Like many fruits, lemons naturally produce a wax coating on their peels that protects them against diseases and helps retain their moisture. Since lemons' natural wax coating washes off during handling and inspection, they require a fresh coat of wax to prevent mould growth, diseases and physical damage. Although the microscopic wax coatings are safe to consume, they can harbour pesticides and dirt.
Fill a pail or sink with 1 gallon of warm water. Mix 2 tbsp of baking soda into the water-filled pail or sink.
Dip the wax-coated lemon in the baking soda solution. Do not soak the lemon in the solution. Scrub the entire lemon with a produce brush to remove the wax coating.
Continue dipping and scrubbing the lemon until all wax is gone.
Rinse the lemon under fresh, flowing water. Dry the lemon with a clean paper towel.
Do not wash the lemon with detergents or soaps as they may alter the lemon's flavour and cause diarrhoea.