Limescale is a calcium compound found on those surfaces and appliances around the home that come into regular contact with water. Though a household nuisance, limescale isn’t as impossible to remove as is commonly thought. Even the hardest water deposits can be vanquished with the right cleaning agent and a bit of elbow grease! Read on for advice on how to get rid of limescale in your home.
What’s the Best Limescale Remover to Use?
Various store cupboard ingredients can prove effective in tackling limescale. A solution of equal parts white vinegar and water can be handy in de-scaling appliances like the kettle or coffeemaker. Lemon juice can be used in the same quantities, too. There are also plenty of specially formulated cleaning products on the market that are particularly effective in tackling limescale problem areas like the toilet bowl and underneath your taps.
How Do I Remove Limescale from Household Appliances?
For kettles and coffee-makers:
- Mix up a water-vinegar solution or buy a de-scaling agent and fill the water tank to capacity.
- Switch the appliance on and let the mixture boil, then leave it to soak overnight.
- In the morning, empty the mixture out and rinse thoroughly.
- You may need to run coffee machines a couple of times with clean water to get rid of any residual solution.
For washing machines and dishwashers:
- Fill a cup with your chosen removal agent and pour into the dispensing drawer where you would normally place the detergent; for dishwashers, place this in the base of the machine.
- Run a standard cycle – empty, of course – and the job is done.
How Do I Remove Limescale from Taps?
Ridding your bathroom or kitchen taps of limescale can be especially difficult, because the minerals like to lurk in all sorts of awkward places. However, there are a few simple tricks you can employ:
- Using the best limescale remover you can find, soak some cotton wool or an old cloth in the liquid and wrap around the tap, trying to get all of the metal in contact with the removing agent.
- For the spout itself, try filling a small cup with the cleaning solution, submerge the spout in the cup, and wrap a towel around the whole combination, so that it stays in place.
- Leave to the tap to soak in the limescale remover for up to an hour and most of it should dissolve.
- Tackle stubborn areas afterwards with a gentle scourer.
How Do I Remove Limescale from Baths?
Limescale builds up in two main places in baths: just behind the tap – particularly if it is prone to dripping – and in the corners of the bath where water can pool. Here’s some helpful advice:
- Neat vinegar can be effective in removing limescale in the bathroom, but you should exercise caution on old enamel baths and sinks, as the surface can be damaged by the acid.
- Only apply vinegar to the affected area, scrub, and wash with a spray cleaner afterwards. Alternatively, play it safe and buy a limescale product designed for your type of bathroom fixtures.
How Do I Remove Limescale from the Toilet?
Removing scaly deposits in the toilet bowl and underneath the rim can be tough and may require different tactics:
- Use a stronger limescale remover – either a gel cleaner or bleach manufactured specifically for the toilet – and apply it as close as you can to the water deposits, squirting upwards under the rim and into the bowl as well.
- Leave it to soak for at least half an hour before flushing.
- You can also try rubbing a pumice stone on heavier build-ups.
- If you’re still finding you have limescale stains, purchase a heavy-duty powder cleaner containing compounds like trisodium phosphate or borax. These can either be measured into the bowl or applied directly to the problem areas.
- Remember to use these stronger substances with care, wearing appropriate eye protection and gloves at all times.
Soaking will make limescale removal easy: the longer you can leave a removal agent to work its magic, the easier it will be on your arm muscles! Making limescale removal part of your regular cleaning routine will also save you a lot of hard graft in the long-run, so it’s worth tackling as often as you can.