citric acid safe in plumbing

Table of Contents

What is Citric Acid?

Citric acid is an important organic acid, which has a strong acid taste and is easily soluble in water.

Appearance and properties: white crystalline powder, odorless.

food grade citric acid powder


Citric acid comes from both natural and synthetic sources.

Natural citric acid is widely distributed in nature. It is found in the bones, muscles, and blood of plants such as lemons, oranges, oranges, pineapples, and grapes. Citrus fruits are rich in citric acid, especially lemons and limes, which can reach 8% when dried (about 47G/l in juice).

natural citric acid

Synthetic citric acid is made from sugar, molasses, starch, grapes, and other sugar-containing substances, can be divided into anhydrous and hydrate two kinds.

Storage Conditions

Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Main uses

Citric acid is the most important organic acid, which is widely used in food, medicine, and the daily chemical industry.

Scope of Application

More than 1.6 million tons of citric acid are produced annually in the United States, and Pfizer has been a major producer of citric acid for decades. About two-thirds of that goes to food and beverages, and the rest goes to detergents, pharmaceuticals, and supplements.

1. In the food industry

citric acid in food

Citric acid is used as an acid, solubilizer, buffer, deodorizer, flavor enhancer, gelling agent, toner, antioxidant, etc., widely used in a variety of beverages, soda, wine, candy, snacks, biscuits, canned fruit juice, dairy products, and other food manufacturing. In all organic acid markets, citric acid market share of more than 70%, so far there is no one can replace citric acid acidifiers. Citric acid, a molecule of crystalline water, is used primarily as an acid flavoring for cool beverages, fruit juices, jams, fruit sugars, cans, and as an antioxidant in cooking oils. At the same time, improve the sensory properties of food, enhance appetite and promote the digestion and absorption of calcium and phosphorus substances in the body. Anhydrous citric acid is widely used in solid drinks.

citric acid in friuts

2. In food safety

Citric acid can kill bacteria, inhibit bacteria, protect color, improve flavor;/n/nThe combined action of citric acid and 80 °C temperature has a good effect of killing bacterial spores, and can effectively kill the bacterial spores contaminated in the pipeline of a hemodialysis machine. Known as the “King of Western food” lemon has a strong sterilization effect, is very good for food safety, plus the fragrance of lemon, people have always liked to use it to make cold dishes, not only delicious and refreshing but also to enhance appetite.

3. In industry

The use of citric acid or citrate salts as detergent aids can improve the performance of washing products, can quickly precipitate some harmful metal ions, prevent contaminants re-attached to the fabric, maintain washing the necessary alkalinity; It disperses and suspends dirt and ash, improves the performance of Surfactant, and is an excellent chelating agent.

the acidity of citric acid

4. In medicine

Calcium must be present during the formation of prothrombin activators and subsequent clotting. Citrate ions and calcium ions can form a soluble complex difficult to dissociate, thus reducing the concentration of calcium ions in the blood, so that blood coagulation is blocked. This product is used as an in vitro anticoagulant in blood transfusion or laboratory blood samples.

Disinfection and Cleaning

(1) Principle of Citric Acid Cleaning


Citric acid has the function of corrosion inhibition and bacteriostasis when it is used to disinfect and kill bacteria. It can change the pH value of the environment rapidly after it is put into use, so it can play a highly effective role in disinfection.


Citric acid is widely used in the production of detergents. Its own specificity and chelation play a positive role. All of the ingredients used to make citric acid come from grain, which is a safe food-grade microorganism. The corrosion inhibition of citric acid in detergents is also outstanding. As an important link in chemical cleaning, the acidity of citric acid is relatively weak compared with an inorganic acid, therefore, the corrosion of citric acid to equipment is also relatively small, the safety and reliability of citric acid cleaning are relatively strong, the waste liquid is also relatively easy to handle, will not cause harm to the human body.

citric acid in beverage

In addition, citric acid is a safe metal stain cleaning agent, which can dissolve iron oxide and copper oxide to form the complex of iron and copper citrate, it can produce ferrous citrate and ferric citrate complex with high solubility. The cleaning effect is very good. In the cleaning of metal stains, citric acid is mainly used to remove rust, so it is mainly used to clean newly built boilers, citric acid mixed with sulfamic acid, Hydroxyacetic Acid or formic acid can be used to clean calcium and magnesium scale and rust in boilers, and citric acid mixed with EDTA can be used to clean heaters.

