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6 July 2023 / Laura Garvin Gomez

How to Use Lemon Essential Oil for Cleaning

Unleash the cleaning potential of lemon oil with our expert tips and tricks. Learn how to effectively use lemon oil for a fresh and sparkling clean home.

Spray bottle of lemon oil cleaning mixture with a jar of lemon rinds in the background and some lemons scattered around

Did you know that you can use lemon essential oil for cleaning your home, giving you a natural alternative to the more toxic products available in supermarkets?

From removing dirt and grime residue to polishing wood and degreasing hobs, you may be surprised at just how effective it can be.

We explain how to use lemon essential oil for cleaning, giving you some recipes to try in the bathroom, kitchen, living room, and anywhere else you need to give a good scrub down.

What are the lemon essential oil benefits for cleaning?

The main reason people use lemon essential oil cleaners in their home is because it offers a natural alternative to harsh, chemical-based products. It’s less toxic and more eco-friendly whilst still being just as effective as the commercial alternatives.

That’s because lemon essential oil contains antibacterial properties (as it is extracted directly from the citrus fruit), so you can give your home a good clean without being exposed to harsh ingredients like ammonia and bleach.

Lemon essential oil also leaves behind a bright and uplifting aroma, which is far more pleasant than some of the artificial scents that are used to cover up the chemical mixtures in commercial cleaners.

What is the best lemon essential oil for cleaning?

Lemon Essential Oil is derived from the peel of the fruit as it contains more nutrients and produces a stronger natural aroma. Its powerful hygienic properties and ability to combat microorganisms make it the ideal oil for homemade cleaners, with its limonene and b-pinene compounds helping to disinfect bacteria, pathogens, fungi and other harmful pathogens.

If this is your first-time using lemon essential oil, we advise that you carry out a patch test before making the cleaner. This will reveal if there are any allergic reactions you need to be aware of so you can look at an alternative solution, if needed.

Cleaning spray placed onto a kitchen side next to a sink with three lemons at the base of the spray bottle

How to use essential lemon oil for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens

Whether it’s one person or a whole family using the bathroom and kitchen, dirt and grime quickly builds up and using essential lemon oil is a great way of keeping these spaces clean.

You can make simple but highly effective all-purpose cleaner for the bathroom and kitchen using the following:

  • 480ml white vinegar
  • 480ml distilled water
  • 10-20 drops lemon essential oil
  • Amber glass spray bottle

Steps on making an all-purpose DIY bathroom cleaner

  1. Pour the vinegar, water and lemon essential oil into a dark or amber glass spray bottle (dark bottles help to protect the properties of the cleaner from heat and light sources).
  2. Place the cap and nozzle onto the bottle and shake well to combine.

You can spray the cleaner directly into the bath, sink, shower, toilet, cooker and any other surface that needs to be cleaned. Let the mixture rest for 5-10 minutes and then scrub using warm water.

How to remove hard water spots and soap scum using lemon essential oil

One of the hardest parts of any bathroom to keep clean is the shower door, taps and other surfaces that show the minerals left behind by hard water.

A build-up of hard water spots and soap scum cannot be removed using a standard cleaner, so you need something a little stronger. Gather together the following ingredients:

  • 720ml citric acid powder
  • 2.8l litres hot water
  • 20-30 drops lemon essential oil
  • 3.8 litre plastic tub
  • 2 x clean, soft cotton cloths

Steps on making a hard water and soap scum remover

  1. Add the hot water to the plastic tub (make sure you are comfortable with the temperature)
  2. Mix in the lemon essential oil, followed by the citric acid until it dissolves fully.
  3. Absorb one cloth with the mixture and use circular motions to wipe away the grime.
  4. Rinse with warm water and use the second cloth if needed.

Follow the instructions that come with the citric acid powder and take the necessary safety precautions as provided by the product.

Woman holding a spray bottle ready to spray it onto a kitchen surface with a cloth in hand

How to use lemon oil for cleaning and polishing wooden furniture

Lemon essential oil works well in the bathroom and kitchen, and it can also do a fantastic job of cleaning and polishing wooden furniture.

This is a slightly milder cleaner that isn’t too abrasive for wood, otherwise you run the risk of stripping the material and causing permanent damage. Gather together the following ingredients:

Steps on how to make a lemon essential oil cleaner for wooden furniture

  1. Add the lemon essential oil with the castor oil and white vinegar in a dark plastic bottle or plastic tub and mix thoroughly.
  2. Soak the cloth in the polish mixture.
  3. Using circular motions, gently buff the wooden furniture until it is fully absorbed, and you can see a shine on the surface.

Once you have made the cleaner, first test it on a small, hidden part of the furniture just to be sure the solution is compatible.

Black and white illustration of a lemon

Sometimes the old school, traditional methods of cleaning can prove to be just as effective as modern-day cleaners. The powerful chemical-free agents provided by nature means you no longer need to be exposed to harsh ingredients and toxins as you clean your home.

One final note of caution: do not use any of the recipes above on natural stone, quartz, marble or granite, as white vinegar and lemon can corrode unsealed stone, leaving behind permanent etch marks. Metallic paint is another surface to avoid and do not mix any vinegar-based recipe with commercial cleaners that contain hydrogen-peroxide or bleach.

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