Are you ready to learn about the simple and marvellous organic compound – citric acid? We’re going to reveal the versatile ways you can use citric acid to clean your home that you’ve never even thought of.
We know that chemicals have dominated mainstream cleaning for years and many of you are yearning for more natural and eco-friendly solutions.
But first, what is citric acid?
Citric acid, despite its scientific name, is far from being made in the laboratory. It’s a naturally occurring compound found in citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes and grapefruits. It’s colourless and odourless and it’s super powerful, even more effective than vinegar. Many natural cleaning products have citric acid in them because it kills bacteria and mould.
It’s used as a food additive to add natural flavouring and as a preservative to extend shelf life. Plus, many natural skincare brands use citric acid in their formulas as it exfoliates skin to clean pores, even skin tone and soften skin. So, if you’re going to put it on your face and in your body, you know it’s safe to add to your eco-friendly cleaning routine.
Now for the best bit, let’s get into 16 of our top ways to use citric acid to clean your home.
Disinfect your kitchen worktops
To clean your kitchen worktops, just spray the citric acid and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then wipe clean with a cloth. It will remove the grime and grease while disinfecting, keeping your kitchen stain-free and hygienic. However, remember it is acidic so you should be careful using citric acid on some finishes such as granite and marble.
Soak your stainless steel sink
Spray the citric acid onto the stainless steel and let it soak before wiping the surface with a dry cloth. Then rinse the surface with water and dry it again with a clean, dry cloth, leaving it sparkling and streak-free.
Descale your taps and showerhead
Limescale is hard to escape but by using soapy water and a cloth with some citric acid, you can remove the built-up. Let it sit first while it dissolves the calcium and lime deposits and then rinse with warm water and dry – they’ll be good as new. The Dri-Pak Citric Acid is great for descaling!
Add it to your laundry
Citric acid is great at softening your clothes because it balances the pH of your detergent. It’s a three-in-one solution; it’s been reported to brighten whites, prevent colour fading and remove stains
Clean your toilet
Add a tablespoon of citric acid to the pan and let it sit for a minimum of 15 minutes – you’ll get the best results if you leave it overnight. Give it a quick scrub and then flush so the water washes away any acidic remains or dirt build-up.
Use it as a glass or window cleaner
Pour about 500ml of hot water and 1 tablespoon of citric acid into a glass bottle to spray and wipe your glass shower doors or windows. It removes the streaks and keeps everything shiny.
It’s normal for things to get rusty – you can’t keep on top of everything! To remove rust using citric acid, mix the powder with a little water to create a thick, spreadable paste. Apply it and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to break down the particles. Gently scrub the area to lift the rust and rinse to get rid of any residue. You may have to do this a couple of times.
Give your dishwasher a deep clean
Over time, soap and food debris can build up in dishwashers, reducing their efficiency and making them work harder. Citric acid is great at cleaning your dishwasher as it helps remove mineral deposits, limescale and soap residue. When your dishwasher is empty, sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of citric acid powder along the bottom and then run a hot water cycle.
Pause the dishwasher after a couple of minutes to let the citric acid soak into the limescale and residue – this takes around 30 minutes. Then resume the hot cycle and when finished, wipe it down.
Scrub grout clean
To get your grout clean and white again, make a paste by mixing the citric acid powder with water. Apply the paste and let it sit for 15-20 minutes then scrub it with an old toothbrush.
Clean your coffee machine for a better-tasting caffeine fix
Over time, the parts become extremely dirty and can make your coffee taste burnt or metallic. Keeping your coffee machine clean ensures you’re going to make a great-tasting cup of coffee every time – which is a lifesaver on those early mornings.
Mix 1-2 tablespoons of citric acid powder with a cup of warm water and stir to help the acid dissolve. Empty your coffee pot and remove any used coffee grounds or filters and pour the solution into the water reservoir. Start a brewing cycle as if you were making a coffee, allowing the solution to flow throughout.
After the brewing cycle is finished, turn off the machine and let it soak for 15-20 minutes to completely break down any debris. Finally, fill the reservoir with clean water and do another cycle to flush out the residue.
Descale your kettle
Simply fill your kettle with water and add a couple of teaspoons of citric acid. By the time is boiled, the limescale build-up will have vanished. It’s that easy!
Get your hob looking brand new
Mix a combination of soap, baking soda and citric acid powder to create a solution that you can wipe over your hob with a cloth.
Clean your oven
Making sure your oven is clean is safe and hygienic so it’s super important. A super quick and easy way to clean your oven is to put some citric acid in an ovenproof pan on a rack and set the oven to 230°C. Depending on how dirty your oven is, let the solution steam for 30 minutes to an hour. Make sure the pan doesn’t boil dry and once the oven is completely cool, wipe it clean with a sponge.
Get rid of the dust on your car wheel rims
Tyres get dirty – it’s inevitable. To clean general dirt and brake dust, rub your citric acid solution onto the area and scrub it until the stain has gone.
Steam your microwave
Place 500ml of water and two tablespoons of citric acid powder into a microwavable dish. Place the container in the microwave and heat the mixture until it’s boiling and the microwave is filled with steam. Leave this for five minutes, remove the container and wipe away the mess with a sponge or cloth.
Remove stains from containers
If you like to save your takeout containers like me, it always bugs me that I cannot get the coloured stains out. Citric acid can do the trick. Fill the container with hot or boiling water (depending on what it’s made from) and add a tablespoon of citric powder per 250ml. Let it soak for a few hours. If you have multiple containers, you can just fill up your sink with water and citric acid and let them sit.