Your Guide to Using Citric Acid Around the Home

What is citric acid?

Citric acid is an acid compound naturally found in citrus fruits. It can also be derived from the mold-based fermentation of sugar. It can be used around the house for cleaning purpose. In fact, people have been using citric acid in their homes for years.


A sharp-tasting crystalline acid present in the juice of lemons and other sour fruits. It is made commercially by the fermentation of sugar and used as a flavoring and setting agent. It’s also a chelating agent, bactericide, fungicide, anticoagulant, agricultural chemical, therapeutic agent, sequestrant, and hematologic agent.


Since citric acid has the ability to kill bacteria and mold it serves as a great cleaning agent. It’s also really effective at removing soap scum, lime, rust, and calcium deposits.  That’s why many green cleaning products use it. Ever notice that the scents are usually lemon or lime? That’s not a coincidence.

Citric acid is not just used in green cleaning products. It is also used in products such as auto wheel and radiator cleaners, metal cleaners, oven cleaners, dishwasher cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, soap-scum removers, bathroom cleaners, tub & tile cleaners, carpet cleaners, dish soaps, laundry detergents, air fresheners, window cleaners, stain removers, and more.

In most scenarios, using this compound to clean will provide you with a better result. If you’re looking for the secret ingredient that will get the job done, this is it.

More Uses

There are plenty more uses for this compound aside from cleaning. You’ll find it in your shampoos, conditioners, hair dye, cleaning wipes, hand soaps, body washes, cosmetics, deodorants, baby wipes, and more. It’s also used in various supplements like vitamins, whey powders, and syrups. And lastly, It’s used in the agricultural industry as a pesticide to treat crops.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors citric acid closely in personal care products, food, or drugs. When used in cleaning supplies, the acid is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Although CA is a generally safe compound there are a few side effects as noted in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). No need to worry, nearly everything has some sort of side effect or warning issued. For your convenience, I’ve listed the concerns noted below.

Breathing in this acid can cause minor respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, shortness of breath, and/or a sore throat. If it comes in contact with the eyes, redness and pain may occur. And any contact with the skin may cause irritation.

Since this compound is naturally derived from food there has not been any significant negative effects on the environment reported.

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