How to Neutralize Citric Acid


Citric acid is a mild organic acidic compound and preservative occurring naturally in high content in most fruits and vegetables. Citric acid is used in a wide variety of applications such as cleaning agents, cosmetics, food additives and beverages. The most common use for citric acid is in preservatives for foods and household cleaning agents. The mild acid has the ability to remove hard water stains from glass and in concentrated amounts can dissolve rust away from steel.

Liquid Solution Neutralization

Step 1

Heat a solution containing citric acid to 50 to 75 degrees C. Use a burner and beaker for this step.

Step 2

Let the solution cool to 35 to 40 degrees C. Use a thermometer to read the temperature in the solution.

Step 3

Pour in the base solution of sodium bi-carbonate and stir until it is dissolved. The citric acid will be neutralized at this point.

Garden Neutralization

Step 1

Pour powdered calcium, potassium, or use ordinary baking soda (sodium bi-carbonate) onto soil with a high citric acid content. Sprinkle it evenly along the top of the soil.

Step 2

Till the soil and mix in the base compound thoroughly. Use a garden tiller or rake to mix it in.

Step 3

Water the soil then allow it to dry for 24 hours. Check the pH level of the soil with a pH test kit to ensure that the pH level has dropped and the citric acid is neutralized.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use extreme caution while working with acidic compounds All acids will evolute gasses when heated and neutralized, wear proper protective clothing and respirator when performing this task.

Things You'll Need

  • Bunsen burner
  • Beaker
  • Citric acid
  • Base; sodium bi-carbonate (baking soda), powdered potassium or calcium
  • pH test kit
  • Rake


  • Citric acid handling
  • Citric Acid tutorial
  • Citric acid applications

Who Can Help

  • Neutralization table
Keywords: how to neutralize citric acid, citric acid neutralization, instructions on neutralizing citric acid

About this Author

Jeremiah Blanchard has been writing professionally for the past five years, specializing in nature, environment, conservation and travel. His work has appeared in activist columns on and Blanchard has studied photography at William Carey College and has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Southern Mississippi.