Lemon Recipes for Skin Care, Household Cleaning, and Pets

Lemons have been used for centuries as a natural and affordable way to enhance and improve the appearance of skin by helping to soften wrinkles, improve and even out skin tone, control acne, and help conquer darkening skin spots.

Lemons are also used to make natural cleaning agents to use around the home and to replace expensive products that contain harsh chemicals.

Are fleas a problem? Guess what works wonders for controlling fleas? Lemons, of course!

Here are our favorite cost-effective ways to use lemons, along with recipes and instructions to help maximize the benefits.

Acne Solution - Aspirin and Lemon Juice

Getty / Chris Windsor

Dr. Oz has a treatment for acne that combines non-coated aspirin with fresh lemon juice. He says that it works because of the salicylic acid in aspirin acts as a chemical peel and the lemon, which is acidic, serves as an exfoliate. Baking soda is then used to neutralize the effects of the lemon.

To make the solution, ground six to 12 non-coated aspirin into a fine powder. Squeeze in lemon juice from a whole lemon. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or until the aspirin dissolves into a paste.

Coated aspirin also works, but takes longer to dissolve.

Make sure your skin is nice and clean. Gently apply the paste to the area that is broken out. Leave it on for 10 minutes.

While you wait, make a solution of baking soda and water. Gently remove the paste by dipping a cotton ball into the baking soda mixture and dabbing it onto the solution. It should loosen up and come right off.

The mixture, which can cause dry skin, can be used one or two times a week. If you have sensitive skin, this solution may cause excessive dry skin.

For more skin solutions, some of which are legit, some not, check out the comments by Dr. Oz on the article, Viewers' Beauty Secrets Revealed.

Hint: Cut the rest of the lemon up and use it to freshen your garbage disposal.

Use Lemons as an Oven Cleaner

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For those of us without self-cleaning ovens, using the spray oven cleaners can be too harsh, resulting in breathing problems and skin irritations. One the chemicals found in oven cleaners is Monoethanolamine, which can cause air passages to constrict, resulting in asthma-like symptoms including coughing and gagging.

A more natural solution to oven cleaning is to use lemons as a degreaser and deodorizer. To do this, squeeze the lemon juice from two lemons into an ovenproof dish. Add what is left of the lemons into the dish and fill it about half full with water.

Place the dish in the center of your oven and bake it for 30 - 45 minutes at 250 degrees. Let the oven cool, then use a non-abrasive scouring pad to clean the grease and burned drippings from the top, sides and bottom of the oven. Once most of the grime is removed, dip a sponge into the leftover lemon mixture and wipe the oven clean.

This method will require more scrubbing than what is needed when using the strong oven cleaners, but your lungs and skin will thank you. So will you household pets that also suffer from harsh household cleaning agents.

How to Clean Dirty Stained White Socks

Dirty socks.
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Tired of throwing away socks or damaging them with bleach when trying to get rid of deep stains? Try this solution.

Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Cut a lemon into quarters and squeeze the juice into the pot. Place the leftover lemon pieces in the pot. Adjust the heat so that the water is at a low simmer. Place your socks into the pot and let them simmer for at least an hour. Voila! Clean socks without fiber damage or using up expensive bottles of stain remover. This also works for small hand towels and underwear.

Caution: Do not leave the pot unattended. Be careful not to overload the pot or let the water cook out. You don't want to have a fire over a few dirty socks.

A Cheap Homemade Solution to Dirty Grout

Cleaning dirty tile.
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Do you have stained grout? Have you noticed how expensive grout cleaner is today? Try this solution. It is cheaper and will do the job.

Fill a spray bottle with water and the juice from a lemon. Depending on the size of the area you will be cleaning, you may want to break it into sections. Spray the lemon solution over the area of grout you will be cleaning. Take baking soda and apply it to the grout, working it in with the water and lemon solution to form a paste. Let the paste dry for 20 minutes.

Moisten the area lightly with water, then use a toothbrush to scrub the grout with the paste. Wipe the entire area clean with hot water and move on to the next section and repeat the process.

When you have finished, vacuum the area to remove any leftover baking soda, and mop again with clean hot water.

Use Lemon Juice to Cure Dark Elbows and Knees

Squeezing lemons
Adrian Mueller / Getty Images

If you fight with discoloration of your elbows or knees, try this simple homemade lemon solution.

Rub the juice from half of a lemon into the darkened area and allow the juice to remain there for 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and rub a small amount of olive oil or your favorite cream into the skin. Do this three times a week and watch the skin turn back to its natural color.

You can also exfoliate the dark patches by making a paste of baking soda or besan flour and lemon juice. Use just enough lemon juice to make the paste. If the paste is too flaky to adhere to the skin, add a dab of olive oil. Rub the paste into the area for at least 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water, and then massage olive oil or cream into the same area. This is most effective when done three times a week.

Either solution can also help lighten liver spots and freckles.

Note: Your skin may be too sensitive to use the lemon juice solutions. If you notice irritation, discontinue using lemon directly on your skin.

Get Rid of Fleas

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Is Fido itching like crazy? To help rid your dog of fleas, try this easy home solution.

Peel a lemon and place the peels in a pint of water. Add five drops of citronella oil and a teaspoon of rosemary. Let the mixture sit in a dark area overnight. The following day, wash the dog and comb through its hair using a flea comb. Then spray your dog with the solution.

Do not forget to spray under the dog's arms, behind the ears and under the tail area. Do not use on the dog's face. Be very careful not to get the solution in your pet's eyes.

Fleas run from the smell of lemon or any strong citrus odor. If you use the spray daily, you should see good results. If your dog is infested with fleas, you may need to take it to the vet.

Remove Underarm Stains Using Lemon

Businessman thinking as he looks across city
Ezra Bailey / Getty Images

If you have tops that are washable, but you cannot get out the underarm stains, try this home solution.

Make a mixture of 1/4 cup of lemon juice and a 1/4 cup of water. Pour it onto the stain and lightly scrub the area. Rinse it off then toss it in with your next load of laundry.

This same solution can be used on dark stains around the neckline and cuffs of shirts.

You may want to color test a small unseen area first, before applying the solution.

Is Whitening Teeth Using Lemon Juice, Safe?

Whiten Teeth
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc./ Getty Images

Unfortunately no, using lemons as a cleaning agent on your teeth can ruin your teeth and make them look dull. Lemons have citric acids which can cause the loss of calcium in your teeth. It is the calcium which contributes to white teeth, and once it is gone, it won't come back. Find out what other home remedies work for teeth whitening and the ones that don't work.