Follow our guide on how to clean limescale around your house.
There is nothing worse than limescale to ruin the look of your newly cleaned bathroom because, let’s face it, it’s unsightly on your taps and the passage of time will only make that worse. But it isn’t only taps that it affects, it can appear on your kettle elements, shower screens and even harder to reach places, like the inside of pipes and your washing machine.
It’s not just an aesthetics thing…
It doesn’t look great, but it can also damage your appliances and even make them less energy efficient, something we are all concerned about at the moment. So here’s our guide to how to keep your taps clean and clear of limescale.
What is limescale?
It is mostly calcium carbonate and magnesium, which builds up as a hard, chalky deposit on your taps and elsewhere. Calcium carbonate is created when calcium ions in hard water react with carbonate ions.
It’s worth noting that if you have limescale building up on taps, it could be because your tap is dripping and you could need to replace the cartridge, washer or the whole tap.
Is Limescale harmful?
Although not a health issue, if you leave it to build up, it can actually, in extreme cases, block pipes, radiators, and even boilers. An average family home can create approximately 70 kg of limescale in a year!
So if not kept in check, it will start to restrict the flow of water from your taps and showers, and reduce the efficiency of your hot and cold water system and this, in turn, could impact your utility bills.
Cupboard staples that will remove limescale…
Real lemon juice (not from a bottle!)
Old and clean cloths
Make sure you wear rubber gloves because even though these are natural products they may dry your skin.
How to remove limescale from taps…
White vinegar, baking soda and lemon can be combined for this job.
1. Limescale on the tap spout.
Put some lemon juice or white vinegar and baking soda in a sandwich bag and, using an elastic band, secure the bag around the spout, ensuring it is sitting in the liquid. And just leave it overnight!
2. Limescale on the upper parts of your tap.
Just soak some cotton wool or a cloth in white vinegar or lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda, wrap it around the area that has limescale, secure in place and leave for a few hours, or overnight if possible.
As a result of leaving it overnight in the mildly acidic lemon juice or white vinegar and baking soda mix, it should be easy to wipe off any limescale residue.
How to remove limescale from your pipes or drains…
Although you can’t see inside the pipes, you can still work a little preventative magic by periodically doing this.
For this you will need 8 litres of white vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda per plughole – kitchen, bath, or basin drain. Remove any pop up waste plugs. Pour the baking soda into each plug hole and then slowly pour the vinegar in. Leave it for 3-4 hours, then pour boiling water down the plug hole to remove any debris.
How to remove limescale from the toilet
Limescale in your toilet can be unsightly, as your guests will see it when they use the small room!
For smaller areas mix white vinegar with water (50/50) in a spray bottle, and liberally spray the area, then brush away.
If you have a larger or thicker area of limescale, use an entire bottle of white vinegar and pour it around the bowl, leaving it to work overnight if possible. In the morning, give it a scrub. This can be used on the rim as well. Never use anything abrasive, like sandpaper! You will damage your bowl.
If it still won’t disappear then you can use any brand of cola (yes, really!) Why? Because it contains phosphoric acid and this is great for breaking down limescale…imagine what it’s doing to your teeth!
Simply just pour 2 litres of cola into the toilet and leave for at least 4 hours, or overnight if possible. In the morning just clean and flush your toilet.
How to remove limescale from a shower head
When your showerhead becomes less efficient it’s sure to be limescale getting into the water jets. So to clear this lemon juice works best, as it’s less acidic, especially on chrome shower heads.
Remove the shower head and put it into a washing-up bowl. Fill the bowl with enough warm water to cover. The quantities for this need to be 1 part water to 1 part lemon juice, it must be fresh cut lemons! Let it soak for 20-30 minutes. Rinse the shower head under the tap, using a small brush to get rid of the last bits of limescale. Voila! But don’t worry if your shower head is fixed in the wall, use the same method as the tap, with a sandwich bag secured with an elastic band.
Our final tips…
If you wipe down chrome areas in the bathroom and kitchen after each use, it makes it more difficult for limescale to gather. So keep everything dry!
The baking soda, lemon juice and white vinegar solution can be used on your shower screens and tiles too as it will remove limescale build up there as well. And it can even be used on your draining board!
Every month do a service wash on your appliances (washing machine and dishwasher). You don’t really even need to put a cleaning product in the appliance, just run it empty on the hottest cycle it has!