Ways to Use Citric Acid in Household Cleaning

Citric acid is a great ingredient for a household cleaner that you can use for your entire house. Continue reading to find out more about it.
Ways to Use Citric Acid in Household Cleaning

Last update: 18 July, 2022

Indeed, citric acid may sound intimidating and give you the idea of being a harsh chemical but it isn’t so. It’s actually quite easy to obtain and rather versatile as there are many applications for it. For example, today’s article will describe many ways to use it in your household cleaning.

From clothes to bathroom and kitchen, this substance ensures a deep cleaning with only one product that saves you time and money. Below we’ll review what citric acid is, its uses, and precautions to take when handling it.

What’s citric acid?

Discovered by alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan in the 8th century, citric acid has a long history and already appears in chemical encyclopedias from the 13th century.

However, it wasn’t until 1784 that the chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele succeeded in crystallizing it from lemon juice. Finally, manufactures began to produce it on an industrial scale in 1860.

The substance is a tricarboxylic organic acid found in many fruits, although there’s a higher concentration in citrus fruits such as lemons, tangerines, and oranges. It’s a white crystalline powder in its industrial form, often used as a preservative and natural antioxidant. This is because it reduces pH levels.

Furthermore, it’s a by-product of the fermentation of sugars, such as sucrose and glucose, and widely used to naturally preserve various foods.

An array of citruses.
The natural presence of citric acid in certain fruits, such as oranges and lemons, has been widely studied.

Check out and Try This Natural Citrus Floor Cleaner

What are the uses of citric acid in household cleaning?

We can use citric acid as an ally for cleaning the entire house. The best part is it only takes a single product to clean the whole bathroom and kitchen — along with its appliances. It’s also great for washing clothes and one can complement it with baking soda.


Dilute a tablespoon of citric acid in a quart of water and place it in a spray bottle. Use it to clean everything from faucets to walls, shower doors, and curtains to eliminate lime buildup. All you have to do is spray the surfaces and wipe them with a soft cloth.

As for the toilet, sprinkle it with baking soda and let it do its thing for half an hour. Then spray with citric acid and scrub it with a soft brush. It’ll be as good as new.

Likewise, remove the showerhead to sanitize it completely and place it in a container with a quart of water, 3.5 fluid ounces of liquid citric acid, and a tablespoon of baking soda. Leave it there for an hour. Then, rinse it, screw it back, turn on the hot water faucet, and let it run for a little bit.


Place four tablespoons of baking soda in the drain to unclog it. Then, add 3.5 fluid ounces of liquid citric acid and leave it for 15 minutes. Run the hot water to finish.


Dissolve six tablespoons of citric acid in a quart of hot water to clean tiles.

Use this mix to rub the tiles with a soft cloth and then rinse them with water.


Mix the same solution as for tiles, and add it to a spraying container and spray it onto the surface of the carpet. Then, dry it with a soft mop.


Use the same solution as above (six tablespoons of citric acid and one quart of water) to wipe appliances and kitchen surfaces. You can also clean teapots, coffee pots, and jerry cans.

In addition, it’s a great dishwasher rinse. Just fill the rinse aid compartment with liquid citric acid and run the washing cycle as usual.


You can use citric acid as a fabric softener. To do so, dissolve a tablespoon of citric acid in a pint of water. Then pour 1.5 fluid ounces of this mix into the fabric softener compartment. Your clothes will be softer than ever!

A loaded dishwasher.
Did you know you can add citric acid to a dishwasher load?

Read about Citrus Allergy: Symptoms, Treatment, and Recommendations

Precautions when using this ingredient

Any product used in household cleaning requires some precautions.

The person who uses it must avoid contact with the skin, as it can lead to dermatitis. Because of this, you should use gloves. In addition, always use it in a well-ventilated place.

Finally, store the mix in a plastic container, away from sunlight. Also, label it and store it out of reach of children.

Citric acid is truly great for household cleaning

We believe this product is worth trying when cleaning your entire house. The results will be positive but be sure to handle this substance with care.

Finally, test it on a small area to make sure it won’t damage the materials before cleaning an entire surface. Give it a try, it’s quite economical and efficient.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Anduaga Muñoz, W. E. (1985). Inóculo en la producción de ácido cítrico por fermentación. In Inóculo en la producción de ácido cítrico por fermentación(pp. 71-71).
  • Pastor-Nieto, M. A., Alcántara-Nicolás, F., Melgar-Molero, V., Pérez-Mesonero, R., Vergara-Sánchez, A., Martín-Fuentes, A., … & de Eusebio-Murillo, E. (2017). Conservantes en productos de higiene y cosméticos, medicamentos tópicos y productos de limpieza doméstica en España. Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas108(8), 758-770.
  • Toro, Ó. J. S., Buriticá, M. C. O., & Garcés, A. L. B. (2004). Obtención de ácido cítrico a partir de suero de leche por fermentación con Aspergillus spp. Revista Colombiana de Biotecnología6(1), 43-54.
  • Alvarez, A., Jorrat, S., & Genta, M. (2005). Caracterización físico-química de jugo de limón de Tucumán.  Revista de Investigaciones Agropecuarias34(2), 49-56.
  • Reinoza, S. D. L. (2020). Rendimiento del ácido cítrico extraído del semeruco con respecto al extraído del limón, la naranja y la piña: Usos y beneficios en la piel. Revista Innovación Estética1(1), 53-66.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.