Using Citric Acid to clean around your home
Citric acid – (C₆H ₈O₇) pH 2 – is a great addition to your list of natural cleaning ingredients as it’s low pH means it is very acidic which means it’s very good for removing things like calcium (limescale), rust, and other minerals. It’s also useful for killing mould and mildew and can be used as a preservative.
Citric Acid is a natural acid compound which is naturally found in many citrus fruits and up until around 1920 citric acid was made from these fruits. However, since then almost 90% of citric acid is now produced by mould-based fermentation (e.g., Penicillium or Aspergillus Niger) of sugars
As soon as you mention the word mould it starts raising alarm bells. However, when producing citric acid commercially the mould is carefully filtered out of the final product, leaving it safe to consume and use around the house. If you want to read more about the safety of Citric Acid check out What is Citric Acid? and Is It Safe For You?
5 of my favourite uses for Citric Acid
Here are 5 of my favourite uses for using Citric Acid to clean around the home :
Descaling Your Kettle
Citric acid is great for removing limescale which makes it perfect for descaling your kettle, here’s how:
What You’ll Need:
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of citric acid
- Half fill kettle and bring to the boil
- Switch off and unplug the kettle
- Carefully add the citric acid to the kettle
- Leave to dissolve and fizz
- Swish the solution around the kettle and pour a little out so it gets into the spout
- Leave for 15 to 20 minutes
- Empty, rinse and refill
To save water you can pour the citric acid solution down the loo to help remove limescale build up in the loo.
General Cleaning Spray
Citric acid makes a great alternative to using vinegar in a general cleaning spray, especially if you’re not keen on the smell of vinegar. It’s great for removing soap scum and water marks on glass shower doors
What You’ll Need:
- 500ml hot water (boiled and slightly cooled)
- 3 tablespoons Citric Acid
- Few drops of essential oil – optional
- Glass measuring jug
- Glass spray bottle
- Pour the hot water (slightly cooled boiled water) into the measuring jug
- Add the citric acid and stir to dissolve
- Add the essential oils if using
- Pour the solution into the spray bottle.
You’re now ready to tackle all those cleaning jobs. It’s especially good for cleaning windows and shower screens and removing soap scum.
Cleaning the Loo
Once a week; if you don’t have hard water this can be less often, just as and when required; give your loo a clean with Citric Acid to remove the mineral / limescale deposits.
This is super easy and you will be amazed at the results.
- Pour a jug of hot water into the toilet bowl and tip in one to two cups of Citric Acid, sprinkling a lit bit around the bowl as well
- To tackle stains under the rim you can make up a citric acid spray with 50g citric acid dissolved in 250ml of warm water. Just spray under the rim after you’ve put the Citric Acid in the toilet and bowl.
- Leave for at least an hour, overnight if possible.
- When you’re ready just give the toilet bowl a good scrub with a brush and flush.
Note: if you’re tacking a build up of limescale for the first time you may need to repeat this process.
Clean your washing machine
To ensure your washing machine stays clean and gunk free you should do this once a month.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 cup (approx. 250g) citric acid
- Clean the detergent draw and rubber seals with distilled white vinegar or a citric acid solution
- Pour the citric acid into the washing machine drum
- Run the machine on a hot wash
That’s it !
Keeping Your Shower Head Clean
Have you ever noticed how the holes in your shower head get clogged up. These can easily be cleaned by soaking your shower head in a solution of hot water and citric acid. Leave for around 10 minutes and then rinse
I hope you found these tips useful and can see why citric acid is a great addition to your list of naturally cleaning ingredients. If you would like more tips and recipes check out the Natural Cleaning and Organising section on my Blog.
However, although natural cleaning ingredients are far less toxic and much better to use at home remember that even with natural cleaning ingredients you still need to take care when using them.
There is a slight risk of respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, shortness of breath, and a sore throat, especially in asthmatics, when using citric acid powder. Take precautions to avoid inhalation of the crystals.
As it is a mild acid, it can cause eye irritation. Keep away from the eyes. If it comes in contact with eyes, remove any contact lenses and rinse eye(s) with water for several minutes.