There are a whole host of products designed to tackle even the toughest stains, with fantastic results.
But you don’t always need to resort to harsh chemicals. Natural products like lemon juice can be very effective in tackling stains on laundry.
Like all stain removers, lemon juice works better on some stains than others, and it also sometimes needs to be combined with other natural products to get the best results.
Below you’ll find everything you need to know about removing stains with lemon juice.
Which Laundry Stains Can Be Removed by Lemon Juice?
Lemon juice can be used on a wide range of laundry stains to great effect. These include:
- Grease: Use lemon juice neat, allow it to dry and then wash as normal.
- Organic stains such as food or bodily fluids: Mix equal parts of cream of tartar and lemon juice and thoroughly rub into the stain. Leave for around 30 minutes, rinse and then wash as usual.
- White clothing: Squeeze lemon juice onto the stain, and then sprinkle salt over the same area. Rub the salt into the lemon-soaked stain for a few minutes and then rinse off. Apply more lemon juice to the stain and if possible, leave to dry in the sun. For a stronger effect, leave in sunlight after it’s dry, before washing as normal.
Does Lemon Juice Stain White Clothes?
Lemon juice contains citric acid which has a bleaching effect. This is exacerbated when exposed to sunlight.
You should therefore be very careful about using lemon juice on darker clothing and leaving in the sun to dry, as while it may lift the stain, you could end up with a lighter patch that’s just as unsightly.
However, for white clothes, lemon juice doesn’t pose any problems. The bleaching effect will help your white laundry to achiever a brighter whiteness and can effectively tackle even stubborn stains.
Can Lemon Damage Clothes?
Lemons are an extremely acidic fruit which contain powerful bleaching agents. It’s these which can be very effective in treating stains, but a degree of care should be taken when dealing with coloured items.
Lemon juice on its own or mixed with other natural products can treat stains without damaging clothing. However, when combined with sunlight, the bleaching effect can be too strong for coloured clothing.
Therefore, coloured items should not be exposed to sunlight after being treated with lemon juice, unless it’s been thoroughly rinsed off. Sunlight and lemon juice are fine for white clothing.
Although lemon juice is acidic, it won’t do any damage to your laundry in the same way that bleach does. Some people regularly add a cup of lemon juice to their wash to brighten up their colours and this does no harm at all to the laundry.
Can You Use Lemon Juice to Clean a Washing Machine?
Lemon juice doesn’t only help with laundry, it can also help to clean the washing machine too.
Descaling your washing machine regularly is essential to preserving its lifespan and keeping it operating at its best.
Lemon juice is a potent descaling agent and is easy to use to clean your washing machine.
Add around 7-8 tablespoons of lemon juice to your machine and run a cycle, minus any laundry or detergent.
Doing this twice a year in soft water areas should be sufficient to keep your washing machine scale-free. In harder water areas you will need to run this descaling cycle more frequently, but it will have the same instant effect.
In The Wash is your guide to the best laundry and cleaning products, tips and tricks. Our mission is to solve the UK’s cleaning and laundry dilemmas!