How to remove limescale from taps

When life gives you limescale, use lemons. And a bit of vinegar. And paper towels

How To Remove Limescale

How to remove limescale from taps - gently

Limescale – that powdery-white crust that builds up on taps, sinks, toilets and essentially everywhere you might find water – is one of the most frustrating cleaning challenges around. Many of the usual approaches can do more harm than good, leaving the limescale untouched, but your taps worse for wear. That’s why the best way to remove limescale is to do it gently.

Luckily, anyone can whip up two brilliant-yet-gentle limescale removers using simple ingredients from around the house. Here’s how to get rid of limescale from taps using lemon and vinegar.


These tricks work best when you use paper towels that are as strong and absorbent as possible. Plenty kitchen paper, especially The Extra Big One, is perfect for this as it absorbs and holds a lot of liquid, and won’t fall apart even when soaked.


The best ways to remove limescale from taps and faucets

There are a couple of ways to remove limescale from taps, that are effective while using simple cleaning ingredients. If you’re looking for a natural way to remove limescale, lemon is your new best friend. High in acidity, it has the added bonus of making your bathroom smell lovely. For stubborn limescale stains, you may want to use vinegar, as it has a higher acid content than lemon juice.

How to remove limescale from taps using lemons

  • Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl.
  • Soak a paper towel in the juice – we recommend one that’s strong when wet, like Plenty – and drape this over the faucet.
  • Leave for at least one and a half hours. Put your feet up. Spend some time with the kids.
  • Take off the soaked paper towel, and wipe the remnants of the limescale away with a freshly dampened sheet. Plenty paper towels will hold together, even through soaking, rubbing and scrubbing.

It’s important for the paper towel to stay wet with lemon juice and to cover the full surface of the limescale-effected area. If it slides off, you may need to use a rubber band to make sure it sticks to the faucet. For really tough stains, another natural way to remove limescale is to gently rub a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into the tap after the lemon has dissolved the deposits. This acts as a mild abrasive.

How to get rid of limescale with vinegar

  • Soak a strong piece of paper towel in a bowl of vinegar.
  • As before, wrap the towel around the tap, using a rubber band if needed.
  • Leave for one and a half hours, then thoroughly rinse the faucet. Unlike lemon juice, vinegar is not a smell you’d want lingering in your bathroom.
  • Gently scrub the faucet with bicarbonate of soda (optional).
  • Wipe off the bicarb and any remaining limescale with a moistened paper towel.

If you’re looking for a natural way to remove limescale, you can’t go wrong with vinegar or lemon. But the best way to remove limescale is to be patient: leaving plenty of time for the natural cleaning agent to dissolve the hard deposits will ensure the best results.

If you want to keep going, why not tackle the rest of the room with our guide on how to clean the bathroom in 30 minutes (or less)? Or discover how to clean stainless steel so there are no streaks, smudges or scratches.

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