Limescale is present where hard water is common, which is unfortunately in Surrey and Hampshire. There are a few types of limescale depending where and how it’s formed but in basic terms limescale is formed from minerals evaporated from water.
You could try scrubbing off the limescale deposits but using abrasives might damage the material underneath. There are many different limescale removers you can buy and they will do the trick but if you are looking at using common household substances you should try lemon juice or vinegar.
Lemon juice is considered the best and it comes with the added bonus of leaving a lovely lemon smell behind. For really stubborn limescale you could use vinegar used for pickling and lime juice; these are more acidic than lemon juice.
The problem with using household substances to remove limescale is how to make it stay in contact with the surface to do the job. Limescale is not easily removed so you can just wipe it off with a cloth soaked in lemon juice; you need to leave the acid working for an hour or even more to fully remove limescale. To keep limescale away clean your bathroom, kitchen and appliances regularly or get a house cleaner to do it for you.
How to remove limescale from washing machines and dishwashers
You can use vinegar and lemon juice to not only remove limescale but also freshen up the inside of your washing machine and dishawasher giving it a nice smell. Using a large cup filled with vinegar or lemon juice pour it into the dispenser as you would if you were doing a normal washing cycle. Run a normal washing cycle (40 degrees is fine) or if you washing machine has a cycle for ‘self clean’ or similar use it. Do not wash your clothes in the same cycle.
For a dishwasher, pour the large cup of either liquid into the base of the dishwasher rather than the dispenser.
How to remove limescale from a kettle and coffee machine
Fill up quarter of the kettle with vinegar or lemon juice and leave to work for an hour, longer if your kettle has a lot of built up of limescale. Then top up the kettle with water, leaving in the vinegar or lemon juice, and boil it. Pour away after it boils and then rinse out the kettle and boil it a few more times to remove all traces of the vinegar or lemon juice. It doesn’t taste nice with coffee.
Use the same process for descaling your coffee machine.
How to remove limescale from bathroom taps, shower head and shower screens / doors
To keep the acid in constant contact with the taps use a plastic cup filled with vinegar to immerse the tap fully in the vinegar and then wrap a towel or cling film around both cup and tap to hold everything in place. Use vinegar soaked cotton wool for limescale around the posts and wrap firmly. Leave the vinegar to work for an hour or so. After this long you should be able to just wipe clean the taps but if you need to you can use an old toothbrush or a plastic scourer to loosen the last bits of limescale. For shower heads you can also use the method with wrapping around the towel or cling film.
Another tried and tested method is to use a couple of halved lemons. Squeeze the lemons into a bowl and then take a lemon half and place it on to the spout of the tap, twist it gently for it to stay in place. The lemon fibres and chambers will nicely catch on the edge of the spout and prevent the lemon from falling off. Leave it to descale the taps. Now take the bowl with the squeezed juice and using cotton wool soaked in the juice wrap them around the rest of the tap. After about an hour rinse and wipe clean and if needed repeat the process.
For descaling your shower screen / door use an old, empty spray bottle. Fill it with warm water with lemon juice and then spray the solution on to the screen / door. Leave for about 30 minutes or more if badly stained and then rinse off with water.
How to remove limescale from tiles, glass and other surfaces
Flat surfaces are so much easier to clean and descale. You can scrub gently with vinegar of lemon juice until all limescale is gone.
For glass limescale use an old, empty spray bottle filled with warm water and vinegar, spray directly on the glass and leave for a few moments and then wash the glass with water.
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