When life gives you lemons

By Maddy Hill

They’re sour. They’re sweet. They’re everything you need in your life.

They are lemons, and we can list quite a few good reasons to pick ‘em up while walking through the produce section of HEB. Not only are lemons as easy on your wallet as they are to come by, but they have different household and beauty uses as well.  

Aid in curing infections

If you are the kind of person who can’t handle gargling salt water when you are sick, that is okay — consider gargling lemon water instead. Lemons have antibacterial properties that help you fight infection and can soothe a sore throat.


Lemons can be used to purify blood from toxins gained from eating carb-loaded foods such as late-night honey butter chicken biscuits and Kerbey queso. To make infused water you can drink on the go, cut two whole lemons into thin slices, fill up a 1L water bottle with filtered water and drop the lemon slices into the bottle. If you want something more exciting, you can use one lemon, one lime and some mint. To maximize the use of the lemon slices, you can refill your water bottle one to two more times over the course of the day and experience similar detox results.

Going blonde

Your mom can probably tell you a few stories about using lemon juice to get those sun kissed highlights back in the day, but she wasn’t completely crazy for using them. If you want to lighten your hair a shade, all you have to do is mix ¾ cup water and ¼ cup lemon juice, douse your hair with the liquid and sit in the sun until it dries. This may not work on dark hair, but for the dirty blondes trying to keep their color looking fresh, this should do the trick.

Improving your skin

If you are trying to clear up your complexion and make it more radiant, invest in lemons over a face wash concentrated with salicylic acid. Lemons help brighten your skin naturally by cleansing your face of oils that build up throughout the day and exfoliate for a deeper clean. To make a toxin-free face scrub, mix 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ cup of granulated sugar and the juice of ½ lemon. Wash your face with a gentle daily cleanser, and follow with this homemade face scrub. Scrub on in circles and leave on for seven minutes, rinsing off with cool water. To get rid of blackheads, apply lemon juice to the affected area twice per day in the morning and in the evening.

Kitchen cleaner

There’s a reason so many cleaning supplies are lemon scented. The scent of lemon triggers thoughts of cleanliness and has cleaning properties as well. If you want to refresh your garbage disposal, toss half a lemon in your drain and turn the disposal on. To remove stains on marble, cut a lemon in half and dip the exposed side on salt. Rub the stain with the lemon until it comes out, then remove the lemon juice with water.

Strengthening nails

Brittle nails, step aside. Instead of dropping cash on $10 Sally Hansen Strength Treatment for Nail Rehab, grab a few lemons and some olive oil instead. Mix 1 tbsp. of lemon juice to every 3 tbsp. of olive oil and microwave for 10 seconds. Stir the homemade nail strengthener and apply it to your nails and nail beds with a cotton ball. This will strengthen your nails and remove their yellow color.

It’s easy to overlook those lemons as you rush through HEB on a Sunday night, but they can be a cheap alternative to other products you use in your everyday life. When life gives you lemons, it may be time to do something else besides make lemonade.