How to remove limescale
The best ways to remove limescale
The question of how to get rid of limescale around the home once it builds up can be a real challenge. If left unchecked, limescale can affect the performance of your heating system, as well as significantly shortening the lifespan of many expensive household products such as kettles, washing machines and boilers. Plus the longer you leave the limescale to build up, the more scum that will build up and you risk it staining your surfaces.
Despite all that, there are a number of different, simple-to-follow ways to get rid of limescale, and it’s actually easier than you might think!
Household limescale cleaner
The first point of call has to be one of the many household limescale cleaners which you can buy from any good supermarket or hardware store.
- - Fast-acting
- - Simple to use
- - Often the most effective treatment for thick limescale
- - Can be expensive
- - Harsh chemicals can damage surfaces
- - Bad for the environment
Commercial household limescale cleaners are listed first for a very good reason – they’re almost always the fastest and most effective way to remove limescale – just head to the cleaning aisle next time you’re doing your shopping. Simply follow the instructions on the bottle of whichever brand you’ve chosen, making sure it’s suitable to use on the affected area, and away you go.
When using commercial cleaners containing strong acids, you should wear gloves and eye protection at all times. Be sure to keep the area extremely well aired by opening windows and turning on a ventilator fan, if you have one. If you can, you should take the items you want to clean outside before starting.
The downside of household limescale cleaners, however, is that they can be expensive, not 100% effective and also not great for the environment. And while it is possible to scrub most limescale off surfaces in kitchens or bathrooms with these standard cleaning products, if applied incorrectly these can cause lasting damage.
Be particularly careful if you are treating acid-sensitive surfaces (e.g. plated taps, natural stone, household appliances) as the cleaner could cause corrosion - for these surfaces, it may be better to use a natural limescale cleaner with fewer chemicals.
Natural limescale remover
By far the best natural way to remove limescale is to use a mild acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. If you are looking to remove limescale from glass surfaces like shower doors, it is recommended to use a natural cleaner like white vinegar.
- - No synthetic harmful chemicals
- - Cheaper than commercial products
- - Safer for homes with small children
- - Can take longer to work
- - May struggle to deal with heavier deposits of thick limescale
Natural limescale removers work by breaking down the limescale without using bleach or harmful chemicals. All you need to do is soak the affected area in the acid for at least an hour – that part is really important – after which point the limescale should easily wipe away.
For really tough stains you may need to repeat the process one more time before it’s 100% clean.
How to make limescale remover
To create your own homemade limescale remover, we recommend the following mixtures. These ingredients are all-natural, and you probably have them all in your kitchen cupboards already!
Method 1 (suitable for larger surfaces like showers, bathtubs, and sinks)
- - One part water
- - Two parts bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
Method 2 (suitable for smaller areas like taps, kettles, and irons)
- - Two parts white vinegar
- - One part lemon juice (optional - lemon juice will offset the vinegar smell)
If you find that a weaker acid like vinegar is struggling to remove any particularly thick limescale deposits, you should see if a commercial limescale cleaner does the trick rather than trying to use a stronger acid yourself. This is because trying to create a DIY cleaner with stronger acids can cause chemical reactions that release toxic fumes, putting you and your family at risk of harm. Never handle strong acids in their undiluted form as this can lead to painful burns on your skin.
Could your limescale problem be solved with soft water?
The cause of limescale is in your water. It’s the minerals in hard water that get left behind once the water has dried, building up to form limescale over time. Another question then, is how to remove limescale from your water supply?
Tap water hardness is different across the UK; that’s why some households suffer more from the problem of limescale than others. If limescale is causing you problems, the solution could be simpler and more long-lasting than any manual cleaning method out there. The answer could be softened water.
Arrange a demonstration with one of our expert team today and find out more about the link between limescale and hard water. They’ll give you a personalised quotation and demonstrate to you the difference that soft water can make to your home. Make limescale a thing of the past once and for all.