10 best limescale removers

19 April 2021

woman cleaning shower door

If your draining board looks cloudy or your taps are encrusted with chalky deposits, you could have problems with limescale. It can also do unseen damage to your washing machine and dishwasher - unless you get a limescale remover.

Limescale is made of calcium carbonate and is usually worse if you live in a hard water area. Around 16 million people in the UK do, so find out if you’re one of them with this map.

Chances are if your surfaces are covered with the tell-tale chalky signs then you know this already.

There are plenty of products on the market to help your appliances last longer and to keep your glass, draining boards and taps shiny.

Here are the best limescale removers as recommended by families.

1. Best overall limescale remover: Viakal Limescale Remover Spray

“I use Viakal daily on my kitchen sink so never get a build-up on the taps or draining board. Ridiculously good results.”

1. Best overall limescale remover: Viakal Limescale Remover Spray

When Mumsnet users ask for limescale solutions, the name Viakal comes up again and again.

The spray gets into all those fiddly areas – such as behind sinks and in between tap grooves – and is very efficient as it means you can cover a big area.

It doesn’t just remove the limescale though – it also leaves taps and surfaces shiny and streak-free.

If your limescale is particularly stubborn, spray and wait 10 minutes. Once it’s under control, you should use Vaikal everyday or so. It helps to prevent future deposits from forming by creating an anti-limescale film. No-effort cleaning! What’s not to like?

Pros

  • Easy to spray
  • Very effective

Cons

  • Smell can be strong

2. Best budget limescale remover: W5 Limescale and Grime Remover

“Lidl is the answer to your prayers. Their own make – W5 Limescale Remover – is a miracle product.”

2. Best budget limescale remover: W5 Limescale and Grime Remover

The Limescale and Grime Remover from Lidl’s W5 range isn’t just cheap, it really works. Unlike some limescale removers, it leaves your bathroom smelling fresh too.

The spray action bottle makes it easy to use on all surfaces – horizontal, like worktops, and vertical, like tiled walls and shower screens. It’s also great at tackling everyday dirt and soap scum so you’ll need fewer bottles in your cleaning cupboard.

The only downside is that you can’t buy from Lidl online so you have to get it via eBay.

Pro

  • Great value
  • Smells great

Cons

  • Can’t buy via Lidl online

3. Best toilet limescale remover: Harpic 100% Limescale Remover

“You need to push all the water out of the loo with the brush to empty it. Then use loads of Harpic 100% Limescale toilet cleaner, wait, then scrub.”

3. Best toilet limescale remover: Harpic 100% Limescale Remover

Limescale on loos can be tough to clean, but Harpic 100% Limescale Remover is incredibly effective.

Just apply under the rim like any other toilet cleaner and leave it to work its magic. If the limescale is really bad, use your loo brush as a plunger to lower the water level and it will work in the toilet bowl without getting diluted.

Some users recommend using Harpic 100% Limescale Remover with a pumice stone to gently remove a big build-up of limescale, but once it’s under control just use Harpic everyday or so to stop it from returning.

Pros

  • Works on stubborn limescale and for everyday use
  • Ideal for porcelain

Cons

  • Only suitable for loos

4. Best limescale remover for shower doors: Cillit Bang Limescale Remover

“I found the Cillit Bang Limescale Remover and a scourer quite effective for shower doors etc.”

4. Best limescale remover for shower doors: Cillit Bang Limescale Remover

It’s almost impossible to see a Cillit Bang product without uttering their slogan “Bang! And the dirt is gone!” but that’s exactly what happens when you use their limescale remover.

Mumsnet users particularly rate it on shower doors, especially when you use a scourer too.

It’s also designed to tackle soap scum and rust stains so it’s a great all-round cleaner.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Works on limescale, soap scum and rust

Cons

  • Strong chemicals

5. Best limescale remover for taps: Limey Tap Descaling Gadget

“Get this genius limescale remover.”

5. Best limescale remover for taps: Limey Tap Descaling Gadget

The Limey Tap Descaling Gadget is a great way of tackling limescale build-up as it’s perfectly designed to fit on most taps.

Without it, you’d have to soak some kitchen roll in limescale remover and then wedge it around the tap or use a gel, however you’d still struggle to get it on the underside of your taps.

Just fill this nifty gadget with your choice of limescale remover – perhaps white vinegar or citric acid – loop it over the tap and then wait. The taps will get the chance to soak properly and the limescale will vanish or loosen enough for you to chip it away.

Pros

  • Designed especially for taps
  • Can be used again and again

Cons

  • Limescale remover is not included
  • Can only do one tap at a time

6. Best gel limescale remover: Kilrock K Gel Limescale Remover

“Try a gel called Kilrock K. We used it to good effect.”

6. Best gel limescale remover: Kilrock K Gel Limescale Remover

Kilrock K’s gel is much more concentrated than sprays so it’s really effective on stubborn limescale. It comes with a brush so you can apply it easily too.

The gel formula also means it clings to hard surfaces so it has a real chance to get to work without gravity sabotaging its best efforts.

It’s ideal for tiles, showerheads and shower trays, but make sure you follow the instructions and keep it away from marble and chrome plating as it’s very strong.

Kilrock also makes an all-purpose descaler for kettles, washing machines and sinks too.

