juice on a washcloth or cotton balls under your arm pits. Lasts for hours! If you can't use straight juice, try the 50/50 mix with warm water.

Lemon Juice for Weight Loss:

Two tablespoons lemon juice in a glass (8 ounces) of water every morning helps *kick up* your metabolism and can help with weight loss.

Lemon Juice Mouth Wash and Denture Soak:

Lemon juice, 3 tablespoons in a cup of warm water makes a great mouth wash. If you have thin enamel on your teeth, check with your dentist first!

If you wear dentures and are out of your usual denture cleanser, put dentures in hot or very warm water and add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Soak for 2 to 8 hours for fresh, sparkling dentures.

Lemon Juice for Sore Throats and Coughs:

Mix 1/4 cup honey with 3 tablespoons lemon juice for a great throat soother. Make it better by adding a half teaspoon ground ginger.

Lemon Juice for cooking:

Now on to the yummy stuff! Lemons are high in Vitamin C, so adding them to your diet just makes sense, especially in the winter!

If you dry or can apples, you know they turn brown after being cut and exposed to air. Toss apple slices with a 50/50 lemon juice-water mix and they won't turn brown!

The acidic character of lemon juice also makes it a great meat tenderizer. Add a couple of tablespoons to your favorite marinade.

Lemon juice *brightens* the flavor of salad dressings, especially ones used on fruit salads. Just a teaspoon is usually enough in 1 cup of dressing.

Lemon juice + water + sugar = Lemonade! But lemon juice can be added to a lot of other beverages to enhance flavor or add a *sparkle* to the taste. Add a teaspoon of lemon to a glass of ginger ale--or any other carbonated beverage. Add it to fruit punch, tea (hot or cold), herbal teas, juices...just about any beverage--as long as it doesn't contain milk!

In baking, a teaspoon or two of lemon can *brighten* up the flavor of breads, cakes and pies without adding a *lemony* flavor. Mix the lemon juice with the sugar required for the recipe BEFORE adding to other ingredients!

When you are making sauces , adding a teaspoon of lemon certainly enhances the flavor! I especially love to make lemon butter to serve over vegetables--especially broccoli. Make a sauce of lemon, butter and herbs--I suggest rosemary and thyme with a touch of onion or garlic to serve over broiled chicken breasts. (Okay, I am getting hungry now!)

As you can see, lemon juice is a wonderful thing to have in your pantry! The bottles of lemon juice I buy have to be refrigerated after opening. Check expiration dates and buy bottles that have the further-est out *use by* date.


  1. Wow! I am going to have to rethink lemon juice after this! Thanks for all the new information!

  2. I had no idea lemon juice was so versatile. Anything with a multiple use is good for frugal living.

    Good post!

    I have been using lemon juice lately in a marinade for meat and poultry.


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