Decalcifying citric acid - you should know that

Citric acid is a proven home remedy for descale. However, in some areas, citric acid should be used with caution. Find out where the risks lie, which product forms exist, and what concentrations are appropriate in this post.

Citric acid in powder form

As a decalcifying agent, the simplest way to use powdered citric acid. It can also be used in cooking, and in addition to the pure function as a decalcifier also has some other benefits (when preparing jams, but also for cake icings).

Benefits of citric acid

Citric acid - unlike vinegar essence - does not have a strong and unpleasant odor, but is just as effective. Another advantage is that acetic acid can occasionally attack rubber seals - which does not do citric acid.

Risks in the application

Citric acid is - depending on dosage - a strong to very strong acid. Although most of the plastics are not attacked by them, some parts can always be damaged at high dosage and long exposure time.

In the table below you can see where you should not use citric acid to descale.

Device / rangefitness
Coffee machine (filter)In some areas possible - never heat!
Espresso machine / high quality coffee machineNot suitable
Washing machineNot suitable
water heaterPossible, but only use cold or lukewarm
egg cookerpossible
Surfaces and fittingssuitable

Calcium citrate formation

Under no circumstances should solutions be heated with citric acid. In this case, the existing lime may combine with the citric acid solution to form a calcium citrate complex, which then can no longer be removed as a deposit.

If you want to use citric acid for descaling, you can do this only with cold or lukewarm solutions. Devices that heat the solution are therefore unsuitable.

After decalcifying you should always rinse thoroughly with water and dry (otherwise limescale may develop). The water neutralizes the remains of the acid.

health hazards

Skin contact should be avoided as far as possible, it is best to always wear gloves when dissolving the powder. If citric acid gets into your eyes, you will need medical help in most cases. When dealing with citric acid, one should therefore be careful.

Tips & Tricks

Also, keep citric acid away from children and be sure to dispose of leftovers thoroughly.

Video Board: The Dirty Truth: Why You Need to Descale