Limescale is a common household problem. Even though you regularly clean every part of your house, limescale formation is something you can’t avoid. When limescale builds up, the appliances, faucets, and surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom may become damaged. Hence, you must remove the limescale properly. But how can you do so? Does vinegar clean limescale?
Luckily, white vinegar and some elbow grease will resolve your limescale problem – a sure win for your wallet and the environment. Vinegar contains acidic properties, which break down the calcium carbonate that forms limescale.
Are you looking for some solutions to remove limescale? Look no further! We have expert tips for you.
What Is Limescale and How Does It Form?
Limescale is a calcium compound having the appearance of a white, chalky, and hard substance. Most people are familiar with it but are not aware of how it is formed.
Limescale forms from the residue of alkaline and hard water or rainwater that percolates through sedimentary rocks. When the water has evaporated, a white, lumpy, scaly deposit of calcium carbonate or limescale is left.
Limescale can build up quickly, especially if you don’t clean it away immediately. If you fail to remove it, it will eventually become thicker and harder to remove. When this happens, your home appliances, taps, machinery, and pipes won’t work correctly.
Is Limescale Harmful?
Limescale is not harmful but beneficial for your health. How? The mineral properties found in limescale are beneficial for your body. So, there’s nothing to worry about when you see limescale in your cup of coffee – it is favorable for you.
Limescale, however, does not look appealing. And as mentioned earlier can also affect the performance of your pipes, showerheads, and taps, resulting in reduced water pressure and blockages over time. So, limescale may be vital for your health but is not good for your appliances and plumbing.
Does Vinegar Clean Limescale Effectively?
Yes, vinegar is an effective cleanser. Its acidity is what makes it a good cleaner. It can counteract icky buildups, remove limescale, brines left by hard water, and dissolve soap scum. It makes mirrors, windows, taps, and floors squeaky clean.
Vinegar helps dissolve limescale. It is an excellent alternative to stronger and harsher chemicals. Be aware, though, that using vinegar to clean limescale may require patience, elbow grease, and depending on how long the limescale has been there and how much of it multiple tries.
How to Use Vinegar to Clean Faucets and Remove Limescale
The most natural way to remove limescale from the tap is using vinegar. It has higher acidic properties than lemon juice. Moreover, vinegar is effective in removing tough limescale stains.
Here’s how you can get rid of limescale from your tap with vinegar.
Things you’ll need:
- Baking soda (optional)
- Paper towel
- Step 1: Add vinegar to a bowl and soak a piece of paper towel in it.
- Step 2: Wrap the paper towel around the tap using a rubber band
- Step 3: Leave the towel for about 1 to 2 hours.
- Step 4: Rinse the faucet and scrub it with baking soda.
- Step 5: Wipe off the baking soda and the remaining limescale with a moist paper towel.
How to Get Rid of Limescale from Household Appliances using Vinegar?
Household appliances like coffee machines and kettles are no exceptions to limescale buildup, especially if you don’t clean these items regularly. Don’t worry because you can remove these white, scaly deposits with the vinegar-cleaning solution below.
Things you’ll need:
- Diluted vinegar
- Dishwashing liquid
- Paper towel
- Scouring pad/steel wool
Step 1: Pour some vinegar into the appliance and leave it for around 1 to 2 hours.
Step 2: If the appliance is made from glass, wipe and rinse it with soapy water. However, metal surfaces may require scrubbing with a steel wool or scouring pad.
Step 3: To remove the limescale on the inner portion of the appliance, add diluted vinegar solution, then run the appliance as usual. Repeat this process when needed.
Step 4: Substitute the diluted vinegar with water to rinse the vinegar. Run the appliance once again to ensure that there’s no trace of vinegar.
How to Use Vinegar to Clean Limescale in the Bathroom
Limescale is formed in places where hard water is left to dry. This includes bathroom tiles, windows, shower screens, basins, and bathtubs. You can easily remove limescale from these areas by simply wiping them in circular motions.
However, when there are already stubborn layers of limescale, you will need the help of vinegar. Follow these steps to keep your entire bathroom clean.
Things you’ll need:
- Cleaner or Miracle II Soap (affiliate link)
- Paper towel
- Spray bottle
- Water (to rinse)
Step 1: Add vinegar to the paper towel and use it to wipe the affected area in the bathroom.
Step 2: If step 1 does not work, add vinegar to a spray bottle. Spray the surfaces with vinegar solution every 15 minutes and up to two hours for tough limescale areas.
Step 3: Scrub and rinse the affected area with a cleaner or Miracle II Soap to make the surfaces look brand new.
What Other Household Items Remove Limescale?
Using vinegar to clean limescale is the best and most efficient way to remove it. However, you’re not limited to this household staple alone, as there are a lot of items you can find at home to remove limescale buildup.
Baking soda also works in descaling surfaces. Unlike calcium carbonate, baking soda is sodium bicarbonate which can easily be dissolved in water. Using this item will reverse the scaling process of limescale. However, baking soda is difficult to use on flat surfaces.
Lemon juice is a popular alternative to vinegar. Like acetic acid in vinegar, the citric acid in lemon helps dissolve limescale. You can also use the methods mentioned above by using lemon juice instead of vinegar.
This may be an odd tip, but Coca-cola is an effective limescale remover. You can also use it to clean limescale from the toilet bowl. Put 1 liter of coca-cola in the toilet bowl and leave it for about an hour to do its magic. Afterward, scrub the toilet bowl before flushing the toilet.
Pro Tip to Prevent Limescale Buildup
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of cleaning limescale regularly, learn how to prevent it. There are numerous ways to prevent limescale in your home, including installing a water softener system. But if you don’t have a water softener, try these prevention tips below.
Shower Heads and Taps
Put carbon filters in your shower heads and taps to reduce the proliferation of limescale. The filters are efficient in removing hard water and will ensure a smooth water flow. We recommend you clean your shower heads and taps at least once a month for optimal performance.
Use a water softener product in your washing machine, as this helps prevent limescale buildup. It will also help clean the washing machine and make it work properly.
Small kitchen appliances such as coffee machines and kettles are prone to limescale because water is heated and evaporated. To prevent limescale build-up, regular descaling is a must. This will also ensure that the appliances work efficiently, avoiding costly repairs.
Last but not least is to clean your house regularly. Keeping the home clean is the best way to avoid the proliferation of limescale buildup in the bathroom, taps, showerheads, kitchen, and whatnot.
You can never go wrong with vinegar. As you can see, the process of removing limescale with vinegar is simple. Just follow the steps above, and you will surely get your desired result without sweating or spending too much time and effort.
Vinegar is typically available at home, so this cleaning solution will not take a toll on your wallet. And when you clean every item and corner of your house regularly, you won’t need to go through removing tough limescale buildups.
To learn what else you can use vinegar for in your home, read our article – Does Vinegar Remove Hard Water Stains?