Toilet limescale removal instructions
Limescale buildup can ruin the appearance of your toilet. So, how are you going to get rid of it? We investigate all of your options...
It can't be avoided. Limescale will accumulate in your toilet bowl and other areas of your home over time, and you will need to find a way to remove it. There are numerous bleach products and toilet cleaners on the market that claim to remove limescale and leave your bathroom spotless. But what is the best way to complete the task?
In our guide on how to remove limescale from toilets, we try to answer that question by providing some helpful cleaning tips so you can decide which cleaning method is best for your home.
What exactly is limescale?
Limescale is the hard chalky substance that accumulates in bathrooms and kitchens throughout the home. Limescale is formed when soluble calcium bicarbonate converts to insoluble calcium carbonate. The substance can be found around taps, toilet bowls, baths, pipes, and any other water area you come into contact with on a daily basis.
Calcium and magnesium combine to form limescale when hard water evaporates. This is because hard water contains a high mineral content, and when it evaporates, calcium and magnesium deposits are left on the surface.
Around 60% of the UK landmass is classified as "hard water," including many of the country's most populous cities, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Leicester, Nottingham, Hull, Southampton, and Norwich. In these areas, limescale is a particular issue. Even people who live in "soft water" areas, such as Scotland, Northern Ireland, Cumbria, Devon, and Cornwall, can develop problems over time because soft water contains calcium and magnesium.
How do I remove limescale from my toilet?
Commercial cleaners are usually based on bleach and require a large amount of the liquid to be effective. The best way to use this type of toilet cleaner is to place it under the inside rim of the toilet, as they are usually designed for that purpose. Avoid getting bleach on your skin by wearing rubber gloves when using chemical-based cleaning products. Allow it to soak for about 30 minutes before flushing the toilet.
See our step-by-step guide to cleaning your toilet in the video below.
Distilled white vinegar
There are several ways to use white vinegar. If the area to be cleaned is small, combine water and vinegar (in a 1:1 ratio) in a spray bottle and apply it to the area in the toilet bowl before scrubbing it with the toilet brush.
Where there are larger areas of limescale, simply pour the white vinegar over the entire area, ensuring that everything is covered. It's best to do this last thing at night so that it can thoroughly soak into the limescale and erode it. When you return, use the toilet brush to remove any remaining limescale deposits before flushing the toilet to wash it away.
There may be stubborn bits of limescale left on the bowl that require a little more elbow grease. Using medium-grain sandpaper to gently wear down and remove the stain is an option, but we wouldn't recommend it on a newly purchased toilet because it could void your warranty if you damage the surface. If you use this method, take care not to press too hard. As previously stated, once completed, simply flush away the residue and clean as usual.
The pumice stone
When cleaning with a pumice stone, make sure both the stone and the toilet are wet; otherwise, the porcelain may be scratched. Make sure you have plenty of water on hand and use the stone to rub away the limescale in the affected area before washing it away. Again, we don't recommend using this method on a newly purchased toilet because any damage you may cause could void your warranty.
Baking soda and vinegar
The use of vinegar and baking soda is another popular method for removing limescale from your toilet. Pour one cup of white vinegar into the toilet bowl, then one cup of baking soda, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. When using this as a toilet cleaner, it's a good idea to wear gloves and eye protection.
Allow the solution to sit for another 25 minutes before flushing, guiding the brush around to ensure the toilet limescale is covered. This should clean the bowl thoroughly and remove all limescale from your toilet. Getting to the u bend to remove limescale is difficult, but any of these methods should suffice.
Is WD 40 effective at removing limescale?
WD 40 is great for cleaning keyboards and loosening bike chains, but did you know it can also be used to remove limescale from your toilet?
While WD 40 can be used for a variety of household tasks, it is especially effective at softening rust and limescale deposits in the toilet (and bathroom). Simply spray it on the desired area of the toilet, wait a few minutes, and scrub it away with a toilet brush.
If hard water stains are not removed, they can make the toilet appear dirtier than it actually is. To solve the same problem, spray WD 40 in the bathroom or sink. It will remove hard water stains and limescale from your toilet and make it look much brighter.
Is Coke effective at removing limescale from toilets?
There are several methods for removing limescale from your toilet, and using Coke may appear to be the strangest of them all. Yet, perhaps even more oddly, it is one of the methods that works.
This is because of the drink's mild acidic properties. If you like Coke, you might not like the idea of pouring a bottle down the toilet, but you might be surprised at how well it removes limescale stains. Take the following steps:
- Step 1: Wrap the open Coke bottle around the rim of the toilet bowl, making sure it covers all of the necessary areas.
