Citric acid better than Vinegar? (2023)


I wanted to see how citric acid was compared to vinegar. I think we can all agree that this stuff wins hands down.


Hello everyone welcome back to another episode in easy freakin this week, I'm going to be doing kind of a how-to video, a really important one: how to properly clean your power heads your skimmers any equipment.

You have that's in your sump in your aquarium that will build up either LG's Coraline.

Anything of that sort, I'll be showing you guys how to clean that today.

Previously, as you guys know, a lot of people used to recommend cleaning your either power head skimmers, whatever frog racks in your reef tanks with vinegar recently, a lot of people have been doing Studies on that and seeing that it actually hold in a way- let's say a wave maker, for instance, it'll get into the plastic and eventually you'll start eating away the magnet on the inside it'll mess up the seals, it'll dry up the seals.

Long story short, it's probably not the best to be used for our reef tanks.

So a lot of people out there, you probably start seeing videos I, know inappropriate, started doing one I've seen a few others, but a lot of people are switching to citric acid, now.

This can be bought in many different forms.

This here was bought on Amazon I, know, BRS sells their own version as well.

I think some like Walmart's will also sell it at the end of the day you want.

All you really want is just citric acid.

It comes in a powdered form and this is supposed to be a lot softer, yet a quicker, cleaner than vinegar, so we're gonna, see today how good this is, and one thing I would always notice with vinegar, especially when it came to your power cords I would always notice.

It would dry them out it.

They never felt kind.

You know not as rubbery once I did do the vinegar.

So after using today after using the citric bath, we're gonna be able to see if it either changed the feel of the rubber any of the seals and I'll give you guys.

My honest thoughts on so I have here is a five gallon bucket.

What I was able to research? I got a few different mixing suggestions from people, but pretty much I went to BRS and I went off whatever BRS citric acid they sell.

So if you go off off VRS, they recommend 3/4 of a cup of this for every gallon of fresh water that can be tap water, ro/di I, really, don't think it matters, but it's 3/4 of a cup of this for every gallon.

Now this is a five gallon bucket.

This 1-pound bag was slightly short.

This would have treated four gallons to that ratio.

Perfectly I, really don't think it really matters.

So what I have here is my great white skimmer.

You can see her in there.

It's got quite a bit of gunk, believe it or not guys I'm, pretty impressed.

This thing has been running for not even kidding you guys.

Maybe six minutes and I'm already seeing bunch of gunk start coming off.

I can already see on the inside a little bit hard to pick up, but it's a lot clearer than it was I'm, not sure if I'm supposed to be wearing gloves when I'm putting my hand in this stuff.

But if I am you know, I'll, be your I'll, be the guinea pig for you guys, but yeah I'm, not sure if you are supposed to be wearing gloves.

I'd, probably just play it safe and wear your gloves, my god, look at that.

It's coming right off, like I'm, not I'm, not even having to scrub it I'm just having to run my finger past it and it's lifting everything up a really cool thing.

This gw5 skimmer does have an o-ring I'm, trying to get it out, but I can't well anyways.

It has an o-ring right here.

I can still feel the o-ring.

It feels very rubbery to the feel yeah I'm like really liking it so far like I mentioned earlier, I know with vinegar any time I would do a vinegar bath.

The power cord that was submerged in the vinegar would be stiffer it would lose his properties of being flexible so far, I'm seeing yeah they're, both just as flexible.

So what we're gonna do.

I'll, probably leave it running here for maybe five six hours.

A lot of people were telling me that the citric acid actually will work a lot quicker than vinegar, but just for the hell of it.

We're gonna leave it here for a few hours, but I can already see.

Look all the gunk just flying everywhere before I threw it in here.

I did get a picture.

I didn't get a video, but I got a picture.

You can see here what it looked like.

It was just tons of gunk everywhere on the side, I mean just your standard.

You know, buildup you'd have on five six months of running there, reef tank and that's another thing.

