Back Button

What Dissolves Limescale?

Amanda Flanigan

Limescale leaves a hard, white, chalky residue on any surface that comes in contact with hard water for an extended period of time. Various commercial cleaning products will dissolve limescale. These products are expensive, however, and can pollute your home with unnecessary chemicals.

Limescale is a common sight on sinks, bathtubs, shower doors and faucets.

Instead, try a cheaper and natural method to dissolve the scale and restore the look of your home.


Long used to clean and deodorizer both the interior and exterior of homes, vinegar will naturally dissolve limescale from various items. Dampen a sponge with white vinegar and scrub limescale off shower doors, faucets, sinks, bathtubs and tile floors. For tough-to-remove limescale, soak several paper towels in pure vinegar and place directly on top of the offending area. Let the vinegar-soaked paper towels sit on the surface for several hours before scrubbing clean with a cloth or sponge. Wash coffeepots and teakettles with vinegar to remove hard water deposits, including limescale, as well as remove odors.

Lemon Juice

Just as effective as vinegar, lemon juice will dissolve the buildup of scale while giving the item a fresh citrus aroma. Pour undiluted lemon juice in a container. You can get lemon juice by squeezing several fresh lemons or buying the little yellow bottles shaped like lemons in grocery stores. Dampen a sponge in the lemon juice and scrub the limescale vigorously for several second. If the scale remains, let the lemon juice-soaked sponge sit on the surface for several minutes before scrubbing again. Rinse the surface clean with cool water and dry with a towel.

Baking Soda

Found in many dessert recipes, baking soda naturally cleans items while removing odors. Baking soda will also help dissolve limescale. Wet a clean sponge with cool water, sprinkle on baking soda and scrub the limescale with the sponge. Naturally abrasive, baking soda will scrub the scale off the surface. Remove limescale in toilet bowls by pouring equal parts of baking soda with white vinegar directly into a drained toilet bowl. Scrub the toilet bowl clean with a toilet scrubber, let it sit for several hours, then scrub the toilet bowl with the scrubber. Rinse the bowl by flushing the handle.


Another cheap, natural and versatile item, Borax can be found in the laundry aisle of grocery and department stores. To remove limescale with Borax, mix equal parts of the powder with white vinegar. Scoop up some of the paste with a damp sponge, scrub the surface until you have removed the limescale, then rinse the surface clean with cool water. Alternatively, mix equal parts of Borax and white vinegar in toilet bowls. Use the toilet scrubber to scrub the limescale off the toilet bowl.