How to Get Rid of Lime Stains

By Subodh / March 8, 2012

Lime stains come from hard water. Anything that comes into contact with that water on a regular basis may be effected—shower heads, sinks, dishes, et cetera. Almost any type of surface can acquire white lime stains which will only get worse over time. Then the presence of lime stains makes things more likely to pick up other mineral and soap stains. Most regular kitchen and bathroom cleaners won’t work, but there are a number of products you can use that will help you get rid of that unsightly white build up.

  1. Prepare the area by scrubbing it to get rid of dirt and soap scum. Wash it with warm water and wipe it dry. This way, you will not have to be combatting soap scum and other substances at the same time that you’re trying to get rid of the lime stains.
  2. There are two types of products that work against lime stains. Cleaners with sequestrants, such as Clagon, capture the lime in water and deactivate it so that it won’t react and react and bond with the surface of things. Acids break down the lime. If you have hard water you should clean regularly with acids and sequestrants to prevent lime build up before it becomes visible. You can assume that lime is building up if you have lime in your water, and by the time you start to see it it’s much harder to get rid of.
  3. Lemon juice is one of those natural acids which will work against lime, just like vinegar. Simply cut a lemon in half and scrub the stain directly. It’s also effective against soap scum and other stains. Rinse or wash off thoroughly afterwards to remove any lime remains. White vinegar may be sprayed, brushed or rubbed onto the lime stains to break them down.
  4. Bleach and chlorine bleach will dissolve lime build up and whiten surfaces. You may need to use a bronze brush to scrub effectively with it. Be careful using it on colored surfaces because it may discolor the surface, but it’s a powerful cleaner.
  5. Rhubard is a plant usually used in cooking. It can be grown in your garden or purchased in a grocery store. Boil it to release its natural absorbic acid, and use it to clean the lime stains off your pots, pans, sinks and dishes. Throw it away afterwards, and wash all surfaces.
  6. Ammonia is a very strong cleaner, one you need to use with care, and which cannot be mixed with bleach. Bleach and ammonia together produce poisonous fumes, so if you have tried one, wash the area and wait a day or two before attempting the other. An even stronger cleaner is oxalic acid, which is capable of even dissolving rust. Other acids which are commonly available in diluted form are phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. Phosphoric acid is usually an ingredient in other cleaning products. Be careful not to use something so strong that it ultimately damages the thing you’re cleaning.