So last week I told you about how Lavender essential oil is my best friend. This week, we’re talking about Lemon essential oil, and it is my kids’ best friend!
My 5-year-old daughter is a budding artist. She gets absolutely none of that from me, I promise you. I can draw a mean stick figure, but art? No way. My husband’s parents are both artists, so I’m just going to assume that it flowed down that side of the family tree instead.
We have been homeschooling for several years and have a whiteboard that I let my kids occasionally draw on with wipe off markers. We’ve had some pretty impressive murals on that whiteboard. However, we’ve also had some pretty, ahem, impressive mess ups. Now, we had a pretty serious discussion about what markers were ok to use on the whiteboard before she got started, but somehow a sharpie ended up getting used on the whiteboard.
Maybe you know the internal mom struggle.
Compliment the child on the very nice artwork?
Flip the ever loving you know what out because of the permanent marker?
Frantically Google “how to get permanent marker off a whiteboard”?
Suck it all in, smile and walk away?
Yes, the struggle is real! Thankfully I had another idea up my sleeve and before I lost my cool I reached for a bottle of Lemon essential oil I had handy.
And whaddaya know? A few drops on a soft cloth and a little bit of elbow grease got that permanent marker right off!
My kids are also glad to report that Lemon essential oil works on:
- sticker goop
- marker (permanent and otherwise)
- and all other manner of kid-related stuff that sticks to things or stains them
And it is more than just my kids’ favorite oil.
Check out this short video with a few highlights of Lemon essential oil’s many uses:
There are SO many ways to use Lemon, but let’s get a little background first:
Lemon essential oil is actually not a true essential oil because it is usually cold pressed from the rinds of lemons instead of being steam distilled. Because of this, it is possible to be allergic to lemon essential oil if you are allergic to the lemon fruit. Thankfully such an allergy is so rare that I’ve only ever personally known one person with it, and she already knew she was allergic to lemons.
And also, like many other cold pressed citrus oils, it can temporarily increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV light when you use it topically. The best way to use it (and avoid unwanted reactions) is to apply it to skin that won’t get direct sun exposure, or use it at least 12 hours before sun exposure. This same sensitivity is not caused by using it aromatically or internally, just topically on the skin.
Did you know that it takes 75 lemons to create a single 15ml bottle of Lemon Essential Oil? That’s a lot!
Despite the fact that Lemon essential oil comes from a very common fruit, it has many powerful benefits.
Want to learn more about those benefits? Do a little searching for the constituent limonene (Lemon essential oil is about 68% limonene), and the other key trace constituents gamma-terpinene, beta-pinene, alpha-pinene, and sabine.
Lemon pairs with so many other essential oils, but it is especially nice to mix with:
- Tea Tree
- of any Eucalyptus species
Lemon is very flexible so experiment with other oils, too!
Fun Lemon Essential Oil History Facts:
Lemon trees are believed to be from Asia, but no one knows for sure.
Christopher Columbus was the person responsible for introducing lemons to the New World.
The Ancient Romans are believed to be responsible for bringing Lemon trees to Europe as early as the 1st century AD but didn’t become popular until the 1500s.
Topical Uses of Lemon Essential Oil
When it comes to cleaning things, lemon essential oil really shines.
(See what I did there? Shines….ok, I crack myself up.)
Lemon essential oil is great to cut grease and grime, so adding it to your homemade cleaners is a good idea. Try adding eight to ten drops of Lemon essential oil to small batches of cleaner
You can also try using straight lemon essential oil on grease stains, crayon, marker, or glue. If you are concerned about how the lemon oil will affect the surface test it in an inconspicuous location. But honestly, if you’re getting rid of a stain that’s that bad, you will not care…just sayin’. Then just wipe it off with a soft cloth. Depending on the amount of grease or staining, you may need to put some elbow grease into it as well, or add additional drops of lemon.
