How to remove limescale from a bathroom

Limescale is a common problem in every household. It’s unavoidable. Over time, limescale builds up in your bathroom and any water area you come into contact with on a daily basis. If harsh abrasives and industrial chemicals that can be bad for your skin, lungs and the planet are off your wish list, this guide is for you. 

Below you are about to read how to remove limescale from the bathroom, giving you some helpful cleaning tips and finding the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the net.

What is limescale?

Limescale can take many shapes and forms, but mostly it is a hard chalky substance that builds up around the home in bathrooms and kitchens. This is because hard water has a high mineral content and when it evaporates from the surface calcium and magnesium combine and forms limescale on the surface. So one-off cleaning might not be enough.

How to remove limescale from taps?

The most efficient solutions to remove limescale marks and deposits turn to be home remedies. Although there are store-bought products, home remedies are better for the environment and more cost-effective. Here we give you some homemade solutions that are yet, very effective for removing limescale from taps and other surfaces:

Bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice – mix bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice to make a thick paste and gently rub it onto the affected areas. Depending on how stubborn the limescale is the paste may need to be left for a longer time to break down the limescale deposits. After that, wipe away the paste and clean the tap with a soft cloth and thoroughly dry it.

White Vinegar and warm water –limescale spots can be cleaned with a solution of 1:1 parts white vinegar and warm water. Depending on the stubbornness of the limescale you may only need to wipe the tap over with the mixture or you may need to lay a cloth to soak on it for a few hours. Then make sure you wipe the tap after with a clean, damp cloth and dry it.

Lemon juice – For very stubborn or thicker limescale deposits use lemon juice to treat affected areas. For tricky spots such as the end of the spout place the lemon juice in a small plastic bag and secure it around the spout with an elastic band or string a lemon cut to the area and leave it to sit overnight. Again you will need to thoroughly clean the areas with a soft cloth afterward and thoroughly dry them.

How to remove limescale from a shower?

The easiest way to clean a shower head is to remove it from the shower hose and soak it for 30 minutes into a bowl or bucket soak it in a solution of 1:1 parts freshly squeezed lemon juice and water, making sure there is enough mixture to fully submerge the showerhead. Remove the showerhead and rinse in warm water and dry it with a soft cloth. If you have a fixed shower head, you can create the lemon solution in a small plastic bag and secure this around the showerhead using string or an elastic band instead.

Limescale can also gather on shower screens, tiles, and bathtubs leaving a white chalky film. To remove these:

  • Firstly give the area a good clean.; 
  • Then in a spray bottle, use a ratio of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water spray the area.;
  • Leave it to sit for one hour. 
  • After an hour use a soft cloth and warm water to remove any leftover residue. 
  • Be sure to dry the areas thoroughly using a dry cloth.

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How to remove limescale from a toilet? 

There are a couple of methods when removing limescale from a toilet. Each depends on the area where the limescale is and how tricky the spot is. 

  1. First, give any areas of limescale a good scrub with a toilet brush.;
  2. Then use a limescale remover. Make a vinegar mixture of 1:1 parts white vinegar and water.;
  3. Spray the limescale deposits and leave for up to an hour.;
  4. Remove any leftover residue with a brush and clean with warm water or flush the toilet to rinse away deposits. 

For thicker and more stubborn areas of limescale build-ups, instead of the mixture, pour pure white vinegar over them and leave for 3-4 hours or overnight if needed. Then rinse thoroughly or flush the toilet afterward to remove any left residue.

Remove toilet limescale with cola:

The coke contains phosphoric acid which is effective in breaking down and fighting limescale. You can use any brand of cola, just not a diet one. Here is how you use it:

  • For limescale deposits that are in the bottom of your toilet bowl, pour a 2-liter bottle of Coke into the toilet.;
  • Leave for at least 4 hours or overnight.;
  • Clean and flush after the allotted time and the toilet should be left gleaming.

How to remove limescale from pipework?

Limescale that is out of sight can also be cleaned. 

  • Put one cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 8 liters of white vinegar poured slowly.;
  • Repeat this in every basin drain and leave for at least 4 hours.; 
  • After the allotted time pour boiling water down each drain to wash away any soap residue and leftover limescale build-up.

Below we will answer some of the most asked questions:

Is limescale harmful? How to remove limescale from a bathroom

The general consensus is that limescale is not bad for your health. Bottled mineral water contains magnesium and calcium which is good for your health and limescale is, in essence, build-up calcium and magnesium. If you live in a hard water area, limescale can dry out your skin but it is not harmful or dangerous for your health. It is what damage can cause to appliances, pipework, taps, and showers that are dangerous.

How to remove limescale from tap water?

Many homes in the UK are located in hard water areas and so are prone to limescale attacks. Some households decide to treat their water to minimize the limescale build-ups on surfaces and in appliances. Here we give you some advice on how:

  • Calcium and magnesium can be removed by a process called ion exchange or water softener.;
  • Reverse Osmosis is a process that relies on a perforated membrane to block chemicals. This means any volatile chemicals are not present in the water when you use them.;
  • Scale inhibition filters are filtration systems that are used to keep the home clean from limescale build-ups. They are usually electronic devices attached to pipes in the home that work to reduce limescale over time.
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