How to Use Up a Whole Lemon

This may sound absurdly simple. And why would you want to use up the whole lemon anyway? Why not just use half of it and then let the other half turn wrinkly and dry in your fridge? (I know you know what I'm talking about ... )

Ok, I'm resorting to sarcasm - a sure sign that I'm too tired to be doing this. But it'll be a short post, so I'll keep at it.


1. Buy organic or spray-free ones. Wash them well.

2. Use a peeler to peel the zest from your lemons. Try to avoid the white pith - just get the lovely yellow peel.

3. Now your lemon looks ridiculous. Nude. Put it out of its misery by juicing it.

  • Use the juice in baking 
  • Add it to a pitcher of icy-cold water (with a sprig of mint) 
  • Add a couple of spoonfuls to a mug of warm water. (Many consider this to be a good liver-cleanser first thing in the morning)
  • Use it however you like to use lemon juice. The options are pretty limitless.
  • And if you have extra, do as Steph does and pour the juice into ice cube trays and freeze it.

4. Finally, all you've got left is the hollow shell of your lemon. What more could you possibly do with it?

  • Use the shell to wipe down your sink. There'll still be some lemony goodness in there that will cut through any residues. Plus lemon in your sink smells nice. 
  • Then, if you've got a garbage disposal - grind up the shell in it ... that's what Kelly does ...

5. Now you have to bin your lemon, because if you have worms in your compost they don't like citrus. And too much citrus in a worm-free compost can acidify your soil.

But that's ok, because you've used all that you could.

Now to celebrate with a nice lemonade ...
Amanda xx

PS. check out the comments for more great tips!!


  1. Amanda,
    I love a cup of warm water, some lemon juice, and a little honey, and I am good to go. If it is too hot, cold water will do. Sometimes I use the leftover half for a quick salad dressing, mixing it with some mustard, a littlle olive oil, salt and pepper. Good in toasts, in salads, in sandwiches ...
    And what a good excuse for a lemony cake or cookie, huh? ;)

    Um beijo!

    (from Brazil!)

  2. Instead of throwing out the lemon, if you have a garbage disposal you should grind it up! It makes your sink smell nice!

  3. I like to pour the leftover lemon juice into the icecube tray and then once they are frozen, pop them into a freezer bag for a rainy day. Thanks for all the other hints x

  4. @Cacau Mmm ... we've just had a huge storm and I think I want a hot lemon and honey ...

  5. I love lemons! Normally I use all of mine. I'm going to try freezing the juice in ice cube trays, and using that in my sweet tea instead of ice. YUMMY!

  6. Something to do with your hollow shell of your lemon... clean and exfoliate your nails! I learnt this from my Omi (Grandma):
    Put a teaspoon of sugar or salt in each half of the lemon shell.
    Place your fingers into the hollow shell and twist for a minute or so on each hand.
    Rinse your fingers. They will feel great.

  7. I put my empty citrus shells in a bowl of water and microwave for a couple of minutes. The citrusy steam helps to loosen the gunk inside your microwave and makes it easy to wipe out, plus it deodorizes and sanitizes your microwave. THEN, dump the cooked, soft shells in your garbage disposal and run lots of hot water as you grind them up. That will clean and deodorize your sink drain, help remove greasy gunk, and make your kitchen smell fresh!

  8. Amanda, Anon,
    Thanks for the great ideas! :)


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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx