Limescale is a big problem when you live in a hard water areas. It’s commonly found in kettles and hot water tanks, but it also happily sits on other kitchen & bathroom surfaces.
It’s easiest to tackle limescale when the build up is small. Drying areas that regularly get wet (such as around taps) can prevent the problem from getting worse, and regular cleaning (with a scrubbing brush if necessary) can remove small amounts of limescale on a day to day basis to stop it from building up. Here are some do’s & don’ts when you’re dealing with marble and granite:
Always use a specialist cleaner for natural stone
While normal household remedies are out, there are plenty of good specialist cleaners available. For the reasons described above, look out for one which is for your particular type of stone. This is essential if you have limestone or marble worktops or tiles.
Don’t try to chip limescale away
Any tool that can remove limescale is likely to damage the surface beneath it. This applies equally to stone tiles as to a linoleum counter – limescale is tough.
Don’t use vinegar or lemon juice on limestone or marble
Limescale is mainly calcium carbonate, which can be easily dissolved by mild, food-safe acids like kitchen vinegar or lemon juice. While this is great news if you want to clean your kettle (just fill it with vinegar and leave to soak overnight) these home remedies shouldn’t be used on limestone or marble worktops, or on any stone with a high-gloss finish.
Calcium carbonate is not only the main ingredient in limescale. It’s also found in limestone (as the name suggests) and marble, too. This is one reason you have to be particularly careful when using products that remove limescale on natural stone. A strong cleaner than dissolves limescale can also damage a marble worktop.
High-gloss finishes in any stone can be dulled by acids and strong cleaners, as they create micro-abrasions on the surface. So even though you can’t feel or see any damage, a dull patch can appear. On rougher granite and quartz worktops, vinegar can normally be used, but make sure you do a test before using it as a general cleaner.
Polish up afterwards
Having worked on a limescale-ridden area on a bath or counter, you’ll often notice a slight difference in colour afterwards. This is often simply an optical illusion due to focussing on one area for so long, but if you’re worried giving the whole worktop a clean and a polish (using an appropriate polish) can work wonders and give you that brand-new feel. This is as true for (dare we say it) wood or ceramic as it is for our own favourite stones.