Can You Use Lemons to Deodorize?

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Lemons don't just smell great; they also help disinfect surfaces.
Lemons don't just smell great; they also help disinfect surfaces. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

When regular cleaning products don’t do enough to remove odors on various household surfaces or appliances, lemons come in handy. Lemons are natural deodorizers that can be used in many ways throughout your home. In addition to using them alone, you can mix lemon juice with vinegar as a nontoxic, "green" cleaning solution — with a less pungent odor than using straight vinegar. What’s more, the 5 percent acid content in lemon juice has antibacterial effects, killing germs as it freshens your home.

Dishwasher

Over time, you may notice a foul smell emanating from your dishwasher — resulting from buildup of food remnants in various nooks and crannies. You can use lemon juice to get rid of dishwasher odors. Place 1 cup of juice in the bottom of an empty dishwasher and then run the rinse cycle. The lemon juice will deodorize the appliance, as well as disinfect it.

Garbage Disposal

Get rid of odors in your garbage disposal by tossing in a few lemon rinds and grinding them while running hot water. Not only does this get rid of your unwanted peels and odors simultaneously, but it also releases a lemony fresh scent throughout your kitchen.

Cutting Board

Whether you've just cut garlic or fish on your cutting board, regular cleaning may not do the trick, odor-wise. Slice a lemon in half and rub it over the surface of your cutting board to deodorize it and disinfect the surface. And if your board has any tough stains, squeeze some extra lemon juice over them, let it set for about 10 minutes and then wipe it clean.

Microwave

You can freshen your microwave with lemon, too. Place two or three slices of lemon into a bowl of water. Heat it for about 2 minutes on the high setting, remove the bowl and then wipe down the inside of your microwave. The steam loosens any dried splatters, while the lemon scent deodorizes the inside.

Humidifier

Freshen up your humidifier by pouring 3 to 4 teaspoons of lemon juice into the water reservoir. The juice works to eliminate any odor — replacing it with a zesty fragrance — while helping to disinfect the unit. Repeat this every few weeks to keep humidifier odors at bay.

Refrigerator

Get rid of refrigerator odors using this natural solution. Saturate a cotton ball or small sponge with lemon juice and leave it inside your fridge for up to 24 hours. And be sure to throw out any food-turned-science-project that may be the culprit.

In the Air

Use lemons as an air freshener throughout your home. Cut two lemons in half, arrange them in a dish or bowl (cut side up) and place it in any problem areas. Or fill an atomizer with equal amounts of water and lemon juice and spray it in whatever rooms need help.

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