Limescale - one of the most obvious signs that you live in an area with “heavy water”. This generally also means that you have to clean your bathroom more often than places with “soft water”. Limescale build-up around taps, in tubs and at the bottom of ceramic or porcelain lavatories.
This is a How-to guide on getting rid of limescale in toilet and on all surfaces of your bathroom, including mirrors, tiles and at the bottom of your tub.
We will be discussing the dangers of using hydrochloric acid to de-scale your toilet, even though it’s by far the most effective method for removing limescale and other mineral deposits.
The EasyCleaningLondon.co.uk team hopes this guide helps you achieve fantastically clean results in a safe and timely manner – enjoy the read!
Limescale build-up is a hard mineral deposit mainly consisting of calcium carbonate, which is a substance found in almost all water sources around the world. It can have several different colours depending on other additional mineral deposits accompanying it along your piping.
Reddish or brownish colour comes from ferrous deposits in the water, whereas lighter colours, like white or eggshell, generally mean the deposit is mostly made out of calcium.
Calcium carbonate turns from calcium bi-carbonate during the heating process of water, mostly in hot water pipes, kettles, around the heating element of washers, etc.
The romans are the first to ever use limescale stone deposits as building materials in places where natural stone or marble was not available. The most famous use of lime-scale stone, called onyx marble, is in the construction of supporting pillars of the Canterbury Cathedral in Kent.
Chemically speaking, limescale is a base which is quite stable and will generally react mostly through its calcium cations, with soap scum. It’s the cause of those reddish, unpleasant looking rings in your bathtub after you’ve had a proper soak – they can be removed with high acidity vinegar (above 14%) completely safely.
Best practices and methods on how to remove limescale from toilet below waterline in the UK, is the use of either professional chemicals containing hydrochloric acid, or with the use of natural acids.
Natural acids contained in citrus fruits, like citric acid, will help dissolve the bicarbonate deposit on any surface without causing harm to it.
One of the many issues with using hydrochloric acid in domestic uses, especially when trying to clean and remove limescale from toilet, is the creation of chlorine gas. It’s development and precipitation from the liquid, can be seen when a fizzing and bubbling process starts.
During the process, the acid is reacting with the base (limescale) producing large quantities of CO2 and chlorine gas which is quite harmful to oxygen reliant lifeforms like pets, children and plants.
Due to its corrosive nature, hydrochloric acid is used in professional toilet cleaners and de-clogging chemicals, however, proper eye and skin protection, as well as ventilation, need to be observed during use. We don’t recommend it for domestic use!
Some of the best natural solutions and tips on how to remove thick limescale, involve longer cleaning times with far safer results. The lower acidity of natural acids like citric acid, generally work really well from chrome finished taps and thinner ceramic coated surfaces.
We recommend that you:
Thicker limescale deposits will require a bit more elbow grease. Stronger chemicals and acids will make short work of the limescale however, you are running the risk of pitting your porcelain if you leave them on for too long.
It’s quite possible to clean a toilet with vinegar and fully de-scale it, however, you need to drain the water from the bowl or soak it up with a sponge or a towel. Vinegar is a corrosive solution which is safe for porcelain and will not cause pitting.
For the most efficient limescale in toilet solution, you don’t have to dilute the vinegar into water or mix it with other products, but rather use it as is. For ticker deposits, you can safely use as much vinegar as you need – it’s the ideal toilet limescale remover, just be careful not to get any of in your eyes.
Limescale comes from the heat treatment of water high in calcium. During this process, called gas exsolution the calcites turn into mineral deposits of calcium on most surfaces they touch.
This is why even your bathroom taps have limescale on them – because of the hot, hard water which is used in your daily routine.
There are different solutions for cleaning limescale off of taps and they depend on the type of coating your taps have.
Some budget taps have a zinc or zinc alloy covering which is generally very easy to pit and discolour, which is why only light acids should be used when removing limescale from your bathroom.
Chrome taps are quite sturdier and generally don’t react poorly with acids, especially citric acids from lemon juice. The widely recognized natural cleaning technique is:
Microfibers are an essential tool when cleaning bathroom taps from limescale as they aid in providing that satisfying shiny finish.
To better clean your water taps and toilet from limescale, its recommended to avoid the use of bases which can react with the acids, like baking powder or soda bicarbonate.
If you are fed up with the constant cleaning and are looking for an easy, affordable solution, you can also contact the EasyCleaningLondon.co.uk team and book an appointment with a limescale specialist – he’ll do wonders.