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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

3 Ways to Use Lemon Essential Oil in the Kitchen

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I want to share some simple ways to use Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon) in the kitchen, and WHY Lemon is such a great choice for these uses.

A little knowledge goes a long way. Understanding the research behind an essential oil can change your entire experience of using it—safely, effectively, and creatively!

Lemon essential oil has been found to contain a natural chemical component called “d-limonene.”

d-Limonene is actually in all of the citrus essential oils. d-Limonene has been studied, and found to calm inflammation, get rid of germs (things like bacteria and viruses just don’t like sharing a space with d-limonene), support immunity, and clear congestion.

Sounds pretty amazing, right?

This little component is what makes it a great idea to use Lemon essential oil in the kitchen in the following ways . . .

Use Lemon essential oil in your diffuser!

A freshly cut Lemon can make me take a deep breath, smile, and feel a little more optimistic.

The essential oil has the same effects! A single drop smells like an entire sliced Lemon, and if you put from 6 to 10 drops in your diffuser, it can fill the air in your kitchen with that bright, inspiring aroma.

Use Lemon essential oil to clean your kitchen sponge.

I have to admit . . . this may be my favorite way to use Lemon essential oil in the kitchen!

Dirty kitchen sponges are a “pet peeve” of mine. I just don’t like thinking of all that bacteria proliferating on my sponge—the sponge I’m supposed to use to clean my dishes, where my food goes! I want a clean sponge for that, thank you very much.

You can approach this in a few ways. The first way is simple. Just put two or three drops of Lemon essential oil on your kitchen sponge and let it sit. That’s it! This is great to do overnight.

The second way is to make a sponge spray. You’ll need a 1 oz (30 ml) glass spray bottle.

Lemon Sponge Spray

  • 1 oz (30 ml) water
  • 18 drops Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon)

Be sure to give this a good shake before using it to disperse the Lemon essential oil in the water. Or, if you prefer to use a solubol dispersant in your spray, simply add 4 drops of solubol for every 1 drop of essential oil.

Every time you’re finished using your kitchen sponge, give it a few sprays.

I think you’ll use this blend up quickly, but just in case, I suggest making a fresh bottle every few weeks.

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Use Lemon essential oil to clean your cutting boards.

Cutting boards can hold onto a lot of unwelcome germs. It’s important to keep them nice and clean if we want our food to be the same.

Here’s how I use Lemon essential oil for my cutting boards . . .

First, I wash my cutting board in hot, soapy water.

Then I put 2 drops of Lemon essential oil directly onto the surface, and use a paper towel to rub it all over.

If you like, you can also use your Lemon Sponge Spray on your cutting board. It’s just water and Lemon essential oil, so it will work great for this.

One thing I want to mention is that Lemon essential oil may lighten the color of some wooden or bamboo cutting boards, and it may help lighten stains on the boards. Not dramatically, but it’s something to keep in mind. You can test a corner or edge of your cutting board with a bit of the essential oil.

Do you remember things better when you watch videos? I made a YouTube video about this topic!

I love discovering new ways to use Lemon essential oil in the kitchen! If you have a favorite way, please share it with me in the comments. We can all learn from each other.


Founder at Aromahead Institute
Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who has changed the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching essential oils and Aromatherapy Certification. Check out her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, at Aromatics International!

Topics: cleaning kitchen sponges, green cleaning, green cleaning recipes, Lemon, lemon essential oil, spray

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