Do's and Don'ts of Cleaning with Citric Acid
Citric acid is one of our hero ingredients for natural cleaning here at Purdy & Figg. It has a long history of being used in natural cleaning -- in fact, citric acid was the Ancient Egyptians' equivalent of Cilit Bang or Cif, but without the harsh chemicals and single-use plastic bottles.
It's widely used as an alternative to bleach, when you want to whiten and disinfect. Citric acid is derived from fruits -- often lemons. It is whitening, de-greasing, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
As a natural cleaning ingredient, it really comes into its own in contact with bicarbonate of soda and water, where its fizzing action makes it a powerful cleaning agent.
Although harder to get hold of in significant quantities and a little more expensive than our other hero products, this is a fantastic ingredient when you need something stronger than lemons or bicarb.
Expect Immediate Results
Natural cleaning remedies are best as a prevention as opposed to a cure - use them little and often. As with white vinegar, citric acid is a fantastic alternative, but it doesn't always work immediately, and may require patience and elbow grease.
Use on Delicate Surfaces
Citric acid has corrosive properties and should not be used on natural stone or marble.
Use on Wood Floors or Furniture with Wax Sealer
The acid can break down the coating and leave a cloudy appearance. I would avoid using this on your wood floors or furniture if they have any kind of wax or sealer on it as the acid can break down the coating and leave a cloudy appearance.
Use on Electronic Screens
Phones, laptops, tablets, tvs etc all come with oleophobic coating to reduce smudges. Citric acid can break down the coating, exposing layers meant to be protected.
Use as a Descaler
It's effective for removing soap scum, hard water stains, calcium deposits, lime and rust.
Use as a Disinfectant
Citric acid kills bacteria, mold, and mildew. It’s great for general disinfecting and cleaning. Note that it shouldn’t be used as a disinfectant against diseases like Covid-19.
Use as a Natural Alternative to Bleach
Citric acid is a versatile ingredient, and can be used in a variety of situations, including:
- Oven cleaners
- Dishwasher cleaners
- All-purpose cleaners
- Soap-scum removers
- Bathroom cleaners
- Carpet cleaner
- Dish soaps
- Laundry detergent
- Air fresheners
- Window cleaners
- Stain removers
We hope you find our tips useful - check out our blog for Do's and Don'ts of our other four natural cleaning hero ingredients!