(2) Citric Acid Cleaning Pipes

Add citric acid and water to the pot with a thick scale and boil it, the limescale will be removed easily.

After the pipe and faucet are blocked, the pipe can also be dredged by adding citric acid and soaking in hot water. Therefore, citric acid as a cleaning agent is very effective. When cleaning the water pipe, citric acid can soften the scale in the pipe which has not been cleaned for many years and creates the condition for stripping the scale from the Pipe Wall.

citric acid in cleaning

The combined action of citric acid and 80 °C temperature has a good effect of killing bacterial spores and inhibiting bacteria such as molds. The odor of citric acid can also remove the peculiar smell produced by long-term unwashed water pipes, and people are more accepting.

The acids in citric acid are more effective at removing grease, soap scum, hard water scale, lime, and rust, and are safer alternatives to quaternary ammonium salts and chlorine bleach.

Therefore, it is very safe to use citric acid in plumbing.

In addition, the latest popular pipeline cleaning technology for hard water in the market-citric acid water pipe cleaning technology is also using food-grade citric acid to soften stubborn scale, and then micro-computer control of water flow and pneumatic, resulting in water vapors shock, make water pipe grease, aged scale, bacteria, harmful metal sediments, such as peeling off, so that the water pipe unblocked.

High-frequency citric acid cleaning technology is the safest and most effective way to clean water pipelines up to now, without ozone or chemical reagent.

(3) wash the water dispenser or kettle

First, Inject the water diluted food-grade citric acid into the water dispenser heating tank and soak for about 20 minutes. Then rinse the tank repeatedly with clean water until it is clean, in this way, it can effectively remove the scale in the water dispenser and kettle.

Is All Citric Acid Food Grade?

Citric acid is commercially available in both food and industrial grades.

Industrial grade is mainly used for industrial cleaning, it is in high concentration.

Food grade citric acid is mainly used for food additives, the concentration is low, and According to the requirements of food additives in different countries, there are strict requirements on its ingredients such as Moisture, light transmittance, heavy metal content, etc

Food-grade Citric Aicd Pipe Cleaner Chemical

Other Preventive Effects of Citric Acid

  • Kidney Stones: it prevents the formation of kidney stones and enables the kidneys to function properly. It also acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing the negative effects of unstable compounds and preventing them from forming cancer cells in the body.
  • Skin Care: citric acid helps regenerate skin tissue, helps skin look younger, and keeps the skin clear of bumps.
  • Skin Color: citric acid prevents discoloration of the skin.
  • Sore Throat: Gargle with a mixture of citric acid and water to clear throat infections and kill bacteria.
rumor about citric acid

The Rumor About Citric Acid

Some people say that foods rich in citric acid can not be eaten together with foods rich in calcium. Citric acid and calcium can combine to form deposits that may form kidney stones in the body. In fact, organic acids such as citric acid are beneficial to calcium, magnesium, and iron in foods, zinc, and other mineral absorption, not only will not promote kidney stones, on the contrary, citric acid has been proven to help prevent kidney stones.

Citric acid edible acid, can enhance the normal metabolism of the body, the appropriate dosage of human body harmless, in some food after adding citric acid taste good, can promote appetite, the national standard provides that it can be applied to all kinds of food, appropriate use according to production demand.

Jennifer Wang

Jennifer Wang

Hi, I’m Jennifer Wang, the funder of, I’ve been running a factory in China that makes water pipe cleaning equipment for 10 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to pipeline cleaning from a Chinese supplier’s perspective.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seven + 19 =

Fill up your email and get

Get 100 US$ Bonus Now!

On all water pipe cleaning machine

Ask For A Quick Quote

We will contact you within 1 working day, please pay attention.