I highly recommend you guys cleaning your powerheads cleaning, your skimmers clean your returns at least guys.

At least you know once a year at the very least, an ideal world, probably every four to five months.

You know a lot of us ain't going to do that, but if you can get around them, you know once a year.

You should be more than fine, so we're gonna do guys we're gonna check back in a few more hours and I'll.

Let you guys know so far like I said: I'm not wearing any gloves.

I, don't know if it's gonna mess up my hand, it didn't.

You see, I, don't think it said anything about wearing gloves.

Oh causes serious, wash your hands thoroughly after handling wear eye protection if occurs were inside ya know so yeah we should be pretty good, I mean, don't leave it on your hand, it is an acid, but it says yeah.

Look! It's good for food good for dishes, good for laundry I mean this stuff is just like vinegar, it's good for a lot of stuff.

So, let's check back a little bit later, a few moments lay down the skimmers been sitting here in the water for I'd, say good, probably five hours and I'm noticing immediately right off the bat is like stuff.

Is it comes right, I really don't even need to scrub.

It I just pass this little wet towel.

Look at that crystal-clear.

Another thing I had noticed pretty difficult to do with one hand, but let me try I'm gonna try my best this right here this and in a few right here and a few other spots was actually Coraline or at least the beginning of Coraline.

It was, you know, there's really no way to remove it before dipping it in here you could tell it was pretty strong and right now look at that.

It's really no force whatsoever.

Look at that! It's like it turned into nothing.

You guys see that you could just see it.

It comes off and it's almost like slimy in a way.

It's really crazy.

You can see right here - that's also Coraline I, don't even need to scrub, it just wipe it and it's all coming down or coming off, but I.

Think for you guys out there wondering if it works.

Citric acid works.

It absolutely works.

Now, there's a few oring x' on this bad boy.

There's one here! There's this one here from what I can feel they feel the same to me.

They haven't lost their rubbery consistency.

More importantly, like I said before I always noticed on the power cords and vinegar, they would clearly lose their properties of being flexible as far as I can tell and feel it feels the same to me.

I, don't feel it's changed in texture, changed in consistency, so I think it's safe to say that oh shoot that almost got all over me but I think it's safe to say that based off what I've seen so far, this is actually better than vinegar yeah.

So I can tell you guys with certainty.

If you haven't tried this method, it's better than vinegar and yeah.

It worked a lot quicker than vinegar.

I would notice, you'd have to leave it overnight and then it still kind of took some scrubbing this stuff.

You I mean you just saw even Coraline, literally, whose dried off of it so I highly recommend you guys checking it out once you are happy with how clean it is, and everything I highly recommend you rinse it out.

Just regular tap water doesn't need to be ro/di.

Just regular water I want to make sure to remove them as much as a citric acid on all the components.

So you can see here I'm doing my best to remove it.

Give it a few rinses went over everything a few times and once assembled I went over it again.

One thing I did notice is I, probably recommend you guys to wear gloves I noticed on my hands.

They just changed a little bit.

They felt a little bit different for the time.

I was or the time I had my hand inside the citric acid.

Nothing bad did happen, but, like I said, if you do got gloves around I, probably recommend you to wearing them, but other than that, it's pretty straightforward.

We're all clean we're all rinsed off I made sure I used enough tap water to rinse all the citric acid off, and this is my final thoughts on it.

So would I recommend this over vinegar, absolutely I'd recommend it way over vinegar, it's a lot better.

It's a lot quicker and I noticed this stuff just rubs off.

It seemed to be a lot easier.

Where vinegar, you know, I would soak it for the whole night and it would still need you know a little bit of elbow grease, brush or sponge.

This stuff really was just passing my finger over it.

It would all come off the Coraline it had on everything.

Look at it if I wouldn't have told you guys any different.

You probably would've thought this thing is brand-new right, also very important, all the silicon, all the rubber, all the seals, I notice them not degrade whatsoever.

