A Kiama mum has turned a family recipe from across the globe into a thriving business which is helping the local community breathe easy while cleaning the house, while also promoting sustainability and positive impacts on the environment.
Carmen Granados was feeling the impacts firsthand of being constantly exposed to chemicals in everyday cleaning products and was determined to find an alternative that would be easy on the environment and her health while still getting the job done.
“I was a teacher in Mexico and then I came here and I started to work cleaning houses,” Carmen said. “And I started to see that my hands started to peel with a lot of the cleaners, so I decided to do my own.”
She created Citrico, which was inspired by her grandmother’s recipe which was used while she was growing up.
“She was very herbal and we couldn’t afford a lot of things so everything had to be natural, and it works,” Carmen said.
“So pretty much I have to peel a lot of lemons, limes, orange, mandarins and then I put vinegar and fuse them at least for 17 days and then I just add water and some essential oils.”
And word started to spread around the tight-knit Kiama community, with the product being picked up by specialty grocery stores and also sold through local cafes, a childcare centre and through word of mouth.
“When I started it I was cleaning the houses with it and my clients asked what I was using so I started to promote it there too,” Carmen said.
“My aim was to share how powerful nature is and just to clean with no toxins.”
After listening to what the community wanted, she changed her spray bottles to glass and created refill containers so customers aren’t creating excess waste and only need one cleaner rather than countless bottles in their cabinets.
“I clean my floors, glass, toilets, stainless steel, everything with it,” Carmen said.
“A lot of friends that have kids say they love it because they can tell them to clean without worrying about the chemicals.”
Her product has become so popular that she was even nominated by local community members for the Product of the Year awards.
“Whether I win or don’t win, it’s really awesome that people like the product,” Carmen said.
She’s now set to expand Citrico’s footprint with a move to the Sunshine State, but said she would make sure loyal Illawarra locals who loved the product would continue to have access, as she would make regular trips back to restock.
Carmen hopes that one day the product will have an even further reach.
“I’d love to be all around Australia for sure and hopefully we can have a company and can even start sending to Mexico and everywhere in the world and pretty much teach people how nature can create these really good things.”
To stay up to date with Citrico and find out where you can buy the products, visit the Citrico Instagram page.