Why do all natural cleaning chemicals seem to have lemon in them?
Between the juice and the peel, lemons cover the cleaning bases. Lemon juice deodorizes, removes stains, and is a mild bleaching agent. It also contains citric and ascorbic acids, which dissolve hard-water deposits, remove soap scum, clean up rust stains, polish tarnish off metals, and remove wax and coloring from hair. Citric acid in particular is a chelating agent, binding the metal ions in water and allowing cleaners to work more effectively without the need for prior water softening.
Lemon oil contains the liquid hydrocarbon d-limonene. This is widely used as an industrial solvent for all kinds of oils, greases, paints, petroleum products, metals, some glues, and general grime. Around the house, it cleans those same things, all while being non-toxic. Lemons are also able to be grown cheaply and sustainably, are not in high demand by any other industry, and have a scent generally considered to be pleasant, fresh, and not overwhelming. With all that going for them, it’s not surprising they turn up in many or most natural household cleaners.
In Short … Lemons contain several chemicals that make them an excellent all-around natural cleaner, they’re cheap, they’re sustainable, and they smell nice. Why not use them?