An Instagram user named Kate (@my_plastic_free_home) has gotten some attention for showing off a simple, cheap, and environmentally friendly cleaning agent for the bathroom. Surprisingly, it’s citric acid.
If you’re overdue for cleaning your bathroom, consider trying this method before reaching for the bottle of toxic bleach under your sink.
This toilet-cleaning technique is really, really easy.
To clean your toilet (or sink, shower — anything with stubborn stains and limescale), Kate recommends dropping a spoonful of citric acid onto the problem area, then adding hot (not boiling!) water.
“Leave overnight and your toilet is sparkling!” Kate says in her post.
Allow the mixture to go to work overnight, and presto — a clean toilet will be awaiting you in the morning. If necessary, Kate also recommends plunging your toilet a few times to remove excess water from the bowl before adding the acid and hot water.
How’s it helping
There are plenty of things that make citric acid a fantastic tool for household cleaning.
On top of that, if bleach is mixed with some other very common cleaning supplies, it can create toxic fumes. Citric acid, on the other hand, is considered to be much safer, and you’ll be far less likely to accidentally fill your bathroom with dangerous air.
Lastly, citric acid is a much more environmentally friendly cleaning agent than bleach. You can flush it down guilt-free, as it will eventually break down naturally down the line. No harmful chemicals in the water, no lasting negative impacts on aquatic wildlife — just a clean toilet.
What everyone’s saying
Kate’s Instagram post has prodded a few to try it themselves, who shared their results.
“This TOTALLY worked for my toilet….and it was severely stained,” one user commented.
“I started using this method per your recommendation in a city where the water is so very hard and it works absolute wonders! Far better than any (less-desirable) product I have ever tried! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom!” another added.
A Small Word of Caution
While citric acid is a great cleaning agent, be mindful of where you use it. Porcelain surfaces like sinks and toilets are great places to clean with the stuff, but avoid using it on things like marble, granite, or your electronics.
It is an acid after all — and thus may cause some unwanted erosion on these objects.