The professional cleaning industry is seeing a resurgence in the use of safer cleaning solutions that also promote sustainability. Safe cleaning solutions have a minimal impact on the user and the environment. If the product is deemed sustainable, it has been made from readily available natural resources.
Citric acid cleaning solutions are made from citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and even pineapples. These products have been used safely for centuries.
The ancient Egyptians first used citric acid solutions as an antifungal and antibacterial in cleaning. They used it because it was an effective disinfectant and because the ingredients used to make it were plentiful.
Citric acid is safe on many metals. It is used for cleaning different metals used in manufacturing and or industrial applications. It has also been used for cleaning parts in auto engines such as radiators.
On a pH scale, citric acid has a pH level of between 3 and 6. The pH scale span is 0 to 14, with zero being very acidic, fourteen being the least acidic, and seven being considered neutral. This means as an acid, citric acid is a weak acid.
As a disinfectant:
At least one has been approved and registered as a disinfectant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This means that when used per the manufacturer’s instructions, the EPA verifies the product will eliminate (kill) pathogens as listed on the label. Further, at least one is now on the EPA’s List-N, meaning it is proven to eliminate the pathogen that causes COVID. The conclusions of the EPA and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act typically parallel each other.
Sustainability is going to become the watchword of the 21st century. When facility managers and cleaning contractors consider selecting a product, they traditionally ask about durability, effectiveness, performance, and cost. Now they are also going to ask about the product’s sustainability. We can expect sustainability to become increasingly important in years to come.