If citric acid sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it on a label. You can’t really miss it, as it’s in everything from food items like wine and hummus to beauty products. What most people don’t realize, though, is that it also makes for a super-versatile, all-natural cleaning ingredient for your healthy home.
Baking soda is often touted as the best cleaning ingredient. It’s safe on a variety of surfaces, banishes odor, and even helps to keep the sparkle in your white sneakers. But citric acid is often overlooked when it comes to sprucing up your home. In powder form (like this highly-rated option from Amazon), “citric acid helps break down any gunk, grime, and build-up,” says Melissa Maker, founder of Clean My Space. Citric acid can be used easily to safely to rid your home of bacteria, mold, and mildew.
The fact that citric acid is ingestible and used in food makes it a harmless choice for cleaning your home. You can clean surfaces that come in contact without worry. If you want to retire your baking soda for a while, the ways to use it are endless.
Here are 5 ways you can clean with citric acid at home
1. Deep-clean your coffee pot
To give your coffee machine a deep-clean, fill the reservoir with water and add in a couple teaspoons of citric acid. Once it’s done brewing, any build-up will be gone.
2. Clean your toilet bowl
Creating a natural toilet bowl cleaner is easy. Just add a tablespoon into the water and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before flushing it away.
3. De-gunk the dishwasher
Cleaning your dishwasher isn’t easy—unless you have citric acid on hand. Fill the detergent cup with the powder—a Tablespoon or two should do it—and run the dishwasher on a hot cycle, letting it do its thing. All the grime and build-up hanging out in there will be broken down and rinsed away.
4. Get rid of mineral deposits
Mineral deposits from hard water are tricky to get rid of—especially those on bathroom fixtures and sinks. Citric acid is a natural way to remove them, and all you need to do is add a few tablespoons to hot water, then scrub with a sponge and rinse.
5. Clean surface areas
By adding a couple tablespoons of citric acid into a spray bottle filled with water, you’ll have a mixture you can use to clean your shower, kitchen countertops, and more. Just avoid using citric acid on natural stones, like granite and marble, as the acid will cause damage.
Now that your home sparkles, here’ how to bring some magic to the office:
Here are some other all-natural cleaning products you can use to tidy up your home. Then find out how to speed-clean your home in 30 minutes or less.