It’s common knowledge that lemon and baking soda are must-haves for cookies and cakes; but did you know that these two ingredients are also natural cleaning powerhouses? Alone, they each have their own benefits, but when used together they have the usefulness to replace every one of the toxic cleaning products under your sink.
So, what exactly is the hype about using lemon and baking soda together for cleaning? Let’s take a look at their own individual benefits to understand this.
Lemon is a potent antibacterial, and its clean citrus smell leaves behind a fresh, tangy scent that countless commercial cleaning products have been trying to recreate for years, with varying success. The acid in lemons is antiseptic, and acts as a natural bleach. Oils in the rinds have also been found to help to clean and shine surfaces.
Baking soda is an almost perfect drawing agent to pull out stains, odours, and even venom from stinging insects. Not to mention that baking soda’s natural grit makes it an ideal scouring product when it’s combined with a little elbow grease.
It’s a mild alkali and can cause dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water for effective removal, and deodorizes by bringing both acidic and basic odour molecules into a neutral, more odour-free state.
How to use baking soda and lemon for cleaning
When paired up, the uses of baking soda and lemon are virtually limitless, but here are our 21 favourite ways we use this go-to cleaning combo in our homes and offices.
1. Cleaning ovens
Remove any thick or loose grime from the oven using a scourer or scraper. Then make a thick paste using lemon juice and baking soda and spread this paste over any baked-on grease and grime.
Leave the formula for a few hours, or overnight for really tough grease. The grime will literally peel off. Wipe the surface clean with hot, soapy water. There are no bad smells, no dangerous chemicals, and no harm done if you accidentally turn the oven on while letting it set.
2. Cleaning toilet bowls
Sprinkle some baking soda into your toilet bowl and leave it for a few hours to remove limescale. For dirty sinks, baths, and showers, or for those with stubborn limescale marks around the taps, make your baking soda into a paste using some lemon juice and rub this paste around the offending area. It won’t scratch the enamel like a scrubbing pad can.
3. Cleaning chopping boards
Rather than bleaching chopping boards, which can transfer over a horrible taint to food, use half a lemon and scrub over the surface. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes before sprinkling some baking soda over the surface, which will pick up any odours and suck away the bacteria from inside the chopping board.
Then rinse the chopping board clean and leave it to dry. Lemon is a natural anti-bacterial, so will also kill germs.
4. Washing clothing
To remove grease stains from clothing, rub the stained area with half a cut lemon, then sprinkle some baking soda straight into your washing machine with your laundry. Then proceed to wash and dry as normal.
5. Unclogging drains
You can unclog even the dirtiest of drains with a mixture of baking soda, followed by lemon juice. Add the baking soda first, followed immediately by the lemon juice, and the foaming action will help unclog the drain quite efficiently.
6. Neutralizing bin odours
Mixing lemon juice, water, and baking soda and spraying the combination in the bottom of your kitchen bin will help neutralize the odours inside, keeping the smell from spreading throughout your home.
7. Removing sticker goo
If you have a plate with sticker residue, create a paste of lemon juice and baking soda. Then rub the paste on the sticky area to easily remove the residue.
8. Getting rid of water stains
Water stains can ruin a nice piece of wood furniture. To remove a water stain with baking soda, make a paste with a few drops of water, then rub the paste into the stain. Finish by wiping the baking soda mixture away.
9. Cleaning your microwave
To easily get rid of stains or cooked food odour from the microwave quickly, add a cup of water mixed with lemon juice in a microwave-safe bowl and mix it with 2 tablespoons of baking soda, then put this uncovered straight into the microwave and let it run for 2 to 3 minutes.
The steam from the water and baking soda mixture will deodorize the microwave and also loosen up caked stains on the inside surfaces, while the lemon will have your kitchen smelling wonderful and clean in no time.
10. Removing tea and coffee stains from surfaces
If you want to clean tea and coffee stains using just baking soda, dampen the stained surface with water, then sprinkle some sodium bicarbonate and scrub off the stains using a damp cloth. If that doesn’t work, apply a thick paste of baking soda and lemon juice over the area and let it sit overnight before scrubbing it off in the morning.
11. Cleaning your floor
Cleaning your floor without using chemicals is one of the many amazing uses of baking soda and lemon juice. If you’re looking for a simple way to remove dirt and grime without leaving unwanted marks on your floor, you can make a baking soda cleaner and store it in a bottle for use.
