How to remove lime scale

Written by jenny harrington Google
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How to remove lime scale
Empty your kettles after use to prevent lime scale build-up. (the kettles image by Maria Brzostowska from

Hard water spots on shower fixtures and crusty build-up on pots and kettles are caused by lime scale. Calcium and magnesium deposits in the water, called lime scales, adhere to surfaces and build up overtime. The deposits can block the water hoses in a coffeemaker or just render items unattractive. Regular cleaning prevents lime scale from becoming a nuisance and makes removal less difficult. Items with heavy lime scale can require several cleanings before the deposits are completely removed.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • White vinegar
  • Mildly abrasive cleaning pad
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle
  • Cloths
  • Dish-washing soap

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  1. 1

    Combine one part water and one part white vinegar. Place the mixture in the pot, kettle or coffeemaker (where you normally put water).

  2. 2

    Bring the vinegar solution to a boil in pots and kettles. Turn the stove off once the mixture comes to a boil. Allow the mixture to cool in the pot or kettle overnight.

  3. 3

    Empty the vinegar solution from the pots the following day. Scrub away any remaining lime scale using a mildly abrasive cleaning pad.

  4. 4

    Run a cycle on coffeemakers so that the vinegar solution works through all parts of the machine, then run clear water through the machine two or three times to flush out any vinegar residue.

  1. 1

    Soak a paper towel in white vinegar then wrap the towel around faucets or other fixtures covered in lime scale or water spots. Leave the towel in place for 10 minutes then wipe away the scale with a clean, water-dampened towel.

  2. 2

    Mix one part vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle. Spray down mirrors, shower doors and other surfaces that have water spots and allow them to soak for five to 10 minutes before wiping away the spots with a clean cloth.

  3. 3

    Fill a bowl with the vinegar mixture and soak flatware in the solution for 10 minutes, then wipe away the water spots with a cloth. Do not use vinegar on sterling silverware, as the vinegar acid can etch the silver. Use silver polish instead.

  4. 4

    Combine 1 qt. water with 1 tbsp of dish-washing soap. Fill bowls, thermoses and other plastic containers with this solution and let them soak overnight to loosen the lime scale. Wash them out the following day with water and a mildly abrasive sponge.

Tips and warnings

  • Dry kettles, steam irons and pots after use so that lime scale doesn't have a chance to build up.
  • Wipe down showers and fixtures after every use to prevent water spotting.

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