This cleaning hack easily erases soap scum and leaves a fresh citrus scent.

By Jessica Bennett
August 19, 2020
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You're probably familiar with the cleaning superpowers of lemon, which is often used around the house as a natural antibacterial cleaner, degreaser, stain remover, and odor eliminator. But lemon isn't the only type of citrus with stellar cleaning capabilities. Grapefruit contains many of the same properties that make it effective on grimy household surfaces, including your shower and bathtub.

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A cleaning hack recently shared by TikTok user @aligrams3 demonstrates how to use a grapefruit and sugar to remove soap scum and odors in the bathroom. The technique involves sprinkling sugar on the cut side of a grapefruit half, then using the fruit to scrub the tub before rinsing it with water. According to the video, the fruit's acid helps remove soap scum and leaves a citrusy scent behind.

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And because a grapefruit is typically much bigger than a lemon, it allows you to clean a larger area faster. Becky Rapinchuk, the cleaning expert behind the blog Clean Mama, notes that grapefruit and lemon both work well as natural cleaners because of their low sugar content. A sweeter fruit with less citric acid, such as an orange, likely wouldn't achieve the same effect.

However, Rapinchuk favors using a different abrasive agent for scrubbing. "I prefer salt or baking soda with citrus fruit because it won't leave a sticky residue that sugar can leave," she says. If you do use sugar, be sure to rinse the area thoroughly after scrubbing.

It's also important to note that this cleaning hack isn't suitable for all surfaces. Citrus fruits including grapefruit should never be used to clean natural stone, such as travertine, granite, or marble, as the acid could damage the surface. This technique works best on hard, non-porous surfaces such as ceramic or porcelain tile, metal fixtures, and glass.

Although lemon might be the most popular natural cleaning ingredient, grapefruit deserves a spot in your collection, too. Use it to quickly cut through grime and give your home a fresh, fruity scent.

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