When calcium and magnesium carbonate found in hard water form lime scale deposits on bathroom and kitchen surfaces, we can choose from dozens of cleaners to treat the problem. However, these solutions ate either ineffective, or they stain and discolor tiles; besides, they are rather expensive. Instead of using these chemicals, it is worth trying out several cheap and natural solutions. In the following, we will present some effective homemade cleaning agents that cost mere pennies.
Vinegar, the miracle weapon if the lazy
Vinegar doesn’t have a pleasant smell, but it is the cheapest and most efficient lime scale remover. Another advantage of using vinegar is that the treated surface doesn’t need to be scrubbed. The only challenge is to smell the vinegar for hours, as it needs to be left on the treated area for a prolonged time, preferably overnight. It is the best to use 20° vinegar undiluted. If you don’t have time to wait for hours, leave the vinegar on for 10-15 minutes and then scrub the surface with a sponge. Don’t forget to use rubber gloves.
Vinegar is perfect not only to clean toilets and sinks. About 250 ml poured into the detergent dispenser tray will remove lime scale from the interior of the washing machine while running a normal cycle. Also, vinegar can be used to clean silver (soak silver objects in a mixture of 100 ml vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda), to polish tiles and to wash windows. For these uses, mix vinegar with warm water.
Vinegar can be mixed with textile conditioner, as it will refresh the color of clothes and will make them softer. Vinegar is a great deodorizer, and it dissolves grease as well. Food containers become odorless if you pour some vinegar into them 10 minutes before washing them. Vinegar removes mould and cleans carpets and rugs – it needs to be dissolved with water for this use. It removes stubborn stains from carpets and it is efficient against dust mites and moths. Last but not least, vinegar can be used to remove lime scale from steam irons, water boilers and coffee makers.
If a stain proves to be very stubborn, try out the following mixture: 150 ml vinegar, 150 ml water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Boil up the mixture in a pot and pour some of it over the stains. Allow it to activate for an hour, and rinse it out with clean water.
Lemon acid and fruit vinegar
This mixture has a somewhat more pleasant smell than regular vinegar, but it is a little more expensive.
Pour three tablespoons of lemon acid and 500 ml fruit vinegar into a spray bottle. Sake the mixture well and it will be ready to be sprayed on surfaces with lime scale deposits. This mixture can be used to clean coffee makers and water boilers as well: simply pour some into the appliance and boil it up. After that, rinse the appliance with clean water.
This citrus fruit is an excellent lime scale remover. Squeeze out the juice of a lemon, sprinkle it on the problem surfaces and allow it to act for 10-15 minutes. After that, use an old nail brush to remove the lime scale. Lemon is a good solution as it is a fruit commonly used in households, and it removes smaller stains efficiently. For example, it removes several day old blood stains. For this purpose, rub some lemon juice into the stain and leave it on until the stain starts to fade. After that, wash the material as usual.
It is not as strong as the pervious substances, but in can be efficient on smaller surfaces. Mix baking soda with some water to obtain a paste and cover the surface with it. Allow it to act for 20 minutes, and then wipe it off with a wet cloth. The advantage of baking soda is that it is available in grocery stores.
Not the cheapest lime scale remover, but it is very efficient as long as you use the strong, 35% version. Pour 300 ml of this liquid into the toilet, and leave it in overnight. By morning, the lime scale deposit will come off.
Distilled water to prevent lime scale deposits
Mix distilled water and tap water in a 1:1 ratio, and pour it into the steam iron to prevent lime scale deposits.