Using citric acid to clean your bathroom

This week, Jill Washburn, our Jill of All Trades, shows us how to use citric acid as a cleaning product.

Jill has a well at her house and it is a perpetual battle to keep mineral scale from building up on the bath fixtures.  After using citric acid to make bath bombs, Jill decided to experiment and use the rest of it to clean the metal fixtures in her bathroom. Particularly dirty were the fixtures in the shower. All of the metal handles and spouts had heavy buildup of mineral scale. Jill thought that the citric acid might be able to cut through that, and she was right!  Here's how she did it.

Jill started with a small bowl and poured the powdered citric acid into it. Jill says to be careful not to breathe the dust, if possible. Since it is an acid, it can be irritating to your nose and throat. Since she was working in an enclosed space, like a bathroom, Jill put on a mask and latex gloves. Citric acid is likely not irritating to your hands if you're only touching it for a few moments, but it can be irritating if you have sensitive skin or if your hands are touching it for a longer time.

Once she was masked and gloved up, Jill got to work. She took a wet paper towel and dipped it into the powdered citric acid. Then she started gently scrubbing the fixtures.

Because it is a powder, the citric acid has a mild abrasive affect, especially in the beginning. But mostly, it is the chemical reaction of the acid that eats through the mineral scale and soap scum. Jill was shocked how fast it worked and how clean the fixtures got in her shower. Some of them hadn't been that clean since they were brand new.

Jill says that the citric acid worked on her sink, countertop, tub, and metal handles and fixtures. She said it made the biggest difference on the metal handles and fixtures.  Because it is an acid, Jill recommends not leaving it on things like metal fixtures or granite countertops too long. Fortunately, you won't have to leave it on long for it to work and get things really clean. She did leave it longer on her bathtub, which is fiberglass.

Jill says that she was amazed at how clean everything got. Once you get everything clean, you won't have to use citric acid every time. You can save it for the occasional deep cleaning.

Where do you find citric acid? Jill says you can find it in the canning section of your local store or it is available in many places online.


To watch Jill take you through the process, just click on the video player above.