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How to Remove Limescale from Showers and Taps

Say goodbye to limescale deposits in your bathroom

Blog
Tuesday 12th April 2022

If you love a gleaming, sparkling bathroom, you need to know how to remove limescale. These milky white deposits gather everywhere there’s water and can be stubborn to shift, especially if you have hard water. Wondering how to remove limescale from taps, showers, toilets and more? We’re here to help!

Best of all, you probably have everything you need to remove limescale in your home already. The citric acid in lemon or acetic acid in vinegar is your best weapon, ensuring a limescale-free bathroom without the need for abrasive chemicals that can damage the finish on your bathroom fittings. 

What is limescale?

Limescale, or calcium carbonate, leaves watermarks and chalky white deposits in your sink, shower or toilet after water evaporates. If you live in an area with hard water, you’re more likely to find limescale build-up in your bathroom or kitchen appliances. 

Is limescale dangerous? 

Limescale is not a hazardous substance, but it can look unsightly. It can also interfere with the performance of your taps, pipes and showerheads, leading to blockages and reduced water pressure over time.  

If you live in an area with hard water, it’s perfectly safe to drink water straight from the tap. Naturally occurring minerals like calcium and magnesium that cause limescale are essential for our health – but not so great for your plumbing and appliances! 

How to get rid of limescale 

The best way to get rid of stubborn limescale deposits is by soaking the affected area in lemon juice or white vinegar. Some fixtures may be harder to clean than others, so we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you achieve scale-free taps, showerheads and plugholes.  

What you’ll need 

Although these gentle, natural cleaning products might seem harmless, they can cause skin irritation, and lemon can act as a bleaching agent when exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear gloves throughout the whole process and protect your clothing. 

Here’s what you’ll need for at-home limescale removal treatments: 

  • Lemon juice or white vinegar 
  • Cleaning cloths 
  • Elastic bands 
  • Scouring pads 
  • Spray bottle 

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How to remove limescale from taps 

Taps are one of the trickier bathroom fixtures to clean. Lemon juice or vinegar will drip off when sprayed, not allowing the acid enough time to work on the scale. You’ll often notice white deposits on the spout, so targeting this area is a good idea. Follow these simple steps to get rid of limescale on taps:  

  1. Soak a rag or a cloth in vinegar or lemon juice and wrap it around your tap, ensuring all areas are covered. 
  2. Secure the cloth with an elastic band and leave for an hour. 
  3. Occasionally squeeze the cloth to release more of the acid onto the tap. 
  4. Remove the cloth and wipe away the limescale.  
  5. If the limescale around the spout still won’t come away completely, cut a lemon in half and screw it onto the spout until it stays in place. 
  6. Leave for another hour and then rinse and scrub away the remaining scale. Use a scouring pad on tough limescale but only on the underside of the spout as it may scratch the finish on the faucet itself. 

How to get rid of limescale on tiles and plugholes  

Removing limescale from tiles and plugholes is less complicated than taps, as the acid can be applied directly to the affected area. There are a few options you can try:  

  1. Apply vinegar or lemon juice directly onto a cloth and scrub the limescale until it comes away. 
  2. Alternatively, mix one part lemon juice or vinegar to four parts water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spritz it onto tiles and plugholes. Leave this to soak for up to an hour for stubborn scale deposits.  
  3. Polish the tiles or plughole with any remaining solution until completely clean. 

How to remove limescale from toilets 

Limescale deposits can make your toilet bowl look dirty, but there are plenty of ways you can get rid of them. Remember to wear gloves and protect your eyes and clothes in case any cleaning product splashes you during the process. 

  • Pour equal parts of lemon juice and white vinegar into the toilet bowl, leaving it for at least one hour before scrubbing with a toilet brush. The scale should come away easily. Leave the solution overnight if possible, allowing the acids to work deeper into tough scale deposits. 
  • Alternatively, pour one cup of vinegar followed by one cup of baking soda into the toilet, letting it sit for around 10 minutes before scrubbing with a toilet brush. 

 How to get rid of limescale on your showerhead 

The method you use for removing limescale from a showerhead will depend on the type of shower you have. Find out more information on cleaning showerheads and descaling your shower here.  

How to prevent limescale build-up 

Frequent cleaning and descaling treatments can help prevent limescale build-up. We recommend descaling your showerhead at least once a month for optimal results and performance, whilst still carrying out your regular cleaning routine that includes the limescale removal treatments outlined in this article. Discover more cleaning tips for your bathroom here. 

Looking for a long-term solution to combat limescale? Upgrade your shower to a model with Mira Clearscale™ technology, designed to prolong your shower’s life whilst giving you better performance.