$2.75 – $9.00
Used in place of vinegar, as a MORDANT on protein fibres when working with acid dyes or food colouring. Many production dyers switch to citric acid because buying jugs and jugs of vinegar gets too expensive, and vinegar makes your house smell like a pickle factory. Citric acid is odour free!
TO USE: dry crystals may be easily weighed at 5 to 8% WOF (weight of fibre). Follow dye instructions for the recommended acid amounts. Just as with vinegar, the point at which you add the acid to the dyepot can make a substantial difference in the end results. Same goes for hand painting and other methods.
TO MIX A VINEGAR SUBSTITUTE: add 200g (approximately 1 cup) of citric acid crystals to 4L of hot tap water in an empty vinegar jug. Cap and shake well until dissolved. This makes a 5% solution that can be measured and used exactly the same as for vinegar in your dye recipes.
Dye solutions containing citric acid may be safely disposed of down the drain (other than septic systems). Some dyers use baking soda to first neutralize the spent dyebath.
CAUTION: wear a mask when handling powders. Wear gloves when handling citric acid powder, as it can cause skin burns. Avoid breathing fumes (just as with vinegar): dye in a well ventilated area.