How to Clean Dark Elbows

If you are a dark-skinned individual, meaning that you have more melanin in your skin than someone with a lighter skin tone, you may notice that your elbows sometimes appear dirty. However, what looks like dirt is actually a build-up of dead skin cells that can give your skin an ashy appearance. Removing these dead skin cells is sometimes all it takes to make your elbows look clean again. Stubborn skin may require the use of a natural lightener such as lemon juice.

Step 1

Exfoliate your elbows using a shower loofah and exfoliating body wash. Rub the loofah over your elbows to remove dead skin cells each time you shower.

Step 2

Slice a lemon in half using a sharp knife. Rub the lemon half over both of your elbows, releasing the lemon juice. Allow the lemon juice to remain on your elbows 15 minutes. Rinse your elbows with warm water. Repeat three times a week.

Step 3

Create a stronger lemon solution by mixing ¼ cup of baking soda and just enough lemon juice to form a paste. Rub the mixture over your dark elbows using your fingertips. Continue rubbing for at least 20 minutes. The baking soda will exfoliate and work the lemon juice into your skin. Rinse and repeat three times a week.

Things You'll Need

  • Loofah

  • Exfoliating body wash

  • Lemon

  • Sharp knife

  • Warm water

  • Baking soda

  • Lemon juice

  • Small bowl

  • Moisturizer


Moisturize your skin after each lightening session. Lemon juice can be quite drying, so moisturizing will help keep your skin smooth. Slather some petroleum jelly onto your elbows before you go to bed for extra moisturizing.

Discard the lemon half after use. Wrap the second half in saran wrap and store in your refrigerator for the next application.

Cover the bowl of baking soda and lemon juice with plastic wrap and store in your refrigerator for the next application. The mixture will keep for up to one week.


Do not continue to use the lemon juice or baking soda and lemon juice mixture if your skin begins to show signs of irritation or rash.

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