In addition to lavender and eucalyptus essential oils, lemon is one of the most useful, multipurpose essential oils you can have around the house. The bright happy scent comes from the peel of the lemon, which is expressed for its oil (cold pressing the peel breaks the oil glands and allows the oil to release). Fun fact: it takes over 1500 lemons to produce 1 pound of lemon essential oil.
Lemons have been used throughout history for their antiviral, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The oil is particularly effective for cleaning and disinfecting around the house, and it has a place in skincare, too, thanks to its detoxifying and astringent properties. Lemon oil contains 68% d-Limonene, one of the most powerful antioxidants, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The scent of lemon oil is calming and helps refresh the mind and ease nervous tension, so whether you’re using lemon oil to clean your home, spruce up a glass of water, or help get rid of acne and rejuvenate skin you’ll enjoy the uplifting scent in the process. Think about cutting into a fresh lemon. Doesn’t the scent just radiate happiness? When shopping for lemon essential oil, look for certified organic cold pressed oil. That ensures that no harmful pesticide residue remains on the lemons and also keeps the delicate properties of the oil intact while the oil is being extracted.
There are countless ways you can use lemon oil in your home. Here are three particularly useful ideas…
- Disinfect your cutting boards with lemon oil. Cutting boards can harbor all kinds of nasty bacteria that lemon oil will kill on contact. Add 3 drops of lemon oil to 3 ounces of water and shake well before using. Apply to a clean cloth and wipe the cutting board thoroughly to disinfect.
- Keep mold and bacteria at bay in the shower. I like to keep a small spray bottle of lemon oil and water in my bathroom to spritz around the shower after each use. The bathroom smells amazing afterward, and it helps ensure that mold isn’t able to grow in those damp corners or along the caulking in between cleanings. Add 8 drops of lemon oil to 2 ounces of water and store in a small spray bottle. Shake well and spray your shower liberally in any areas that may be prone mold or bacteria build-up.
- Clean and disinfect children’s or dog’s toys with lemon oil. Imagine all the toxic chemicals in traditional household cleaners and then imagine using those to disinfect toys that children play with and potentially put into their mouths. A little terrifying, right? Lemon oil can be safely used to disinfect toys, and it’s effective, too. Use the same solution as recommended for cleaning cutting boards and wipe down toys as often as you see fit. Dog toys can also be cleaned in this manner, though dogs may be sensitive to the citrus scent.
Do you use essential oils to clean your home? Is lemon oil in your toolkit?