Citric Acid is a natural compound derived originally from lemons, but is found in all citric fruits. It forms a weak acid that is used predominantly as flavoring or as a natural preservative in the food industry like with carbonated drinks, but it also plays an important role in a lot of bath and beauty products. For instance, it is a key ingredient in bath bombs. When manufacturers combine sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with citric acid in certain proportions it is what gives the bath bomb that volcanic fizz when dropped in the water of a bathtub. It also serves to soften the water and nourish the skin.
Unfortunately, the ripple effect of the Covid pandemic has now reached the US supply of citric acid. Prices are starting to get crazy and supplies are starting to become scarce. There is speculation as to what is causing the shortage from warehouses not being able to keep up with demand due to stores opening up before warehouse workers are running full shifts to a more likely reason of a major US company creating a new laundry detergent using citric acid and negotiating with several of the top manufacturers to provide all of their citric acid supply through the rest of the year. (Someone has not learned to share their toys with others).
Whatever the reason is, it is creating price spikes in every industry including ours, and the result is a temporary (hopefully) rise the some of our product prices like bath bombs, bubble bombs, bath truffles, dish detergent, and laundry detergent.
Just to give you an idea of what we are talking about here, a 50 pound bag of citric acid went up 25% from May to July with shortages and restocking issues beginning somewhere in June. We were able to get our hands on 400 lbs. of citric acid with the hopes that it will last us until the shortage is over and the prices come back down. We couldn't do more because that is a lot of money to sit on, and there is the issue with having enough storage room for over 400 lbs.
We were lucky. It is estimated that by mid-August the price of citric acid will double from the May prices. DOUBLE. So in short, if you have to have your fizzy bath products, you better stock up now. Prices are going to get real.