Do Citric Acid Water Softeners Work? ( Expert Explains)

Many people are in search of eco-friendly water softeners. Citric acid water softeners are one of the good options for them. Using it, they can easily eliminate hard water issues in an eco-friendly way. The natural power of citric acid is more effective at preventing hard water scaling and accumulation than the other salt ingredients.

Do Citric Acid Water Softeners Work? Complete Guide
Do Citric Acid Water Softeners Work?

A salt-based water softener needs regular maintenance, which is not possible for all, and the cleaning process takes a long time and wastes a lot of water, and its setting is also complicated. On the other hand, a citric acid water softener, a salt-free substance, removes excessive minerals from hard water very effectively in a hassle-free way. 

What Is a Citric Acid Water Softener?

A Citric Acid Water Softener is a substance that binds the excessive metal ions of hard water; it mainly tackles excessive magnesium and calcium. Hard Water issues (low water pressure, stains on toilet walls, and health issues) are very common in houses in the US, and a citric acid water softener is the most effective and hassle-free way to deal with it.

What Is a Citric Acid Water Softener
What Is a Citric Acid Water Softener?

But it becomes less effective if you overuse it with any alkaline cleaning detergent. The limited implementation of this substance allows you to maintain easy-to-clean surfaces, cleaner pipes, longer-lasting home appliances, and healthier skin.

Do Citric Acid Water Softeners Work?

The working principles of citric acid water softeners and salt-based water softeners are completely different. The traditional salt-based softeners use a chelation process, whereas citric acid binds to the minerals by using its natural chemical properties and resists them in further bond making. 

As a result, they won’t accumulate on surfaces or inside your pipes, and the water acts like soft water. And various home appliances, toilet floors, and your skin get relief from excessive mineral deposits and unwanted scale buildups.

Practically citric acid water softeners don’t transform the nature of water but solve the problems it creates. But by making bindings, citric acid keeps the excessive calcium and magnesium away from sticking.

Work Mechanism of Citric Acid Water Softeners

The working principle of a citric acid water softener is very simple. It infuses citric acid into your main water supply, and this acid, by its natural properties, binds to the mineral ions. And resist them from creating any harmful bonding and flushing them away.

Work Mechanism of Citric Acid Water Softeners
Work Mechanism of Citric Acid Water Softeners

The traditional water softeners use salt. A wastewater drain and an electrical supply are necessary there, and it usually delivers a salty outcome. It needs a lot of effort and drains a lot of water.

In contrast, citric acid water softeners require little maintenance and are easy to use. After a quick installation, it automatically and limitedly adds citric acid to your water supply.

Its cartridge is easily removable, and you can easily replace depleted citric acid cartridges with new ones. The lifespan of a cartridge on some systems is six months. You don’t need to add salt to it regularly, nor does it require too much effort to be maintained well.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Citric Acid Water Softeners

There is no doubt that citric acid water softeners are the most reliable and hassle-free way to treat hard water problems. You will get 100% satisfaction from it, but like other softeners, it also has some pros and cons. 


It is an eco-friendly way to tackle hard water. It treats the hard water in such a way that the water can’t do any harm to your skin. This type of softener doesn’t require any electric supply. These have easy maintenance and replaceable cartridges. There is no need to add salt daily, and as a result of no salty outcome, you will get.

Using this softener makes no hard water scale deposits on pipes and dishes; it keeps everything clean. It produces zero water waste. 

The home appliances will last longer. Your laundry section will be cleaner. There will be no sticky soap buildups. Less detergent will be consumed. The fabric of the clothes will shine brighter. The tubs and showers will become easier to clean. Your skin and hair will not become dry frequently.


The main disadvantage of a citric acid water softener is that it is too costly. To install it for the 1st time, you need to hire an expert.

By any chance, if the infusion limit is exceeded, it will not work properly. While using it with a detergent or other cleaner, be cautious because excessive use of detergent can reduce its efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are citrus water softeners good?

Citrus water softeners are the most eco-friendly way to treat hard water. These are very efficient and don’t produce salty water. These are easy to use and need less maintenance than salt-based softeners.

Will Citric Acid Remove Hard Water? 

Citric acid doesn’t completely remove or transform hard water. It binds with the excess calcium and magnesium in the hard water and prevents them from bonding further with any surface. Doing so relieves you from the stains that are caused by hard water.

How much citric acid do I need to clean my water softener?

You can easily clean your softener with citric acid. In a half gallon of water, dissolve one cup of citric acid, then apply it to your water softener. Regenerate and flush the water at least two times; until the color and taste of the water become normal. Ensure peak performance of your water softener by repeating this method once a year.


Hard water is a very common problem in 85% of households in the United States. It is very necessary to use healthy water in your house. Salt-based softeners are good but need too much effort and time to maintain well. On the other hand, these citric acid softeners are easy to use and effective.

They don’t even need your attention regularly. In this article, we have discussed all the aspects that frequently stick in the mind of a citric acid-softer user.