Make a Cleaning Paste
This simple scouring paste is perfect for gently scrubbing away tough grime, and you only need three ingredients! (Four if you count water)
Here’s what you need:
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 2 tsp liquid unscented castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s is always the best performing castile soap for cleaning in my opinion)
- 5 drops of Lemon essential oil
- 1 Tbsp water
How to make it:
Mix all ingredients in a glass dish with a fork until smooth. Then use to gently clean away dirt, grease, grime and other cleaning jobs. This is great for grimy sinks and porcelain, as well as for the kitchen. Make sure to test on an inconspicuous surface if you are concerned.
This only makes a small amount of cleaning paste, so you may want to double it for larger cleaning jobs. It does not keep if you make it ahead of time, so only make enough to do whatever job you need at the moment.
Clean and Freshen Fruits and Veggies:
It’s a good idea to wash your fruits and veggies when you bring them home from the market.
Fill your sink with cool clean water, a large splash of white vinegar, and several drops of lemon essential oil.
Allow your produce to sit for a few minutes before you gently scrub (if possible) with a produce brush and then rinse and dry.
Lemon and Beauty go Hand in Hand
Lemon essential oil is a great one to help enhance the appearance of healthy skin! Just keep in mind that you’ll want to stay out of UV light for 12-24 hours after using it topically.
Try using a cotton swab to apply to the face to reduce the appearance of blemishes or add to your night cream to reduce the appearance of aging!
You might also want to try these DIY moisturizing lotion bars:
Did you know that Lemon essential oil can help your hair have beautiful shine? Try adding a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner and see how amazing your hair looks.
Aromatic Uses of Lemon Essential Oil
The bright, clean, sunny aroma of Lemon essential oil makes it perfect to diffuse by itself or with many other oils. Here are a few of my favorite diffuser blends using Lemon.
Diffuser Blends using Lemon Essential Oil
Breath of Fresh Air:
- 3 drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 3 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
Bust a Smell:
- 5 drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 4 drops Purification Essential Oil
Clear the Air Blend:
- 6 drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 4 drops Thieves Essential Oil
Internal Uses of Lemon Vitality Essential Oil
Lemon Vitality essential oil is one of my favorite single Vitality essential oil to add to drinks. It’s especially nice in a tall glass of cool water. And let’s be honest, anything that gets me to drink more water is a good thing!
When you’re adding Lemon Vitality to a beverage, just make sure that you’re using a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel container. Lemon Vitality can be damaging to plastic or styrofoam containers.
Fun Fact: Unlike lemon juice, Lemon Vitality is not acidic and does not damage tooth enamel.
Substitute for Lemon Zest in Recipes
I don’t know about you, but some times of the year it isn’t convenient or cost-effective to keep fresh lemons around, but so many recipes call for lemon zest. I like to substitute Lemon Vitality in any recipe that either uses lemon zest or needs a lemony flavor.
Some of my favorite foods to use Lemon Vitality for are marinades, lemonades, sweet dishes, shrimp, peas, smoothies, chicken, and fish!
You might find these no-bake energy balls delicious!
Or try these Lemon Mozzarella Skewers with Proscuitto!
Try it in a capsule
Lemon Vitality can be great to use as a dietary supplement, not just as a food flavoring.
You can try a few drops in an empty gelatin capsule on its own or try this favorite winter-time combo:
- 1 drop Lemon Vitality
- 1 drop Thieves Vitality
Fill the rest of the way with a carrier oil if desired.
Time to bust a myth about Lemon essential oil:
From time to time I get someone messaging me in a panic that they saw a picture of lemon essential oil dissolving a styrofoam plate with a dire warning that it could do that to your stomach.
So is it true? Could ingesting a few drops of Lemon Vitality Essential oil cause concern for your stomach?
Let’s break it down into a couple rhetorical questions/statements:
- Lemon essential oil is known to break down the petrochemicals found in styrofoam and plastic.
- Is your digestive tract made of styrofoam or plastic?
- If no, repeat the experiment with a different test subject. Get tripe at the supermarket and apply a drop or two of lemon oil to it and see what happens (tripe is bovine stomach tissue). That is a more reliable predictor of how biological tissue would respond.
Personally, I am not bothered by the hype because it is not an accurate representation of how the body reacts to essential oils. It is, however, an accurate representation of how products made of petrochemicals react to lemon oil. Want more details? Read this.
We love Lemon! I just know you will, too.