They didn't lose their rubbery properties.

Everything as far as I can see is a better than vinegar, especially when it comes to maintaining the seals of silicone and the rubber I would notice with the vinegar, especially the cord would get stiffer.

You know this part was wasn't even exposed to the citric.

This was I, don't notice any difference same with the silicone same with these rubber seals.

There's a rubber seal in here.

So, if you guys are out there, I would highly recommend you to probably never use vinegar again.

Why am I mean? Why would you there's no reason to use it? This stuff is a lot quicker, a lot better and I think it's a little bit more inexpensive than vinegar, vinegar can get quite pricey, but even if it wasn't just based on the results and based off what vinegar can do to your magnets that alone, I would never use it.

So if you guys are looking for a great product to clean your skimmers clean your returned pumps, clean your weight makers, clean pretty much any part of your aquarium reactors.

Anything of that sort, I highly recommend you guys using citric acid one note I do wanted to give you guys before I leave.

You I probably would recommend you wearing gloves.

I didn't wear any gloves.

It wasn't burning me, but I did notice.

My skin, you know at the moment, I was using it just getting a little bit different.

I really, don't know how to explain it.

So if you do have glove be sure to use them, if you don't have gloves just rinse your hands really well, you'll, be perfectly fine and that's gonna, be it so I'd love to hear in the comments, if you guys use citric acid.

What are your thoughts? What have you found comparing it to vinegar? If any, you guys have any questions, comments or concerns.

Please leave down the comment box below thank each and every one of you very much for watching the xoans happy reefing.


Citric acid better than Vinegar? ›

When used in a cleanser, however, the mild acid helps water clean away grime and grease, much like vinegar does. “Citric acid and vinegar are both acids, but citric acid is also a mild reducing agent, meaning it can do chemistry that acetic acid (vinegar) cannot,” said Beckman.

Which is better citric acid or vinegar? ›

Vinegar is an effective, natural product for cleaning, but it should only be used in moderation. Tests on the biodegradability of acetic acid have established that vinegar has an impact on the environment 53 times greater than that of citric acid.

Can citric acid replace vinegar? ›

Fine citric acid may be substituted for a 5-percent acid solution (the average for store-bought vinegar or for the juice of most lemons) whenever the called-for measurements of the solutions are by the spoonful, in this general proportion: ¼ teaspoon citric-acid powder = a generous 1 tablespoon of 5-percent lemon juice ...

What acid is stronger than vinegar? ›

The difference between the two is that muriatic acid is a strong acid and vinegar is a weak acid. Muriatic acid is strong because it is very good at transferring an H+ ion to a water molecule. In a 6 M solution of hydrochloric acid, 99.996% of the HCl molecules react with water to form H3O+ and Cl- ions.

What should you not use citric acid for? ›

Citric acid has corrosive properties and should not be used on natural stone or marble. The acid can break down the coating and leave a cloudy appearance.

What is citric acid best for? ›

Because of its acidic, sour-tasting nature, citric acid is predominantly used as a flavoring and preserving agent, especially in soft drinks and candies. It's also used to stabilize or preserve medicines and as a disinfectant.

Why is citric acid so good? ›

Benefits of Citric Acid

It can: Preserve food. It is used to keep food fresh for longer periods. In some cases, it may prevent foodborne botulism, an illness that can be caused by home-canned foods that are low in acid.

How much citric acid to equal 1 cup of vinegar? ›

I have citric acid on hand, as I use it in a couple of different toiletry products. It's a powerful acidifier with a neutral flavor. To equal the pH of one cup vinegar, use 2 teaspoons citric acid.

How long does citric acid last? ›

Store citric acid in its original container in a cool, dry place. From the date of manufacturing, it has a shelf life of three years once opened and will stay stable for at least five years unopened.

