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Cracking Limescale - a clever use for vinegar and lemon juice

The less fastidious will not be familiar with limescale. But those who like to admire their reflection in a gleaming chrome appliance will hate the milky white deposit.

It is possible to scrub off the limescale deposits. However, the minerals involved are very hard, so abrasives that will effectively scrape them off are also likely to damage the finish of the material underneath. Luckily, calcium carbonate is easily dissolved in a range of mild acids. You can buy brand-name limescale removers, but many common household substances will also do the trick. Two of the most effective substances are lemon juice and ordinary vinegar. Lemon juice is usually the best (and will also leave a lovely smell behind). Stronger pickling vinegar and lime juice are both even more acidic and can be used for really stubborn deposits.

The problem with removing limescale is not usually finding an appropriate acid around the home, but making sure the acid stays in contact with the surface for long enough to do its job. Limescale is not so easy to remove that you can simply wipe it off with a cloth soaked in juice. Instead, you need to leave it soaking for an hour or more to really do the trick.


Limescale deposits on flat surfaces are much easier to get rid of. In most cases, scrubbing gently with vinegar or lemon juice will get them sparkling again.

Proprietary brand: Viakal

Another secret: Do it regularly to prevent building up and do it many times over till it is sparking and fell fresh when you rub your hand on the tiles.