Citric acid for cleaning: Five things to clean with citric acid

This Morning: Lynsey Crombie shows how to clean using a lemon

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We all know that you can clean with lemon juice, but did you know the reason lemon juice is a good cleaner is because it contains citric acid? Citric acid naturally occurs in lemon juice and it is antibacterial, antiseptic and acts as a natural bleach. Squeezing your own lemon juice is time-consuming – using powdered citric acid is cheaper, quicker and much more effective because you need less of it than you do lemon juice to achieve the same results. Here are five things you can clean with citric acid, according to Dri-Pak.

Powdered citric acid is a cheap and cheerful cleaning product that can be used for a whole range of things.

It kills bacteria, mould and mildew, and is great at removing soap scum, limescale, hard water deposits, rust and other nasty stains.

You can buy a 250g box of Dri-Pak’s citric acid at Robert Dyas, Wilko, B&Q, Ocado, and some independent hardware stores for about £2. reveals five things you can clean with citric acid, according to Dri-Pak’s experts.


Limescale in a kettle won’t kill you, but it’s certainly unpleasant. Citric acid will reportedly descale a kettle better than any other product.

All you need to do is pour about a tablespoon of citric acid into your kettle along with some water.

Use enough water to make sure the entire element or base plate of the kettle is submerged.

Turn the kettle on and listen to the citric acid fizzing as it reacts with the limescale

If the fizzing stops and there is limescale remaining, then repeat the process until all limescale is removed.

Pour the water down the sink and rinse the kettle thoroughly twice before boiling a cuppa.

Coffee machine

Coffee machines are prone to staining and limescale, but you can use citric acid to make your machine look brand new.

Fill your coffee machine reservoir just below the maximum line and add half a tablespoon of citric acid to the machine.

Add a filter and turn the machine on for about half an hour or until half of the mixture has brewed.

Turn the machine off for half an hour and then turn it back on to finish brewing.


Dishwashers need to be cleaned once a fortnight and you can use citric acid to do the job.

Pour some citric acid into a bowl and white vinegar into another bowl.

Pop one bowl on the top rack of an empty dishwasher and the other on the bottom rack.

Run a long, hot cycle and be prepared to see a sparkling, food-free dishwasher.


Your toilet bowl is probably covered in brown hard water deposits and limescale.

No matter how hard you scrub with bleach, they won’t disappear. Most products will only lighten the colour.

Pour a bucket of hot water down the toilet and then another one once the first lot has drained.

Add half a 250g packet of citric acid to the toilet and leave it in the loo for an hour or overnight. You may or may not hear fizzing, either is fine.

Use a stiff toilet brush to remove the loosened limescale and repeat the process if it hasn’t worked the first time.


The head of your tap is prone to limescale build-up and it’s not very appealing.

Simply pour some diluted citric acid into a bag and secure the bag onto the end of the tap.

Leave it here for at least an hour or even overnight and then scrub the hard water with an old, clean toothbrush to get rid of the limescale.

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