Limescale removers that really workBlitz limescale with our Best Buy sprays
18 August 2016
The best limescale remover can clean off four times more limescale from your bathroom surfaces than the worst, Which? tests have found. That’s the difference between restoring the sparkle to your taps, tiles and sinks, and being left with a sweaty brow and lingering grime in your bathroom.
Dettol, Cif and Cillit Bang were among the thirteen limescale remover sprays we put through our tough tests to uncover the very best limescale removers – and warn you about the poor performers.
Two limescale removers stood out, achieving an impressive five star rating for blitzing limescale. But we also found two lacklustre products that struggle to clean unsightly scale deposits. In fact, they are so poor at doing so that we named them Don't Buys.
Find out which limescale removers will get your bathroom sparkling again by checking our full limescale removers reviews.
Limescale removers: getting the best results
Limescale forms when the salts dissolved in hard water are left behind as the water evaporates. It mainly consists of calcium carbonate, which comes from limestone dissolved in rainwater. Limescale removers are acid-based products which work to dissolve (or technically react with) limescale in order to remove it from your surfaces and restore their shine.
To get the best from your limescale remover, make sure you leave it to work for the recommended time. Some products state that they should be left to work for up to five minutes on stubborn deposits, so if you wipe immediately after spraying you'll find the results disappointing.
Choosing the right product is also important, as our tests have shown some limescale removers really struggle to shift stubborn scale. Pick from our Best Buy limescale removers for independently proven cleaning power.
How we test limescale remover sprays
Tackling limescale can be a thankless task if you’re faced with stubborn build-up and a cleaning spray that doesn’t seem to do the job.
We use a specially chosen test rock with the same properties as limescale to test how effective each limescale remover is. The rock is immersed in the cleaner for the time stated on the bottle and then weighed to find out how much limescale has been removed. This allows for precise, easily comparable results.
We also test if each limescale remover can remove soap scum – that’s the stubborn mix of soap, dirt and limescale that can form a grubby tide mark around your bath or in your sinks. We dye soap scum bright blue and plaster it over white tiles to see which products can get them pristine again.
And because you need to clean both horizontal and vertical surfaces, such as your draining board or bathroom walls, we test each spray cleaner on both upright and flat tiles. The best limescale removers leave the tiles white but the worst leave blue streaks behind.
Finally, we check whether the limescale remover sprays could cause damage to your surfaces if you forget to wash them off. To find out more about how we test, head to how we test limescale removers.