They add the perfect amount of sharpness to a summer tart, and make a gin and tonic complete… but did you know that lemons are actually hiding a whole host of other genius household hacks?
From cleaning to solving beauty problems, here are all of our favourite lemon tricks – you’ll never look at a slice in the same way again!
1. Heal acne scars
Spots can leave dark marks on the skin long after they’ve been defeated, but dabbing a little bit of lemon juice on the area every day can quickly lighten those scars up. Make sure to moisturise as well during the treatment because lemon juice can be quite drying, and avoid this one altogether if you have very sensitive skin.
2. Get rid of food smells
Handling fish, meat and garlic can leave a smell on your hands that sometimes lasts all day, no matter how many times you scrub them! Rub some lemon juice on your fingers before washing them with soap to make sure the stink doesn’t linger.
3. Soothe colds and flu
Coughs and colds left your throat feeling hoarse and scratchy? Mix the juice of half a lemon with a teaspoon of honey and a couple of small peeled ginger slices to soothe the soreness in seconds.
4. Make your whites brighter
Over time, our white clothes and sheets can become duller with every wash and frequent stains. Place your white load in the washing machine and add 60ml of lemon juice to the barrel before beginning the cycle – you should notice that they’re brighter, and citrussy-fresh to boot.
5. Remove nail polish stains
Dark nail colours are so gorgeous, but the yellow stains they often leave are super annoying to get rid of! Mix equal parts lemon juice to water in a bowl and soak your fingertips for five minutes. Repeat once a week on bare nails until they’re looking clear and healthy.
6. Clean your chopping board
If your chopping board is looking (or smelling) a bit worse for wear, rub a lemon slice across the board every few uses. This is especially good after preparing meat, fish and stain-prone foods, as it deals with bacteria as well as smells and stains.
7. Freshen up your microwave
Who forgot to put a lid over their plate again?! If your microwave is getting messy, place some lemon slices in a bowl of water and microwave on full power for one minute, before wiping it down with a damp cloth.
8. Clean the dishwasher
Every few uses, squeeze lemon juice into a bowl, place it upright in an empty dishwasher, and run it on a short cycle for an effortless clean.
9. Make your own sports drink
Instead of buying pricey, high-sugar bottled drinks, boost your workout with a mix of cold water, the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of salt, and a dash of your favourite fruit juice.
10. Reduce motion sickness
Journeys can be ruined in a split second if someone is feeling nauseous! If you can take the sour taste, suck on lemon slices or give them to the kids for a hassle-free family road trip.
11. Cure hangovers
Squeeze some lemon juice in ice cold water to wake you up and detox your body after a heavy night – it rebalances your PH levels and reduces pesky symptoms like headaches.
12. Manage bloating
And it’s not just good for hangovers – add lemon slices, mint leaves, cucumber and orange slices for a tummy-friendly (and delicious) anti-bloat cocktail.
13. Boost your weight-loss mission
Lemons are great for boosting metabolism, and can even give you extra energy for that workout. Squeeze a bit of lemon into your pre-workout smoothie and go!
14. Get some sleep
Boil some water in a pot and squeeze some fresh lemon juice into it, then inhale the scent for a couple of minutes while it’s boiling. Some people find that it reduces anxiety levels and calms their mind, setting them up for a great night’s snooze.
15. Stop rice from sticking
If you’ve ever burnt rice at the bottom of your pan, then this one is a life-saver! Add some lemon peel to your pot of water and rice, boil as usual, then remove the peels before serving. Perfect rice, every time, and no stickiness in sight!
16. Wash off pesticides
We can’t always buy organic, so if you’re worried that tap water just isn’t washing everything off your fresh produce, mix 200ml of water with a tablespoon of lemon juice and two tablespoons of baking soda. Use the mixture to wash your fruit and veggies for added peace of mind.
17. Stop sugar from clumping
Adding a bit of lemon peel to a bag of sugar will prevent lumps from forming and stop it from becoming hard. Magic!