Is citric acid better than vinegar for limescale? ›

White vinegar is most people's go-to when it comes to beating limescale, but citric acid is a better choice. The Dri-Pak website explains: “Although white vinegar can also be used to remove limescale, citric acid is slightly more effective at tackling scale build-up.

What is a stronger cleaner than vinegar? ›

Isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, is even better than vinegar for most things! While vinegar is a great acid that can clean build up like coffee makers, steam clean the microwave, or loosen up carpet stains, it is not a registered disinfectant.

What acid can replace vinegar? ›

For 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, swap in 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice, lime juice, cider vinegar, or malt vinegar.

What is the pH of citric acid? ›

As with most organic acids, citric acid is a weak acid, with a pH level between 3 and 6.

Is citric acid risky in food? ›

Ingesting a sizeable amount of citric acid may damage tooth enamel over time. After eating or drinking products high in citric acid, a person should rinse their mouth to protect their teeth. People using citric acid in skin care should also be careful, as high concentrations applied to the skin may cause irritation.

What is citric acid that kills bacteria? ›

Triprotic acids, such as citric acid, kill biofilm bacteria at pH ​< ​pKa1. However, at a pH between pKa1 and pKa2, citric acid is effective in killing the bacteria at the core of biofilm microcolonies but does not kill the bacteria on the periphery.

Is citric acid bad for the liver? ›

Is citric acid bad for the liver? No, in fact, some studies have indicated that citric acid might have a protective effect on the liver against endotoxin-induced oxidative stress. In other words, citric acid may prevent liver injury under toxic and inflammatory conditions.

Is citric acid healthy or not? ›

In some cases, is citric acid bad for you or harmful? It is mostly harmless, but when found in packaged foods it's often made from GMO ingredients and may be linked to mold and allergies. It can be irritating to the skin or digestive system and can interact with medications when taken in supplement form.

What does citric acid do to your teeth? ›

Food and drinks high in citric acid causes tooth enamel to dissolve quickly, especially if one does not practice good oral hygiene every day. With proper dental care, a number of studies indicate that anyone can interrupt and even reverse the tooth decay process.

What are 3 facts about citric acid? ›

Citric acid fast facts
CAS Reg. No.77-92-9
Molar mass192.12 g/mol
AppearanceColorless or white crystals or powder
Melting point153 °C
Water solubility1.33 kg/L
2 more rows
Apr 4, 2022

Can I use citric acid daily? ›

Dry to normal skin can limit its use to 2 to 3 times a week. Topical application of citric acid may irritate sensitive skin. Consuming citric acid supplements may not be safe for people with kidney problems or congestive heart conditions.

What are three interesting facts about citric acid? ›

The first discovery of citric acid was by a man named Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1784 from lemon juice! The Chemical Formula for citric acid is C6H8O7. Citric Acid is highly astringent and can actually temporarily shrink pores, reduce oiliness, even out skin tone and regenerate skin cells.

Does apple cider vinegar have citric acid? ›

While acetic acid is used to identify vinegar, past research has found that apple cider vinegar also contains some lactic, citric and malic acids.

Can you mix citric acid with vinegar and baking soda? ›

Vinegar and citric acid are acidic and baking soda is a mild base (alkaline), so they neutralize one another to create a salt and water. All the chemicals are safe to touch (though they will sting if you get them in your eyes). Once this reaction takes place, it can't be undone.

Is apple cider vinegar high in citric acid? ›

Considerable variation has been found between commercially available ACV tablets with acetic acid ranging between 1-10.6% and citric acid between 0-18.5%. Some products may also contain malic and lactic acid.

Does citric acid detox your body? ›

It is widely known for the natural detoxification process of the system, thus, preventing a lot of harmful diseases related to liver and kidney. It enhances the absorption of magnesium in the blood and is also beneficial in achieving flawless skin.

