Why is citric acid so widely used in the food industry?
It’s even in so called “organic” products ranging from salsa, hummus, iced tea, jams & fruit preservatives, and mayo. All of these often contain added citric acid.
Citric acid occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables and is quite tart, described to taste similar to lemon juice.
Did you know…50% of the world’s citric acid product isn’t even used for food…but instead used to flavor beverages such as soft drinks, teas, and other beverages to create a tart yet balancing taste of sweetness?
Citric acid is a white crystalline powder also used in cleaning products air fresheners, candles, and personal-care products and in the pharmaceutical industry.
It’s used to balance the pH of food and preserve it for a longer shelf life ultimately making it harder for bacteria and mold to survive and reproduce.
What You Should Know About Your Cleaning Products
Many household cleaners contain toxic and damaging chemicals. Considering that, women still do a whopping 70% of the housework in the average home. That means women, pregnant women, women trying to get pregnant, and children are often the ones most vulnerable to these toxins.
Health risks of toxic cleaners include:
- Reproductive damage
- Increase in cancer due to carcinogens
- Damage to children’s delicate organs and immune systems
- Skin and eye irritation
- Aggravate asthma and respiratory conditions
What’s worse is that scientists now believe that even at very low levels these chemicals can negatively impact your reproductive system.
Since there is no legal requirement to have detailed labeling on cleaning products a number of chemicals are omitted and the effects on your health could be disastrous!
Citric Acid’s Cleaning Power
Citric acid is a chelator or an acid that inactivates water hardness and creates foam, making it especially useful in soaps, laundry detergents, and as a cleaning agent.
Since it’s a natural preservative it prevents water hardness it’s chemical composition helps get dirt and grime off of surfaces and out of clothing. Citric acid also prevents water spotting and hard water film. Citric acid is also antibacterial and antiseptic it works great on most surfaces and even hard to clean areas.
Seven Ways to Use Citric Acid for Cleaning:
1. Remove stains and adhesives from stainless steel.
2. Kill bacteria, cut grease, and stains on floors, countertops, and tables. You can disinfect and clean kitchen countertops with a solution of nine parts water to one part citric acid.
3. Descale and disinfect inside of washing machine. In an empty washing machine, add two tablespoons of citric acid, use hot water, and run on the longest cycle.
4. Descale taps and shower doors, make a solution of one-liter warm water and two tablespoons citric acid. Make sure it is dissolved. Spray on let sit for five minutes and wipe clean.
5. Clean dirty windows, two liters of warm water mixed with two tablespoons of citric acid. Spray on and wipe off.
6. Get a sparkling clean toilet, take ¾ cup of citric acid and sprinkle into toilet. Leave in overnight. Do not flush. The next morning brush and flush.
7. Get rid of wine stains, with one part citric acid and 2 parts baking soda. Sprinkle over the stain; mist with water, until it fizzes, let sit for five minutes, and then scrub away.
Easy Citric Acid Cleaning : All Purpose Household Recipe
- 2 tbsp liquid castille soap or Ivory soap grated
- 2 tsp baking soda or washing soda
- 1 tsp citric acid
- Water to fill a 32 oz spray bottle
- Pour soda into spray bottle and fill halfway with tap water. Close it, shake, and allow to dissolve. Add soap and gently swirl.
- In a separate container mix citric acid with hot tap water until dissolved
- Pour in bottle, once everything is settled then fill with cold tap water to top off.
(recipe adapted from Instructables.com.)
Citric acid doesn’t have the strong smell of vinegar, it treats the water, enhances performance of soap and doesn’t leave residue.
Citric can sometimes be difficult to find it can be marketed as lemon salt or sour salt. Brewing and soap making stores carry it and it’s often times cheaper than grocery stores.
If you have existing respiratory problems be careful when using citric acid, it can aggravate these conditions. Always wear gloves and keep your cleaning products away from your eyes (we recommend protective glasses).
One of the great things about citric acid is it’s naturally found in food and biodegrades in the environment. So don’t worry about washing it down your drains.