Pros

  • Gel formula means it’s non-drip

Cons

  • Pricier than some
  • Very strong

7. Best limescale remover for stubborn limescale: HG Professional Limescale Remover

“HG Limescale Remover (the bottle not the spray) glows white when you apply it. Then you use wire wool or a scraper after three to four minutes. Magic!”

7. Best limescale remover for stubborn limescale: HG Professional Limescale Remover

HG’s professional range of products are ideal for heavy-duty cleaning and their limescale remover is no different.

It’s powerful stuff, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. You can use it undiluted or diluted depending on how much limescale you have. Just apply it with a sponge, leave it for a few minutes, wipe off with water and then rinse.

You can also submerge clogged showerheads in the remover for 30 minutes and then scrub with a brush.

Pros

  • Very concentrated and powerful

Cons

  • Apply with a sponge, not a spray

8. Best eco-friendly limescale remover: Ecover Limescale Remover

“Ecover’s limescale spray is very good.”

8. Best eco-friendly limescale remover: Ecover Limescale Remover

If you want a limescale remover with eco credentials, but don’t have the time or patience to make your own from lemon, vinegar or bicarb, then try Ecover.

All ingredients are plant-based and biodegradable – its main ingredient is citric acid – which means it’s safe to use on kettles and coffee makers as well as showers, loos and draining boards.

Ecover never tests its products on animals and even the bottle is made from recycled and plant plastic.

Just spray and wait, then wipe off. The foam consistency clings to vertical surfaces like tiles, which makes it even more effective.

Pros

  • Good for the environment
  • Smells great

Cons

  • Not as powerful as some

9. Best limescale remover for kettles: Oust Powerful All-Purpose Descaler

“I use that Oust descaler stuff. The limescale needs doing fairly regularly (every six months or so as we live in a hard water area) and I drink a LOT of coffee.”

9. Best limescale remover for kettles: Oust Powerful All-Purpose Descaler

Small appliances can be extra tricky when it comes to removing limescale. Any products you use on kettles and coffee machines need to be food-safe – you don’t want a dodgy-tasting cup of tea or coffee.

Oust sachets are very easy to use – each one is exactly one dose. Just boil your kettle, add Oust and wait. Then make sure you reboil the kettle with fresh water and you’re good to go.

The limescale disappears before your eyes leaving your kettle bright and shiny. It will also stop the limescale scum you get on when you pour tea or coffee, meaning you’ll get a more delicious drink.

But it’s not just kettles. You can use Oust with irons, showerheads and some models of bottle sterilisers too. Just check the instructions first.

Pros

  • Designed for kettles and small appliances
  • Very effective

Cons

  • Needs using frequently

10. Best limescale remover for washing machines: JYW Limescale, Detergent and Grease Remover

“I use this washing machine powder to descale my washing machine. Does the job.”

10. Best limescale remover for washing machines: JYW Limescale, Detergent and Grease Remover

Limescale can significantly shorten the lifespan of your washing machine. The JYW Limescale, Detergent and Grease Remover does exactly what it says on the tin packet. It not only gets rid of limescale, but it also tackles grease and detergent build-up too.

It’s suitable for both washing machines and dishwashers. The manufacturers recommend using one dose a month and each box contains 10 sachets, so it’s a really affordable way to keep your appliances limescale-free.

Pros

  • Works on both washing machines and dishwashers
  • Separate sachets make it easy to apply

Cons

  • Only works on appliances

Price: £10.19 for 10 50g sachets

Buy now from Amazon

How do you get rid of thick limescale?

Limescale is also known as calcium carbonate and is the result of hard water. The deposits leave metal surfaces and glass looking cloudy and grubby even when you’ve scrubbed them clean.

You need something to break down the deposits. For thick limescale, some Mumsnet users rate gel products rather than sprays as they cling to the surface, giving the ingredients longer to act.

Others prefer natural remedies like lemon juice or citric acid (basically the acid you’d find in lemon juice). Just mix with water to make a paste and cover any surface affected by limescale.

On ceramic and porcelain, like toilets, you can use an old pumice stone to gently rub away the limescale below the water level.

How do you remove stubborn limescale from glass?

No matter how much you’ve scrubbed your bathroom, it can seem impossible to remove limescale on glass, but you just need the right products.

  1. Add 250ml white vinegar to 250ml water
  2. Put in a spray bottle
  3. Squirt on the affected areas and leave for 30 minutes (longer for badly affected areas)
  4. Rinse off

One Mumsnet user says, “It strips the limescale and leaves everything sparkling. It doesn't smell great but that fades very quickly.”

What is the strongest limescale remover?

Viakal Limescale Remover is the perfect all-rounder and one of the strongest limescale removers around.

It leaves shower screens sparkling and draining boards shiny and clear. You can spray it on taps and it helps built-up limescale to disappear.

For appliances like washing machines and kettles, you can’t go wrong with Oust Powerful All-Purpose Descaler.

How we chose our recommendations

All of our recommendations for limescale removers came from Mumsnet users themselves.

We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which limescale removers for shower screens, loos, sinks, washing machines and kettles that Mumsnet users really rated.

We also looked at other reviews to see which limescale removers performed well across the board.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

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