Will citric acid clean a still? ›

For a thorough clean, rinse the column with a citric acid mix (2 Tbsp citric acid to 4 L (1.1 US Gal) of water) then flush with water 2 or 3 times to get rid of the acid.

Which citric acid is used in pickles? ›

The acid which is used in pickle is acetic acid whose common name is vinegar.

Can I use citric acid to clean my toilet? ›

Citric acid. Often hailed as one of the most diverse natural cleaning agents, citric acid is the perfect addition for cleaning your toilet. Its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, de-greasing and whitening power has been used by thousands of people across the globe.

How do you clean a shower with citric acid? ›

Citric acid lowers the pH levels of bacteria, allowing the cleaner to penetrate the cell walls of mold, mildew, and bacteria. All you have to do is spray it on the non-porous surface, give it a few minutes to do its thing, then wipe or rinse with water. Say bye-bye to mold and mildew, not your clean air.

What acid removes limescale most quickly? ›

Hydrochloric acid is much stronger than acetic acid, for example, and therefore tends to remove scale faster. Weak acids such as acetic or citric acids may be preferred, however, where damage to the substrate is to be minimised.

What happens if you mix citric acid and vinegar? ›

As citric acid, is, as the name suggests, an acid then mixing it with vinegar is simply mixing two acids together. Generally, there is no reaction when you mix an acid and an acid. This means that nothing happens when you mix citric acid with vinegar.

What is the strongest cleaner in the world? ›

Clorox Disinfecting Bleach

As the most powerful disinfectant and stain remover, use it to sanitize surfaces and linens. Just know that it is so powerful it can mess things up, so use bleach wisely.

What surfaces Cannot be cleaned with vinegar? ›

10 Things You Should Never Clean with Vinegar
  • Anything That Contains Chlorine Bleach. ...
  • Marble, Granite, and Other Natural Stone Surfaces. ...
  • Grout. ...
  • Stainless Steel. ...
  • Waxed or Unfinished Wood. ...
  • Cast Iron. ...
  • Electronics. ...
  • Rubber Gaskets and Hoses.
Apr 26, 2023

What is a citric acid equivalent to? ›

Citric Acid can be substituted – it will adjust the acidity (lower the pH) of the fruit, which is what you want to do. ¼ teaspoon powdered Citric Acid is equivalent to 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. 1 teaspoon powdered Citric Acid is equivalent to ¼ cup lemon juice (4 Tablespoons).

Can lemon juice replace citric acid? ›

However, either can be used and they can easily be exchanged one for another. One tablespoon of bottled lemon juice is equal to 1/4 teaspoon citric acid.

What is more acidic than citric acid? ›

In pair tests, citric acid was significantly less sour than tartaric, malic, succinic, fumaric or lactic acids. Lactic acid was signficantly more sour than both citric and fumaric acids (Noble etal, 1986).

Does citric acid dissolve plastic? ›

No it can't. Citric acid is a weak organic compounds and plastics are polymers with strong molecular bonds. There is a strong covalent bond between the molecules of the plastics which the citric acid cannot break .

What is the strength of citric acid? ›

Citric acid is a moderately strong organic acid. When measured at 25°C and an ionic strength of 0.1, the pKa values are pK1 = 4.71 and pK2 = 3.24 [7].

What is the toxicity of citric acid? ›

The acute toxicity of citric acid is very low.

What is the safety warning for citric acid? ›

Inhalation Dust may irritate respiratory system or lungs. Ingestion May irritate and cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. Skin contact Skin irritation is not anticipated when used normally. Eye contact Causes serious eye irritation.

Can bacteria grow in citric acid? ›

Citric acid is a weak acid that has been used as an antibacterial food preservative mainly due to its capacity to inhibit bacterial growth through its disruptive effect on cell membranes [1].

Is citric acid an antibiotic? ›

These results show that citric acid has a strong antimicrobial effect and this effect is permanent for S. aureus and C. albicans.

