Whether you are new to experiencing hard water or simply looking for a new brand of limescale remover, the information online and the range of products in-store can be overwhelming. This article provides some insight to limescale build-up and a comprehensive comparison between various products and brands of limescale removers.
First, let´s look at the cause of limescale. It is a build-up or residue consisting of calcium carbonate. The natural water in Germany is high in minerals and therefore once the water has evaporated, it leaves behind a chalky residue that, once hardened, can be very difficult to clean.
We can divide the different cleaning products into the following categories: All-purpose cleaner, toilet cleaner, bathroom cleaner, kitchen cleaner and appliance cleaners. The products mentioned in this article are all easily available at a local store and are cost effective.
€1.65 per 1l
This Frosch product, like Clinair, is a vinegar-based cleaner that can be used on most surfaces (not suitable for acid-sensitive materials such as marble, natural stone, enamel etc.). It removes limescale, water marks and soap residues. The product does not have a spray cap and needs to be diluted before use. The Frosch range has been widely reviewed and apart from being effective, it is always affordable and environmentally friendly.
€3.27 per 1l
The Frosch range of cleaners have always cleaned effectively, and their toilet cleaner did not disappoint. Although it left the toilet smelling fresh and removed the limescale, it required a lot of time and scrubbing.
€0.65 per 1l
The Denk Mit cleaner was an excellent limescale remover and left the toilet cleaner than ever. The product was left on the limescale for 30 minutes and it was easily removed with a silicone brush. This was the first time I used this product, and I can guarantee it will be permanently stocked in my detergent cupboard.
€3.07 per 1l
This product smells lovely and has a great spray nozzle. It was left on the limescale for 5 minutes and worked effectively. It removes general bathroom suds stains, as well as limescale marks.
€3.90 per 1l
The Frosch range has a Raspberry scented bathroom cleaner that removes limescale from fittings, bathtubs, showers and tiles.
€3.93 per 1l
This cleaner was left on the limescale for approximately 10 minutes and removed all the limescale residue off the bathroom tiles and shower door. It can be applied to toilets, sinks, bathtubs, showers and bathroom fittings.
€2.12 per 1l
If you are someone that prefers using a product with bleach, Maxx Power is an effective limescale remover, however the downside to a bleach product is that it cannot be used on several surfaces that are found in bathrooms (such as enamel, aluminium, stone). The foamy consistency is great to leave on stains that are left behind by limescale. After a short soak, the limescale is easily removed with a cloth.
€3.99 per 1l
If you want to keep your kitchen sparkling clean without the pungent smell of the vinegar cleaners then Sagrotan is another brand to look out for. This is an excellent general cleaner and basic limescale remover. It not only removes the limescale but leaves your surfaces shiny and smelling fresh.
If not regularly cleaned, the chalky residue that builds up in your appliance can cause damage. I have personally tested two different brands of limescale removers for kitchen appliances. Both brands are available in a liquid and a powder form.
€3.80 per 1l/€3.98 per 100g
It can be used in any coffee machines, hot water devices and egg boilers. The product needs to be mixed with 500ml of cold water and once well mixed or dissolved, the solution needs to be heated (not boiled) and left for 5 minutes. It requires two water rinses afterwards before use. It was an effective descaler, however I had to repeat the application twice before the scale was completely removed.
€4.30 per 1l/€1.25 per 100g
It can be used in any coffee machines, kettles, dishwashers, washing machines, shower heads, mixer nozzles, burned stainless steel pots and pans, ceramics and chrome surfaces. Depending on the appliance you wish to descale, the instructions will differ slightly. In general, it very similarly to Denk Mit needs to be dissolved in cold water, heated and rinsed once or twice. My personal favourite is without a doubt Heitmann Pure, as it not only has natural ingredients but removes all the limescale after just one application. Another benefit of this product is that it can be used to clean a large variety of appliances.
If we don't wash the dishwasher, it won´t wash the dishes. By not descaling your dishwasher, the water starts taking longer to drain and the motor works much harder. Over time, the limescale can cause metal components to rust, as well as damage to any heating elements or motors. In order to keep your dishwasher limescale-free, you can use the natural ingredient approach and leave 2 cups of white vinegar in a bowl, in the top rack of the empty dishwasher while running a cycle. Bear in mind that the vinegar could damage any rubber components of the dishwasher over time.
As mentioned above, Heitmann Pure can be used on a variety of appliances. The product has natural ingredients, therefore making it safe to apply to appliances that we use to make food, coffee or clean our dishes. The product is available in liquid or powder form.
€9.00 per 1l
This dishwasher cleaning liquid neutralises any bad smells in your dishwasher, as well as removes grease, dirt and limescale build-up. This product only needs to be used once every 3 months.
The limescale residue, if left to accumulate will cause damage to the heating element of the washing machine. I have found that 1 cup of vinegar or lemon juice in an empty wash cycle can keep your washing machine limescale free – however, there is a risk that the acid content of the vinegar or lemon juice could damage the rubber components of the machine. As an alternative, an even more affordable option would be to use Heitmann´s Pure Citric Acid. It can be dissolved or diluted and placed into the empty washing machine drum. The machine would need to run a full cycle to allow the solution to effectively descale.
€0.16 per tablet
I have been using Calgon´s Power Tabs to keep my washing machine limescale free for over a year. It has a 3-in-1 function protecting against limescale, dirt and odours. These tablets are used in conjunction with your washing load cycles. The tablets soften the water in the machine, which results in softer laundry.
In conclusion, it is always best to keep a regular descaling routine in order to avoid any stubborn limescale build-up or damaged appliances. It is evident that whether you prefer all-natural products or chemical detergents, there are excellent and affordable options in-store.
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