Learn how to easily remove limescale buildup from your appliances and fixtures.
It’s coming! You turn the corner in your shower and there it is! The chalky whiteness of limescale buildup. You make a run for it to your kitchen, but it’s there on your tea kettle and coffee maker. Don’t run in horror any longer. Fight back against limescale buildup in your home with these quick, easy tips.
Washing Machines & Dishwashers
To remove limescale buildup from your washing machine or dishwasher, use a large cup of vinegar or lemon juice. Lemon juice and vinegar are both acidic. Their acidity works to break down the calcium carbonate (limescale), making it easier for you to remove. Run an empty wash cycle, using the vinegar or lemon juice in place of your regular detergent. If you’re cleaning the dishwasher, pour the vinegar or lemon juice in the bottom of the dishwasher, not the detergent door.
Faucets & Shower Heads
Faucets and shower heads take a little more work because you have the task of keeping the vinegar or lemon juice in contact with the faucet. There are a few ways you can let these cleaning solutions work their magic on your bathroom fixtures. You can take a small cup full of the solution, wrap a towel around the cup, and secure them both with a rubber band. You can also soak the towel in your vinegar or lemon juice, and wrap that around the fixture. Rubber bands will make the bond more secure. Let the fixtures soak for a few hours. After they soak, you should be able to wipe the fixtures clean. If not, use a toothbrush or scrub brush to scrub off the harder parts. If you’re handy, you can also remove your faucet or shower head and soak them in a tub or cup of solution.
It’s not only the outside of faucets that suffer from limescale buildup. The inside of tap openings can suffer, too. Limescale buildup in your taps can lead to low water pressure and flow. Take a plastic sandwich bag, fill it with vinegar or lemon juice, and secure it over the tap opening with a rubber band. You can also take a lemon slice, and wedge it into the tap. Soak the tap opening for several hours (overnight works best) and remove the bag or lemon. Using a toothbrush, scrub up the tap to remove the buildup.
Tea kettles are relatively easy to clean. Fill up about a quarter of the tea kettle with vinegar or lemon juice. After the tea kettle has sat about an hour with the solution, fill the rest up with water. Boil the mixture like you’re making tea, and carefully dump it out. Flush the tea kettle out with cold water.
Coffee makers can also suffer from limescale buildup. There are specific cleaning solutions for different brands, such as Keurig. Of course, you can use vinegar and lemon juice to clean out your standard drip coffee maker. Fill the water reservoir up a quarter of the way with vinegar or lemon juice. Fill the rest up with water. Run the coffee maker with no coffee. Run the coffee maker again with plain cold water to rinse. This should clean your coffee maker and the coffee pot.
Note: If the vinegar or lemon juice don’t work the first time, you can continue the soaking process to remove limescale.