Limescale is an unfortunate thing that happens in bathrooms, and it just looks unsightly and unhealthy, so how do you clean it? The main reason people choose to remove limescale is that it can look terrible, especially if left and neglected for a long time, resulting in heavily stained appliances.
So like we just said, how do you clean it?
The fancy answer is that limescale is a build-up of a hard deposit with a chalk-like appearance which mainly consists of calcium carbonate. It is usually left behind by hard water when it evaporates.nt.
In the majority of cases you’ll find limescale inside kettles, taps, shower heads and plugs.
(The harder the water in your area, the more likely you are to find limescale unfortunately…)
How to clean limescale -
There are various ways you can remove limescale, these generally involve specifically made cleaning products or homemade solutions. So if you don’t want to smell chemicals, or want to be more environmentally friendly, you can still remove limescale easily. As you are often cleaning yourself in the bathroom you may want to keep away from the chemicals too and favour the natural home remedies like lemon and vinegar.
What will I need to remove the limescale?
As always when you’re cleaning you’re bathroom, even with home remedies it’s best to wear gloves but you will also need the following:
Lemon juice, either fresh for a lemon or a bottle
Bathroom Cleaner - i.e. The Pink Stuff, Viakal
Freezer bags (or something similar)
How to get rid of limescale from pipes
To get rid of limescale build-up in your pipes, you can use ready-made cleaning products available from most shops. However, if you’re not wanting to use anything chemical based, you can use a vinegar and baking soda solution. This is chemical-free, which is definitely more safe= if you have pets or children around.
For this, you will need to mix eight litres of white vinegar with one cup of baking soda per drain - you can also use this on your sink and bath. Empty the pipes before using the solution, making sure they’re as clear as possible. Using something such as a shower drain to get all the hair and particles would be ideal.
The first steps is to put the baking soda into each drain - if you can remove the plug from your sink, this will make it much easier, and have a better result. Once the plug is removed, slowly pour in the vinegar and leave it for 3-4 hours. Just to be extra cautious, and to remove any grease, soap or leftovers, pour boiling water quickly down the drain afterwards, to flush out anything that may be trying to linger.
How to remove limescale from taps
When it comes to cleaning taps to remove limescale, vinegar or lemon work best outside of a chemical cleaner.
Removing limescale from taps comes in two parts - the levers and body as well as the water outlet. These are the areas most likely to see limescale form. For each one, they need to be in constant contact with a cleaner.
To remove limescale from the water outlet or spout, fill a cap with lemon juice or vinegar and position it over the spout. Ensure the outlet is submerged in it completely and fix the cap in place with either tape or an elastic band - then leave it overnight.
For the upper parts of your tap, soak a cloth in either white vinegar or lemon juice and wrap it around the taps. If you want to be sure, secure it in place with an elastic band. Leave it for a couple of hours or overnight, depending on the amount of limescale. If you’re wanting to focus on the spout of your tap, there’s a little hack you can do using a freezer bag and white wine vinegar. Pace the bag of vinegar until the head of the tap is fully submerged and tie with an elastic band. Let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight again and this should help break down any limescale.
Please be aware though what type of taps you have, if they are plated taps such as chrome or gold don’t use vinegar as this can damage the finish, instead switch to lemon juice.
Another hand trick if you can’t use vinegar is to cut a lemon in half and wedge one half onto the spout and stick it in place on it’s own. Once you’re done cleaning rub the taps down with a clean microfibre cloth for extra shine.
How to remove limescale from a shower
You will know that your shower handset is clogged with limescale as the water squirts out in every direction but down. (You’re lucky if you’ve not experienced this!) You can clean your shower with homemade solutions of vinegar or lemon juice. To clean your shower with either vinegar or lemon juice, you will need to remove the shower head from the shower installation and place it in a bowl, then fill it with warm water - enough to submerge the shower head. Make a solution of water with vinegar or lemon juice in the container - preferably from freshly squeezed lemons rather than store-bought juice. Place the shower head in the container and leave it to soak for 20-30 minutes. Remove the shower head and rinse it in water, brushing off any leftover limescale. Your shower head should now be completely clean. As with taps, lemon juice will work best with a chrome shower handset.
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