Lemon juice serves as an all-natural stain remover for clothing, cups, grout and even plastic containers. On its own, lemon juice acts as a bleaching or whitening agent that removes stain-causing substances as it disinfects. Lemons also efficiently remove grease and grime from kitchen and bathroom faucets and fixtures. When mixed with salt, this multipurpose fruit makes an efficient scouring paste. Use caution when applying lemon cleaning solutions to household linens or laundry items, as it can bleach the item's color.
Lemons rescue stained clothing, erasing spots caused by grease or rust. Make a paste from lemon juice and cream of tartar and rub it over rust spots on cotton or polyester. Rinse after 30 minutes, then wash as usual. For greasy spots, rub lemon juice over the affected area, then let the clothing dry. Wash as you normally would. Test lemon juice on an inconspicuous spot before using it on clothing stains to ensure it doesn't bleach the fabric. Don't use lemon juice on delicate fabric such as silk.
Treat grout stains caused by spilled tea or mystery substances by pouring a little lemon juice over the stained area and scrubbing it with a scrub brush or old toothbrush. Allow the grout to dry for 30 minutes or so, then rinse it by wiping it with a damp cloth or sponge. Lemon juice may also help lift greasy or dried food spills from ceramic floor tiles and your tile countertops.
Make stains vanish from plastic cutting boards, bowls and storage containers with lemon juice. For a cutting board, rub a cut lemon over the stained area, allowing the lemon juice to soak in for 15 minutes or so before rinsing the cutting board. Use lemon rinds left over after extracting the juice for a recipe to prevent waste -- there's always a little juice left. To remove stains such as tomato sauce from a plastic bowl or storage container, rub a cut lemon over the stained areas, or pour in enough lemon juice to cover the spot. Allow the lemon-soaked areas to air dry, then wash the plastic with water and dish soap.
Remove dark stains from the insides of teacups, coffee mugs and glass coffeepots with lemon juice. Squeeze or pour lemon juice over the stained area and allow the lemon juice to sit for several minutes. Wipe the stained area with a wet dishcloth, rubbing the lemon juice over the dark areas. If lemon juice alone doesn't remove the stains, sprinkle some table salt on the dishcloth to use as an abrasive.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.