Can You Use Lemon Juice In The Washing Machine?

Yes, adding lemon juice to your washing can be an effective choice for removing stains, deodorising, and even cleaning the machine itself. It helps to brighten up clothes that seem a little faded, yellowed, or grey. 

However, it’s important to use lemon juice carefully and in moderation, which we’ll go into later on in this article.

Plus, we’ll also share some other tips that could change the way you do laundry to make your clothes look brighter and smell fresher.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Lemon Juice In Laundry?

laundry room with pile of clothes

The natural acid in lemon juice works effectively to dissolve grime and dirt while being gentle on your clothes. But using lemon juice in your washing machine offers several benefits beyond just stain removal.

It Helps Brighten Your Whites

Using lemon juice in your washing routine can significantly brighten your white clothes. It can restore the look of clothes that have become dull and remove yellowish tones, making your whites appear fresher and cleaner.

It Acts As A Natural Fabric Softener

Lemon juice serves as a natural fabric softener, reducing the need for chemical-based softeners. Its mild acidity helps to dissolve grime and dirt without harming the fabric, leaving your clothes feeling soft and pleasant.

It Can Enhance Fabric Freshness

Using lemon juice in your wash cycle can deodorise the fabric, leaving behind a subtle, fresh citrus scent. This natural deodorising effect is ideal for maintaining a long-lasting freshness in your clothes.

It Can Be Effective Against Hard Water

Lemon juice is useful in areas with hard water. By adding it to your wash, it can mitigate the effects of hard minerals, making towels and bedding feel softer and fluffier after laundering.

How To Add Lemon Juice To Your Wash Cycle


Before using lemon juice, especially on a large area, it’s important to test it on a small, hidden area of the fabric to make sure it doesn’t cause any discolouration. 

Remember, lemon juice is acidic. To avoid damaging your clothes, always dilute it with water, and avoid using too much before adding the mixture to your wash.

Add half a cup of lemon juice to your usual detergent when you wash your clothes. You can put the lemon juice in the detergent dispenser or directly in the drum before adding your clothes. 

You can also add a quarter cup of lemon juice to the final rinse cycle in your washing machine. This helps take away any leftover detergent, making your clothes softer and giving them a gentle citrus scent.

While this is safe for both white and coloured clothes, it’s best used on cotton and polyester fabrics only. 

Important: Keep in mind that if you use lemon juice too often, it can wear out your fabric and may affect the detergent drawer and other parts of the washing machine due to its acidity.

How To Use Lemon Juice For Cleaning Your Washing Machine

lemon juice and white vinegar

Lemon juice combined with vinegar can be very effective in cleaning your washing machine, especially when dealing with persistent smells:

  1. Wet a cloth with vinegar to wipe the machine’s surface.
  2. Put a cup of vinegar and a cup of lemon juice in the drum.
  3. Run a hot wash to clear out any germs and mould.
  4. When done, keep the machine’s door open overnight to let it dry and maintain the lemon scent in your home.

SEE ALSO: What Are The Stains You Can Remove From Your Fabrics Using Lemon Juice?

Is It Safe To Use On Black Clothes?

In short, no. We don’t recommend using lemon juice on black clothes as the natural bleaching properties of lemon juice can fade or lighten dark colours. 

Which means unfortunately, if it’s black clothes, you’re better off using an alternative cleaning method that won’t risk altering the colour.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put lemon juice in my washing machine?

Yes, you can put lemon juice in your washing machine. It’s effective for brightening clothes, removing stains, and deodorising fabrics. However, it should be used in moderation to avoid damaging the machine or the fabrics.

How do you add lemon juice to wash?

To add lemon juice to your wash, mix half a cup of lemon juice with your usual detergent and add it either to the detergent dispenser or directly into the drum before loading your clothes. Alternatively, you can add a quarter cup of lemon juice to the final rinse cycle to enhance fabric softness and impart a gentle citrus scent.

Can I use lemon juice instead of white vinegar for cleaning?

Yes, you can use lemon juice instead of white vinegar for cleaning, especially in your washing machine. Combine it with vinegar for a more effective clean, or use it alone to help remove odours and residue.

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