Just mix together half a cup of lemon, half a cup of baking soda, and a tablespoon of hot water. Mix the formula in water instead of chemical cleaner when required.
12. Adding shine to brass
To get your brass furnishings looking their best again, simply take a lemon wedge and sprinkle some baking soda straight onto it. Use this baking soda lemon to scrub around your brass items, easily cleaning and adding shine to their surfaces.
13. Removing stains from plastic containers
Plastic containers tend to get stained from anything you store in them. However, you can easily remove these stains by using a solution of baking soda, lemon juice, and warm water.
Fill half the container with warm water, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Add a couple of drops of lemon juice, then let your tubs soak in the mixture for an hour before rinsing out with warm water and leaving to dry.
14. Deodorizing your sponges
After a certain time, your scrubbing sponges tend to take on a pretty nasty mildew smell. Baking soda and lemon are the perfect remedy to get rid of the smell and freshen up your sponges, so try this before giving in and throwing them away.
Just mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda in half a litre of warm water and a couple of drops of lemon juice for the smell, then soak the sponges in it for a few hours. This will eliminate the stale smell from overused sponges.
15. Getting rid of bathroom mildew
Speaking of mildew smell, you can even get rid of the whole thing in your bathroom by taking a lemon half and sprinkling baking soda onto it. Use the lemon to clean your tile, shower curtains, tub, and anything else that’s looking a bit worse for wear. Rinse with warm water and dry with a cloth to reveal shiny surfaces.
16. Freshening up your water bottle
If your plastic water bottles are starting to smell a little stale, simply taking the offending water bottle and put 2 teaspoons of baking soda into it, then add a couple of drops of lemon juice and fill it with water. Leave it overnight to get rid of the smell, then rinse well and leave to dry before using it again.
17. Freshening air
A lot of times, the air fresheners you buy at a store just mask a bad smell instead of getting rid of it entirely. To top it off, these air fresheners contain a whole heap of harmful chemicals.
Baking soda is a natural ingredient that’s good for this use, and it’ll actually get rid of the odour instead of just masking it. All you have to do is mix some baking soda with a few drops of your lemon juice and/or your favourite essential oil, then place the formula in a bottle or bowl. Leave it in the room you want to freshen up and enjoy the all-natural aroma.
18. Disinfecting your toothbrush
While most people clean their teeth with their toothbrushes, a lot don’t think about cleaning the toothbrush itself. Sanitation is something very important to keep in mind, no matter what time of year.
Since it’s something that goes in your mouth every day, it’s a good thing to keep your toothbrush clean and fresh. All you need to do is mix half a cup of water with lemon juice and baking soda. Soak the toothbrush for 30 minutes and you’re good to go.
19. Cleaning your hairbrush
After using it for some time, it’s normal for your hairbrush to start looking old and worn out. If you want to get it back to its original glory, soak it in a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a small amount of warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off. Just make sure it’s dried completely before using it again.
20. Cleaning your wood and tiled flooring
With wood and tile floors, after a while, the floor loses its shine. To get it back to its tip-top shape, it can be really pricey.
To fix a dirty flooring problem without breaking the bank, dissolve 100 grams of baking soda in a bucket of warm water, and add a couple of lemon juice for the smell. Then mop the floor with this mixture and rinse off after. Now your floors will sparkle, and the lemon juice will make your whole room smell lovely.
21. Washing your fruits and vegetables
A huge amount of our fruit here in the UK travels thousands of miles to get onto our supermarket shelves. Full of dirt, pesticides and residue, fruits and vegetables should all be thoroughly cleaned before you use them in your cooking or grab one as a snack.
Luckily, getting rid of the bad stuff is a doddle with water, lemon, and baking soda mix. Soak your fruits and veggies in a solution of these three ingredients, or dip a cloth into the formula and wipe around your item.
There are so many benefits to baking soda – the list is really inexhaustible. We’re only now realising that when we combine baking soda with other ingredients, like lemon juice, its benefits are intensified.
The best thing about these two ingredients is that together, they cost almost nothing to use. You can pick up a bottle of lemon juice to use as opposed to fresh lemon juice for almost the same effect, and baking soda is one of the cheapest ingredients on the baking aisle.
A little goes a long way, so you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of baking soda and lemon juice for weeks to come.