What pH kills most bacteria? ›

Most bacteria stop growing at a pH of 4.6. However, some species have been found to thrive at pH as low as 3.5. Hence, a pH lower than 3 is ideal for killing bacteria.

What does citric acid do to your brain? ›

Citric acid resulted in decreased brain lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide. Meanwhile, glutathione, GPx activity, TAC capacity and brain glucose level increased.

Is citric acid an inflammatory? ›

Due to the potential for fragments of Aspergillus niger to make their way into the finished product of manufactured citric acid, this toxic inflammatory substance is likely being ingested by consumers of products containing citric acid.

What does citric acid do to your kidneys? ›

Citric acid combats excess salt in your urine and prevents small stones from becoming big stones by forming a protective coating around them, which keeps more salts and minerals from crystallizing and sticking.

Does citric acid work the same as vinegar? ›

Citric acid and vinegar are both acids, but citric acid is also a mild reducing agent, meaning it can do chemistry that acetic acid (vinegar) cannot,” said Beckman. “Reducing agents like citric acid can actually 'denature,' or unravel, proteins—including proteins that make viruses function.”

Is citric acid or vinegar better for cleaning dishwashers? ›

And even if you put a cup of vinegar in a bowl inside the dishwasher so it doesn't get washed away, it will be so diluted by the wash cycle that it isn't going to do much. Citric acid is much more effective at breaking down food residue.

Does citric acid remove hard water stains? ›

Citric Acid is a mild organic acid. As a cleaner, it is very effective and appropriate to use for light descaling, removal of hard water stains, mineral deposits, etc. Some areas where a Citric Acid solution may be useful are: bathrooms, toilets, toilet tanks, kitchens, coffee machines, kettles, dehumidifiers, etc.

Is citric acid or vinegar better for limescale? ›

White vinegar is most people's go-to when it comes to beating limescale, but citric acid is a better choice. The Dri-Pak website explains: “Although white vinegar can also be used to remove limescale, citric acid is slightly more effective at tackling scale build-up.

How much citric acid to use instead of vinegar? ›

To substitute, you will need to add three times the amount of vinegar as you need citric acid. So, for instance, if the recipe calls for one tablespoon of citric acid, you will need three tablespoons of vinegar.

Can you clean a shower with citric acid? ›

Citric acid also dissolves stubborn limescale
  1. Citric acid is corrosive. ...
  2. Put the unscrewed shower head in a bowl of water. ...
  3. Dissolve a level teaspoonful of citric acid into some cold water and add the mixture to the bowl.
  4. Move the shower head around in the water so that the acid can get to every part of it.

Is it safe to wash dishes with citric acid? ›

Tip 1: Give Your Dishes and Dishwasher Some Love

Citric acid breaks down hard water, balances the pH levels and makes the soap in the detergent work better. To get the cleanest, spot-free, shiniest dishes and dishwasher, follow these three steps: Use a dishwashing detergent with citric acid (we've got a great one)

Does citric acid clean stainless steel? ›

Citric acid can be used for cleaning & passivating stainless steels, as an alternative to nitric acid. Solution strengths of 5-10% citric acid are used for passivation treatments.

Does citric acid remove limescale in toilet? ›

It's true. To remove limescale from your toilet, simply add some citric acid to your toilet, wait a few hours, and give it a little scrub with a toilet brush for a gleaming finish.

What is the best acid for removing limescale? ›

The citric acid in lemon or acetic acid in vinegar is your best weapon, ensuring a limescale-free bathroom without the need for abrasive chemicals that can damage the finish on your bathroom fittings.

Will citric acid hurt a septic system? ›

A: When done with moderation, it is perfectly safe.

Why is citric acid toxic? ›

In some cases, is citric acid bad for you or harmful? It is mostly harmless, but when found in packaged foods it's often made from GMO ingredients and may be linked to mold and allergies. It can be irritating to the skin or digestive system and can interact with medications when taken in supplement form.

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