Green Cleaning: Cleaning with Lemons

I love lemons.  They are pretty and they taste amazing, but they are also great for green cleaning {or yellow cleaning}, not only will your house smell amazing but it will be sparkly clean!  Today I’m going to share a few great recipes for cleaning with lemons.

Grease and smudges
Do your kids ever get smudgy fingerprints on your walls and appliances {who, me?  no never!} Well this simple solution will cut the grease, from their cute little fingers, and have your walls clean again in no time!

1 teaspoon Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
1 teaspoon 20 Mule Team Borax
2 teaspoons Lemon juice
3 teaspoons Dishwashing liquid
2 cups Hot water

Add all these ingredients to a spray bottle and shake well.  Spray the solution on grease and/or smudges and wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth.


Furniture Polish
I love polishing the furniture because it makes it shine like new! Here’s a simple recipe for inexpensive, and chemical-free, polish that can be used on your furniture and wood floors!

2 tablespoons Lemon juice
10 drops Lemon essential oil
1/2 cup Oil (vegetable, olive oil, etc.)

Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and polish with a microfiber cloth, or mix the ingredients in a glass jar and dab on with a microfiber cloth.


Glass Cleaner
I’ve posted lots of ways to clean windows and mirrors but here’s another solution, using lemon juice!

3 tablespoons Lemon juice
1/2 cup Rubbing alcohol

Add these two ingredients to a spray bottle then fill it the rest of the way with water.  Shake well.  Spritz it on your windows and mirrors and use a Bounty DuraTowel {the most cloth-like paper towels on the market} to wipe it clean.  Your windows will be smudge-free and your house will smell refreshing!


Remove Tarnish
If you have tarnished brass or copper you can use lemons to get it sparkling again!

Add enough lemon juice to Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, to make a paste (about the consistency of toothpaste).  Rub the paste onto the brass and/or copper and use a microfiber cloth to polish it.  When the tarnish is gone rinse with water to clean the paste off.


Mineral Deposits & Soap Scum
We all have mineral deposits and soap scum in our showers, baths and sinks, and now it’s easier than ever to clean them!

Cut a lemon in 1/2 and rub the lemon juice all over your faucets, shower doors, etc.  Let the juice sit for a few minutes and then use a microfiber cloth, or a sponge to rinse it off with water.


Kitchen Grease
This is a great recipe for cleaning the hood, or microwave, above your stove, as well as anywhere else that has cooking grease splatters.

2 tablespoons Lemon juice
1/2 cup White vinegar
1 quart warm water

Add all the ingredients to a spray bottle and spritz it on the greasy spots.  Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe clean with a damp Bounty DuraTowel, sponge or microfiber cloth.

These are just a handful of ways you can use lemons to clean, and freshen up, your home!  Do you ever use lemons to clean?  I would love to hear your lemon cleaning recipes!

The original recipes are from the book Lemon Juice, Lighten Your Hair and Solve Household Problems by Betsy Rossen Elliot.


 Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post but if you purchase through them you will not pay a cent more than you would otherwise. Thank you for supporting Ask Anna!

About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. We’ve been using the swiffer cleaner for the tile floors and ran out of liquid. So, we used 409 to finish the job. What a mess! Now the floor is sticky, can’t get the residue off. I’ve tried dawn and just water, it’s real tile. HELP!

    • You can use straight vinegar to clean the floors! If you add a little lemon juice to it, it will smell better though. 😉 Put the lemon juice and vinegar in a squirt bottle, spray it on the floor then mop away!

  2. If you make a paste out of Borax and lemon juice, scrub it all over your toilet, inside, & let it dry for 10-20 minutes, you will be shocked at how beautiful – & odor-free – it becomes! First, though, turn off the water to the toilet & then flush until as much of the water is emptied as possible, so you can clean all the crannies.

  3. cool recipes but have you personally tried the lemon on faucet thing’? i was pretty sure that pin was busted.

  4. I’m not surprised that a lemon helps clean so much, its so acidic and even quite bad for our teeth. Definitely of great use for cleaning!

  5. Liliana Wells says:

    I would love to try your Furniture Polish recipe. But how much oil to you use when you say “1/2 oil”? Thanks for sharing. Liiana

    PS – my mother used to use the same recipe for brass and copper cleaner over 50 years ago in Europe. Great stuff..

  6. Betty819 says:

    While melting butter in an ovenproof dish to go into my peach cobbler, i almost dropped the entire dish, but in my attempt to get a better grip on the hot dish(with pot holder/dish towel folded around it, some of the butter splashed out and back into the bottom of the oven. What a mess I had on my hands! Instead of abaondoing the making of the peach cobbler altogether, turinging off the oven and cleaning up the butter spill first, I chose to go ahead with the process, after I melted more butter to compensate for the spilled butter.
    I had been wanting to bake that cobbler all week and I was determined to do it last evening.
    After the cobbler was finished baking, I proceed to turn on the self cleaning oven process..turned that knob to “Clean” and pulled the oven lever over and you know what happens then…it is locked for a few hours till the cleaning process is completed. DH is already in bed, smoke fumes start coming out the oven vents, and I look through the oven window to see a fire inside. Oh my gosh! Talk about fear so I quickly reached over and turned the oven knob to off but still couldn’t open the oven lach/lever. The fire went out but the smoke fumes kept driffing out the oven vent. Ran and opened up the sunroom door that is an exit to outside and opened the front door, propping open the storm door to let the exhaust fumes go out. In about 30 min. I the oven cooled down enough that the lock lever would move to open the oven door.
    I quidkly came to my computer and looked on all the cleaning blogs I could think of that I knew off the top of my head. I spread baking soda on the bottom of the oven, sprayed that with water, then put white vinegar in a spray bottle and sprayed that on the baking soda and let it sit. Made a paste of baking soda and water, and spread that on the bottom of the oven and on the side oven door. Read where somebody posted that when they were in the USA, and had KP duty, they used coca cola to clean their large ovens and turned the temperature to warm and let it like that till next morning and it would be sparkling clean.
    Some lady said her Mother always used Ketchup. I know you probably shouldn’t use commercial oven cleaner on self cleaning ovens but I was tempted but hate those toxic fumes/odors.

    When I saw the flames inside the oven, I almost called 911 but didn’t want to cause alarm in this Sr. Citizens community of over 8500 residents and especially since I am attached to two other houses. I figured that if I turned it to off, it would smother out the fire which it did.

    Okay, the task of finishing up the oven cleaning process is still on my agenda. My cleaning lady will be here in a little over an hour but she’ll wonder what happened. I do not ask her to clean my oven or inside of refrigerator. I do that myself. When I was cleaning houses for a living after I retired, I wouldn’t do those two jobs for my clients and I won’t ask my lady to do them either.

    20 mule team borax is on my grocery list today, can you think of anything else that I might need to use?
    I have to be careful of using anything toxic because of my lungs as I had an auto immune condition 11 years ago that almost took me from this world and I have to be extremely careful what I use around the house.

  7. I have tried two your glass cleaners and they work great. Thanks