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How to get limescale off taps

Limescale is a form of calcium carbonate often deposited around heating elements and other places in the home where water flows. It can quickly build up into an unsightly white stain. You don’t need to use chemicals to remove it except in particularly stubborn cases; traditional remedies using the mild acids in vinegar and lemon juice are just as effective, cheaper and reduce your exposure to chemicals. Celebrity cleaner Aggie McKenzie recommends cleaning the basin area every day to prevent limescale and grime building up, while the Vitreous Enamel Association emphasizes the importance of drying surfaces after use in keeping limescale at bay.

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  1. Mix equal volumes of water and white vinegar in the bucket. Stir the liquid to ensure the two are well combined.

  2. Dip the toothbrush into the mixture and rub it all over the affected parts of the taps. Ensure you rub well into the corners where limescale can be particularly stubborn.

  3. Leave for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

  4. Check whether the limescale has been removed. If not, soak a clean towel or pieces of kitchen paper with the water-vinegar mix and wrap it around the taps. Leave overnight and rinse thoroughly in the morning.

  5. Check whether any limescale remains. If it does, you could consider using a commercial cleaning agent. If you do, follow the instructions carefully.

  6. Tip

    You can also use lemon juice to attack limescale around taps. Soak a towel or piece of kitchen paper in the juice and tie it around the tap. You can even push half a lemon onto the end of the tap and leave it for several hours to work its magic.


    Do not use this method on gold-plated or nickel-finish taps, as the mild acid in the vinegar will damage them permanently.

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Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Towel or kitchen paper

About the Author

Rita Kennedy

Rita Kennedy is a writer and researcher based in the United Kingdom. She began writing in 2002 and her work has appeared in several academic journals including "Memory Studies," the "Journal of Historical Geography" and the "Local Historian." She holds a Ph.D. in history and an honours degree in geography from the University of Ulster.

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