You see the adverts on the TV; scale bubbles and fizzes away to nothing as if by magic! So you buy the product and spray it on to find that even after vigorous scrubbing with an abrasive green scourer or even a metal scourer, the scale is still there!
This is a common problem as not only do we all have a habit of getting sucked in by the adverts, but we forget the basics behind tackling the problem. For most cleaning processes we need the right mixture of mechanical as well as chemical force to get the job done. If we think about it, common sense should prevail and tell us that if we have anything more than a thin build up of limescale, an off the shelf chemical from the supermarket isn’t going to be strong enough to simply dissolve it on the spot. If that were the case, it would probably eat through the finish on your taps too!
Mechanical cleaning – using the correct tool to remove the bulk of the scale first is the key. Think of it as a piece of wood; you don’t sand a piece of wood in half, you cut it. So we don’t use a scourer on big lumps of scale, it would take forever. As an example working around plug holes or taps I use an Unger Razor Blade Scraper to remove the bulk of the scale. It’s similar to the razor scrapers you might have seen for cleaning glass cooking hobs. As long as they are used carefully and at a shallow angle so not to damage the surface, they are perfect for lifting off large bits of scale.
Chemical cleaning – the residue that remains is now ready to be easily removed using chemical force! I use a product called Scaleit by Clover which when used neat is ideal for tackling the residue scale. Apply to the surface by pouring on or by soaking into a tooth brush or scourer, leave it to dwell while it eats into the scale, then some lighter mechanical work with the brush or scourer to finish the job. Rinse thoroughly afterwards and don’t leave to dwell too long so metal surfaces aren’t damaged.
Thinking differently about the tools you apply to cleaning and bearing in mind the basic physics and chemistry makes a huge difference to your cleaning results but also saves loads of time.
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