Citric Acid for Natural Home Cleaning



Citric acid is an acid compound naturally found in citrus fruits. It is used as a preservative in green cleaning products as well as food. Citric acid kills bacteria, some fungi, and mildew. It effectively removes soap scum, hard water stains, calcium deposits, limescale and rust.  It is excellent as a dishwasher rinse-aid and is a wonderful fabric softener.

Learn how to make your own laundry softener and dishwasher rinse-aid here. Be sure to also look at this guide to learn how to clean your showerheads, espresso machine and kettle with citric acid.


  • Add up to a teaspoon to your dishwasher rinse aid dispenser to keep things sparkling.
  • Run an empty cycle with a tablespoon of citric acid to clean up the inside of your dishwasher.
  • Dilute with water (30ml: a litre) for a brilliant glass cleaner.
  • Use to get rid of limescale buildup on taps or kettles.
  • Use a stronger solution (125ml: a litre of water) to clean and disinfect counter tops or chopping boards.
  • Store in a tightly closing container to prevent caking.


NB: Before use, please ensure that your dishwasher’s salt compartment (normally located in the floor of the machine) is topped up with plain salt (sodium chloride).

NB: When changing over from conventional dishwasher detergents and rinse aids, it is really important to first prepare your machine by clearing away deposits that are likely to have built up in the pipes, nooks and crannies of your machine. Otherwise, these deposits will be loosened by the cleaning action of the natural dishwasher salts and citric acid rinse aid, and redeposited on your dishes!

To prepare your machine, put 1/4 – 1/2 cup of citric acid in the bottom of your empty dishwasher and start a normal wash cycle. After a few minutes (3-5), interrupt the cycle and allow the solution to soak in the machine for a couple of hours. Then resume the cycle and allow it to finish and drain the solution away. If your machine does not allow you to interrupt the cycle, instead run the longest cycle available with the citric acid in the bottom of the machine as above.

Fill the dishwasher detergent dispenser (1-2 tablespoons) and wash as normal.

Use a 30ml:1 litre solution of citric acid or ordinary white vinegar, as a rinse aid, to avoid cloudy streaks on glassware etc.

Clean your dishwasher’s filters regularly. This is very important, as otherwise the debris caught in the filters will be redeposited on your dishes.

If you have very hard water, or if you find that you start getting deposits on your dishes after using these products for some time, you may need to clear away build up from inside your machine and pipes. To do this, run an empty cycle with 1-2 tablespoons of citric acid in the main dispenser. (In severe cases, repeat the initial preparation routine described above for preparing your machine – run a long cycle with 1/4 – 1/2 cup of citric acid in the bottom of the machine.)

Pair with The Apothecary Dishwasher Salts for clean and sparkling results without no harsh chemicals.


Breathing in citric acid dust can cause nose and throat irritation. It can also be an eye and skin irritant. Protect skin and eyes and establish appropriate ventilation while working with citric acid.

Plastic Free Shipping

Product will be shipped in an unbleached brown paper bag made from recycled paper. It is 100% biodegradable, compostable along with any food waste or recyclable as long as it has no residual food in it. Energy was still used to make the bag during manufacturing, therefore we’d like to encourage all customers to reuse their paper bags at least three times to reduce their carbon footprint. We pack each online order in a reused box which we collect from deliveries made to us by our suppliers or donated by friends and family.  We seal the boxes with 100% fully biodegradable packing tape.

Cape Town Only Package Free Shipping Option

If you live in the Cape Town area this product can also be ordered with reusable and returnable packaging. Read more about our container deposit system here.


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Additional information


250g, 1kg, 1kg (excl. deposit), 1kg (incl. deposit), 250g (excl. deposit), 250g (incl. deposit), 500g, 500g (excl. deposit), 500g (incl. deposit)


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