- Step 2: Allow it to sit in the bowl for a few minutes before using it as a limescale remover.
- Step 3: Flush the toilet, and the acid in the Coke will dissolve the limescale in the bowl. The majority of it should then be washed away by the water flow.
- Step 4: Repeat this process until the toilet is as clean as you desire.
For more stubborn limescale deposits, use a brush to scrub the limescale before flushing. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from germs and wash your hands afterward, regardless of stage.
Juice of lemon
A similar low-cost method for removing limescale is to combine lemon juice and white vinegar. The use of lemon juice and white vinegar as a natural cleaning agent is a far more environmentally friendly way of dealing with limescale buildup. Calcium carbonate (its scientific name) cannot withstand the additional layer of acid found in lemon juice, which must be soaked for about an hour before it can be broken down and scrubbed away.
Getting rid of limescale in other parts of the house
Bathroom fixtures and faucets
To combat limescale, mix half water and half vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it onto tiles, bath tubs, and faucets. After you've sprayed and scrubbed, rinse with water to remove any remaining residue.
Limescale buildup on taps is common due to hard water, but there is a simple solution. Overnight, soak a cloth in vinegar and wrap it around the faucet. This should soften the limescale enough for you to scrub away when you return. Avoid doing this with plated tapes, particularly gold, as it may permanently damage the finish.
Another good option is to squeeze the juice from a halved lemon and place each half under a running tap. You can also soak a cloth in lemon juice before wrapping it around the faucet and leaving it to soak overnight.
Hard water is a problem that affects more than just bathrooms. Calcium carbonate also accumulates on the inside surfaces of appliances that come into daily contact with water, such as kettles and coffee machines.
To remove limescale from these surfaces, fill the kettle halfway with water and half with vinegar and soak it overnight. When you return to it the next morning, the limescale should be easily removed. Because vinegar has a strong odor, make sure to thoroughly rinse it off so that no odors remain.
Pour the vinegar solution into the water section of coffee makers. Then, without any coffee inside, turn it on to go through the normal process. The limescale should be easy to remove after a few repetitions with plain water.
Machines for washing clothes
Limescale buildup occurs in washing machines as well, and there are some simple solutions. To remove limescale from a washing machine, place a large cup of lemon juice or vinegar in the same spot where the detergent would normally be. Start a normal wash cycle to empty the machine, which should remove the limescale.
Pour either lemon juice or vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher, then run it on empty using a normal cleaning cycle. This will not only remove the limescale but will also add a pleasant fresh scent to the interior.
Along with taps, showerheads are another fixture that must be cleaned to prevent limescale buildup. Soak a shower head in a solution of half water and half white vinegar overnight to remove limescale. When you return in the morning, rinse the showerhead with water and use a pin to remove any remaining limescale from the jet holes.
To restore the luster of your shower screen, use a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water. Before spraying the solution onto the screen, use an old toothbrush to remove any initial grime. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes before returning to rinse.
Water supply lines
Because limescale occurs naturally in water, it also accumulates on the water pipes through which it flows. For this, a solution of white vinegar and baking soda can be poured directly down the drain. Allow it to settle for a few hours before rinsing with boiling water.
Bathroom and kitchen tiles
Because water frequently splashes onto bathroom and kitchen tiles, limescale removal is also required. Spray the area with a spray bottle half full of vinegar and half full of water. Leave it for a few minutes and it should easily come off.
How to Get Rid of Limescale in Tap Water
There are numerous methods for removing toilet limescale in other areas of the home, but how can limescale be removed from water?
- Using a water softener can help, as calcium and magnesium are removed through an ion-exchange process.
- A perforated membrane is used in reverse osmosis to block chemicals as well as calcium, lead, and magnesium. This means that when you drink the water, no volatile chemicals are present.
- Scale inhibition filters are filtration systems that keep the home free of limescale. They are typically electronic devices attached to home pipes that work to reduce the accumulation of limescale over time.
Similar to this article
If you liked this article, you'll find plenty of useful cleaning tips and advice right here at Victoria Plum. Simply search for "cleaning" in our bathroom advice centre, or read some of the articles below.
Toilets in stores
Is limescale buildup making your toilet appear old before its time? If none of the cleaning tips in this article are working for you, it may be time for a change. Browse our large selection of stylish toilets, including eco-friendly options and rimless designs to help keep things clean. To begin browsing, simply click on the image below.
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