Quantcast

Lime scale

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Roxie

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
199
Reaction score
0
Location
Bedfordshire
Hello to you all.
I've just noticed a build up of lime scale at the back, and out of view, of a basin tap. What would be the best way to remove it? I have tried, so called, limescale remover but that has had little or no effect.
Any suggestions gratefully received.

John
 

John Brown

Established Member
Joined
25 Sep 2008
Messages
1,581
Reaction score
9
Location
Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire
Vinegar or citric acid.
I believe hydrochloric acid works well, but you might want to check... I've used it to clean a scaled up heat exchanger, but not sure I'd want to use it on a basin tap.
 

sunnybob

wysiwyg
Joined
11 Oct 2014
Messages
8,399
Reaction score
153
Location
cyprus
There are different types of scale.
Lime scale is stone coloured and very hard, Vinegar will do it but it will take more than a quick rub over.
there is also a very white scale, not so difficult to get rid of, but again, unless youre using serious chemicals it wont go in one wipe.

Find the cause, usually a leaky washer. Fix the problem and then it wont come back.
 

Mrs C

Established Member
Joined
3 Jan 2016
Messages
327
Reaction score
2
Location
United kingdom
Piece of kitchen paper soaked in vinegar wrapped around the offending area and left for a few hours.
 

Eric The Viking

Established Member
Joined
19 Jan 2010
Messages
6,573
Reaction score
37
Location
Bristle, CUBA (the County that Used to Be Avon)
Most acids work most of the time.

The commercial stuff is usually (but not always) formic acid, as used by Ants when they bite you. It's not poisonous, which is one reason why it's used.

Most of the removers will damage chrome or other kinds of plating, so you do need to keep an eye on progress. They also work better if the solution is warm and/or you wipe over the surface, to provide a supply of fresh acid and clear away the removed was-limescale.

It is worth doing regularly, as limescale itself also attacks chrome plating.

We live in a hard water area, and down the years it has done a lot of damage to our kitchen taps and bathroom fittings. I struggle to keep up with it. Basic rule is make sure all the tap washers are good and the taps don't drip. Ceramic cartridges are a right PITA when they begin to wear, as there are so many variations on the designs.

Just in case you are wondering...

I bought (but never fitted) an ion exchange softener for the whole house at one point, but that had issues. There several main brands, actually all owned by one company, who pretty much have the market sewn up in the UK. Build quality and throughput were rubbish, and I couldn't find anywhere to install it neatly either. Idiotic and expensive impulse buy. They do work, incidentally (there is one in every dishwasher), but there is a very limited range made to do whole houses. I probably should have looked at small commercial/industrial ones. The magnetic ones and "catalytic" ones seem to be snake oil.
 

Roxie

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
199
Reaction score
0
Location
Bedfordshire
Thank you for your replies. It is not as a result of a dodgy tap washer it is the water percolating up the tap, after it has been turned off, at the spout. I will give vinegar a try overnight.

John
 

RogerS

Established Member
Joined
20 Feb 2004
Messages
17,308
Reaction score
45
Location
In the eternally wet North
For taps, CIF 100% Limescale Remover. Does exactly what it says on the tin. If you have a stubborn area then a kitchen towel, folded around the affected area, soaked in CIF and held down with a rubber band overnight works a treat.

For kettles, citric acid crystals. Our kettle is one that let's you set it to keep a certain temperature. Just a large tablespoon, set the temp and le it cook away. Job done.

Citric acid does work really well. I was baking a cake and needed a lemon juice/sugar dressing. The recipe said 'Heat the two in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved'. So did the limescale.
 

oakmitre

Established Member
Joined
17 Mar 2014
Messages
226
Reaction score
0
Location
Manchester
If you have vinegar ( white is best ) in the house already that is the cheapest option. I don't use it in my kettle because it stinks and if you heat it in the kettle, it can actually concentrate the acetic acid and can cause eye irritation.

Citric acid is better because is a solid crystal powder and will last forever if kept dry. It also non toxic, and if you buy the food grade version ( and dispense it away from the work area ) it can be used for other things. Mix a strong solution in a small jam jar, dip an old toothbrush into it and rub gently on for 30 sec - just keep repeating this every half hour.

Do not use Hydrochloric acid. It can attack or stain a wide range of metal finishes, or get through pin holes in plated metal and attack anything zinc based (usually pot metal) underneath. Also if you get it in your eye, even dilute acid can cause injury. On your skin as the water evaporates, strong acids can concentrate and cause delayed burns.
 

NikNak

Established Member
Joined
9 Aug 2008
Messages
691
Reaction score
4
Location
Southampton
+1 for citric acid =D>

I buy it by the kilo from ebay, dead cheap and lasts for ages. Living in Hampshire we have VERY hard water and i find i was descaling the kettle about every 4-6 weeks and buying copious amounts of branded descaler which then needs to be thoroughly washed/rinsed from the kettle before using again. Came across citric acid (it sounds farrrr worse than it is) does the job using only luke warm water in the kettle, one quick swirl of water after and you're good to go (hammer)

Mix a small amount into a paste to clean more inaccessible areas like the pouring rim of kettle, or... back of tap \:D/
 

RogerS

Established Member
Joined
20 Feb 2004
Messages
17,308
Reaction score
45
Location
In the eternally wet North
I was reminded about citric acid the other day when I was baking a cake. Needed a dressing made from sugar dissolved into lemon juice by putting them in a saucepan over a low heat. Said saucepan had some minor limescale on the bottom. Not any more :wink:
 

Roxie

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
199
Reaction score
0
Location
Bedfordshire
WOW citric acid worked. I must admit I was a little sceptical but have been proved wrong. Made a paste and layered it onto kitchen paper and held it onto the tap with an elastic band. Left it 24hrs after which the scale was soft enough to remove using a thumb nail, nice clean taps.

Thank you for you help and advice, going to try it in my coffee machine.

John
 

RogerS

Established Member
Joined
20 Feb 2004
Messages
17,308
Reaction score
45
Location
In the eternally wet North
We've got a kettle that lets you select the temperature and also has a "Keep Warm" setting. So 100 degrees, Keep Warm, tablespoon citric acid crystals and ten minutes later it's done.
 

woodbloke66

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2018
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
2
Location
Salisbury
Never had any sort of problem with lime scale of any sort anywhere in the house and we live in a hard water area. The reason is we're on our second Kinetico water softener (the first one only lasted 18 years :D ) - Rob
 

ScaredyCat

Established Member
Joined
17 Mar 2017
Messages
957
Reaction score
9
Location
Suffolk
Harpic Max Power 10 will ged rid of it in minutes. It's also useful for cleaning downpipes on motorcycles.


.
 
Top