Clean Your Whole House with Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemon


Photo: Earth911


Have extra lemons or a bottle of lemon juice that you rarely use? There's a reason that plenty of cleaning supplies have citrus in them; according to the DIY Network, lemons are a natural disinfectant and stain remover because of their acidity. As an added bonus, lemons will leave your house with a pleasant scent. Here are some common tasks that lemons (or bottled lemon juice) are up for:

In the kitchen:

  • Clean laminate countertops and cutting boards: Squeeze the juice of a lemon onto the counter or cutting board. Rub the lemon into the stains and let sit until the stains disappear, then rinse. (Although lemons do inhibit the growth of bacteria, it's advisable to seek out alternatives for cleaning surfaces that have been touched by things like raw meat to ensure you or your family members don't get sick.)
  • Remove stains from food storage containers: Squeeze the juice of a lemon into the containers, then add a little baking soda. Rub the mixture into the stains. Let sit overnight if necessary.
  • Clean your microwave: Slice a lemon, put it in a bowl of water and microwave for 45 seconds. This should make stains easier to wipe away and eliminate unpleasant odors.
  • Keep your refrigerator smelling nice: If you want your fridge to have a fresh scent, simply put half a lemon inside.
lemon, clean

Use lemon juice to remove stains from cutting boards. Photo: Shutterstock

In the bathroom:

  • Prevent lime scale on faucets: Rub the fixtures with lemon juice and let sit overnight. Rinse in the morning.
  • Remove stains from grout: Make a paste from lemon juice and a teaspoon of cream of tartar (a natural bleaching agent) and apply to the area with a toothbrush. Once the stain is gone, rinse with water.

Throughout the home:

  • Clean glass: Mix four tablespoons of lemon juice with 1/2 gallon of water. Spray on glass and clean as usual.
  • Polish furniture: Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice with one pint of vegetable or mineral oil. Rub onto furniture.


  • Remove rust stains from clothes: Apply lemon juice to the stain, sprinkle with cream of tartar and rub into the fabric. Let sit until the stain is gone and then wash in the washing machine.

Looking for more ways to clean cheaply? Check Out: 5 DIY Cleaners that Save Cash

  • Lila2004

    No Recyclebank link?

  • Ming

    Love to read your articles but can we still earn Recycle Bank points for them?

    • Earth911-More Ideas Less Waste

      Recycle Bank points can be collected from the vertical social sidebar to the left of the post. Thanks for reading!!

      • Ming

        Thank you so much for fixing it quickly – I can see the button now.

  • PickyMom

    Natural, non-toxic & inexpensive ingredients used by our mothers & grandmothers, thank you for sharing this important message~

  • Riya Mathur


  • Riya Mathur

    Nice idea to clean at home with cheap options by the way what is recommended items at home which can be cleaned using vinegar +baking soda + lemon , any list

  • lucy

    i always use vinegar to clean my kettle, just pour glass of vinegar to the kettle bring to boil and leave for 2 hours, when cool, empty kettle and clean with sourcer repeat routine if need better effect. rinse kettle with water.

  • Mini Clean

    I have been using environmentally friendly chemicals ever since from the cleaning company that I have. But thank you for these tips! I can now make my own recipe as well as I can do the cleaning by myself using the products that can be found in my own kitchen. I can save a lot from this indeed!

  • Mary Buchenthal Brandis

    Thanks for sharing this. I just bookmarked it. We are moving and for the first time made a home made cleaner for grout and it worked. Looking forward to try this.

  • Lisa

    How long is the spray good for a room temp before it goes rancid from the lemon/lime juice? Thanks

  • DD

    Pour cheap soda on oil stains on concrete add vinegar & baking soda. Lightened them a bit. Catch them early & their gone. Will try peroxide & baking soda too. Of course you can swab with gas & let soak then heat with propane torch, but I’d rather not

  • DD

    There is no reason to buy those chemicals. I’ve used 99.9% of them…….. they don’t work as well as specific Natural solutions….spending $ on harsh chemicals that don’t work, or are simply overkill is a waste of time, & I’ve burned my lungs more than once,only to have a Popular product not work. Vinegar & warm water for windows, clothes,faucets, mirrors. Grapefruit wiped on a cutting board kills the bacteria from raw chicken in 20 mins…. You can pick up most items when your grocery shopping, you spend less, pollute none, poisons in the home…. an outdated waste of time. Take off that Vet Suggested poison flea collar on your friend. Get a bag of Food Grade D.E. rub on their hair, sprinkle on carpet, and be done with fleas. Its non toxic, as safe as pure water. And your not touching poison every time you hug your friend, more importantly your not poisoning your friend anymore. P.s. we also feed it to her….Killed Giardia without dealing with the vets that only know how to feed her more poisons…..

    • DB

      What’s D.E? diatomic earth?

  • Anna

    Ditch your toxic bleach cleansers and switch to baking soda instead.
    Fill an empty spice jar or yogurt container with some baking soda for an
    easy way to dispense it anytime you need it. Baking soda is great for
    cleaning tile, tubs, sinks, toilet bowls, ovens, cook tops, and more.
    After shaking some on the surface, use a damp sponge or scrub brush to
    work it in.

  • Jess

    Thanks for the cleaning recipe. I love use Vinegar baking soda and lemon juice to clean. It makes it smell good I used to use this stuff years ago and for some reason stopped and cant really remember why. I am very excited to use this stuff again. Thanks again

  • AnFarrall

    Thank you for sharing! I really enjoy this post. I love vinegar! It’s a miracle cleaner! Vinegar is a weak form of acetic acid that forms through the
    fermentation of sugars or starches. It is completely edible, and cannot
    harm your stomach. And luckily for us, many things can be cleaned using

  • Deidre Wheeler

    I make my own all-surface cleaner from citrus peels and vinegar and it works quite good. I prefer cleaning my home with homemade solutions that are natural and absolutely non-toxic. Greets!