Home Cheats: 9 Cleaning Hacks to Remove Limescale

Get Rid of Limescale With These 9 Handy Tips

Every country has areas with either hard water or soft water. The difference between the two is that soft water mainly contains sodium, whereas hard water contains a considerable amount of dissolved minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. Many people prefer to drink hard water because it contains essential minerals and because soft water has a salty taste. If you live in an area with hard water, you probably know how difficult it can be to remove limescale: the white, crusty layer you see around taps, bathtubs, in toilets, on appliances, etc.

This layer is due to the deposits of alkaline minerals left by hard water. Over time, limescale builds up and leaves unsightly stains. If this isn’t removed as quickly as possible, limescale deposits can cause the chrome to peel off from taps and cause small appliances, such as coffee makers and kettles to become less efficient. So, here are 9 cleaning tips to help you remove limescale in your home.

cleaning the inside of a toilet bowl
Say Goodbye to Limescale in Your Toilet

Remove Limescale from Your Toilet
Pour a generous amount of vinegar into the toilet bowl and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. If there is severe limescale build-up, you can leave it overnight. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar so you can spray it under the rim of the toilet bowl as well. Use a toilet brush to brush away the limescale once it has softened. Flush a few times to make sure everything is clean. For ceramic toilets, try removing heavy deposits of limescale by gently scrubbing the area with an old toothbrush. You can also use a pumice stone to gently scrub away very hard or hardened limescale.

Remove Limescale from Your Bath
If there is limescale on the side of your bathtub, soak some kitchen paper in lemon juice and stick it to the side of your tub. Let it absorb for a while, once the limescale is dissolved you should use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe it clean. Rinse with clean water, and repeat if necessary. Tip: if you don’t have lemon juice, vinegar works just as well.

dirty coffee machine
Stop Postponing, Start Descaling Your Coffee Machine

Remove Limescale from Coffee Makers and Tea Kettle
First of all, it is important to know that it is not bad for your health to ingest limescale. The calcium and magnesium in drinking water are both healthy minerals; we actually need them. The main reason why a kettle has a filter is to keep limescale bits from ending up in your tea or coffee.

Fill the kettle with a solution consisting of equal parts water and vinegar, and leave it overnight. The limescale will be easy to remove in the morning. Make sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any vinegar-like odours. For the coffee maker, pour the vinegar solution into the water compartment and have the machine carry out its normal process (without coffee), then repeat this twice more with just water.

You can also clean your coffee maker by filling the water tank with hot water and two denture cleanser tablets or antacids. Leave them to fizz, run a full cycle, rinse, and run another full cycle using only water. Descale regularly so your appliances remain free of limescale.

limescale, tips, tricks, household, cleaning, kitchen
Finally a Solution to a Dirty-looking Showerhead

Remove Limescale from Shower Head
Fill a glass bowl with white vinegar. Remove the showerhead, place it in the bowl, and leave it to soak overnight. Rinse with clean water. If the showerhead is not removable, fill a plastic bag halfway with vinegar, submerge the showerhead and tie it off with a rubber band to keep the bag in place. Use a needle to remove any remaining limescale from the spray holes.  The showerhead isn’t the only thing in the bathroom that is prone to limescale.

Remove Limescale from (Bathroom) Tiles
Limescale on flat surfaces, such as bathroom and or kitchen tiles, are usually easier to clean. This is what you need to do: mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle, spritz it on the tiles, allow it to sit for a few minutes before removing. Don’t forget to rinse the tiles afterward with lukewarm water. After this, the tiles should sparkle like never before.

Remove Limescale from Faucets
There are several ways to remove limescale from your taps. You can buy expensive and/or professional cleaning products, but there are much better, cheaper, and more efficient ways to remove limescale. If there is limescale on your tap, soak some kitchen paper in vinegar and wrap it around the limescale. Secure it with a rubber band and leave the vinegar to soak for at least an hour (let it soak overnight for best results). Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe it clean. An hour is quite long, so if you don’t have the time, fill a spray bottle with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar and apply this onto your taps on a regular basis. Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly with water afterward.

Another option is to create your own cleaning solution. Make a paste with one part water and three parts of sodium bicarbonate, a.k.a baking soda. Cover the limescale with the paste and let it soak for an hour. Use a soft cloth to rub it clean. Do not use this on coated taps, especially not on gilded taps. The acetic acid can damage the finish.

limescale, tips, tricks, household, cleaning, kitchen
Say Goodbye to Dirty-looking Faucets

Remove Limescale in the Shower with a Lemon
Who would have thought that lemon would be one of the best ways to remove limescale? I sure didn’t! You’ve already read that lemon juice (in combination with white vinegar) is a great solution, but if you don’t have both available, using just a lemon will work just as well. You can use it to clean all sorts of things, one of these being the shower. This is one of the places where limescale thrives: as the water dries after a shower, limescale deposits appear on the showerhead, sink, bathroom (floor) tiles, etc.

Just cut a lemon in half, rub the lime stains with it, leave it to sit for a few minutes, and rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Then wipe it dry with a clean cloth/towel. The stains will vanish into thin air! Are you dealing with persistent limescale? Then repeat this process several times. It’s best to avoid limescale in the shower. The main question is, however, how do you go about it? The answer is actually quite simple: just make sure to dry your taps and the shower walls when you’re done.

man cleaning shower with spray bottle
When You’re Done With the Tiles, Start With Descaling the Shower

limescale, tips, tricks, household, cleaning, kitchen
All You Need is Water and a Lemon: How Great Is That

Remove Limescale in your Tea Kettle With a Lemon
If you use your kettle regularly, this problem will sound familiar: your kettle has floating bits of limescale at the bottom after some use. If you want to boil water for a cup of tea, it can be quite annoying trying to prevent these white limescale bits from ending up in your drink.

You just need a few slices of lemon and a kettle with limescale: cut two lemons into slices or wedges and drop them into the kettle. Fill the kettle about halfway with water and turn it on. Pour the water out once it has boiled, but leave the lemon parts in. Fill the kettle halfway with fresh water again and turn it on. After boiling the lemon parts twice, your kettle should look clean again. Is it still not quite clean? Then repeat these steps once or twice more.

Remove Limescale from Washing Machines and Dishwashers
Use a large cup of vinegar or lemon juice instead of your normal detergent, and run the machine empty on a normal wash cycle. For a dishwashing machine, pour the liquid into the base of the machine. Not only will it remove the limescale; it will also freshen up your appliance! Another option for your washing machine is to add vinegar or lemon juice instead of your usual detergent and run a hot cycle (90 degrees Celsius). This will descale the machine and kill any remaining bacteria from previous cycles.