I’ve always been amused by the expression “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Mostly because lemons are awesome no matter what you do with them. There are so many uses for lemons the reality is that when life hands you lemons the opportunities are limitless as to what you can do with them.
I love lemons and personally there’s no better way for me to bring the sunlight into my home than with a great big bowl of sunshine on my counter. Aside from making homemade lemonade though, lemons have a multitude of uses. So don’t let the weather get you down, here are more than 10 uses for lemons to brighten up your day!
1) As decor. Fill a big bowl full of lemons and feel your mood lift instantly. Lemons last a lot longer on your counter than fresh flowers and you can grab one anytime for one of the great uses to follow!
2) To keep your food from browning, squeeze half a lemon over chopped fruit, like apples, to keep from browning. Lemons are also great to use in your guacamole to keep it from browning. Nobody wants to eat brown guacamole, right?
3) Rub cut lemons over the inside of plastic compost and garbage bins to eliminate the stink….fast.
4) For perfectly fluffy rice every time, add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to the pot while rice is simmering. Of course, if you want your rice sticky, don’t do this.
5) Slice lemons and place in a small saucepan with water on stove. Let simmer for an hour and your house will smell lemony fresh.
6) Sanitize wood cutting boards by rubbing a cut lemon over surface. Let the board absorb the lemon.
7) Clean your microwave. Place a bowl with 1 1/2 cups water and three tablespoons of lemon in a microwave safe bowl and turn on for 3 to 5 minutes until water boils. Let steam release in microwave for a few minutes, then wipe it clean easily.
8) Drink warm lemon water every morning before you have anything else to aid digestion and clean your liver.
9) When limes are expensive, substitute in lemons. No one will know the difference.
10) Remove berry and beet stains. Rub undiluted lemon juice on your hands and let sit for a few minutes before rinsing with warm, soapy water.
11) Use lemon zest in your baking and cooking. This is a great way to use as much of the lemon as possible.
12) Make Your Own Buttermilk. I swear my father is the only human on earth who drinks a glass of buttermilk. I never buy the stuff because it always goes bad before I can use it. That’s why I always use this hack when a recipe calls for buttermilk. Simply add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let it stand for five to ten minutes until it thickens. Et Voila, Buttermilk!
13) Deodorize your drains. I live on a well system and sometimes the water can smell a little funky. Of course it’s lemons to the rescue for this one. Simply mix 2 cups of fresh lemon juice with half a cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes and then pour piping hot water down the drain to clear.
14) Grow your own lemon tree. When the pandemic hit, I, like many others, turned to gardening. Over the last two years I’ve grown an avocado tree and a lemon tree from seeds I saved. The avocado tree is now taller than me, and while the lemon tree is taking a little longer, there is joy in growing things. Plus it adds some pretty green to your house.