Limescale can become a big problem, fast. It can build-up pretty much everywhere, especially if you're in a hard water area. It can form at the end of taps and shower heads and in appliances such as kettles, washing machines and dishwashers.


No matter which bathroom cleaner, washing machine cleaner or dishwasher cleaner you're using, it's likely you're going to need a good limescale remover to really tackle the build-up of the hard layers of calcium and magnesium.

You may think limescale is just unsightly, but descaling your appliances can actually save you money in the long run. It makes your appliances operate more efficiently and prevents breakdown of machinery.

To help you find the best limescale remover to descale your home, we asked parents in our Top Testers Club what they use to remove limescale – the response was very enthusiastic, highlighting the universal hate of limescale. When testing and selecting the best limescale removers, we considered appliance or area trying to descale, capacity, ease of use and value.

If you're fed up of limescale then keep reading to find the best limescale remover to descale your bathroom and all your affected appliances.

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Best limescale removers at a glance

  • Best limescale remover for the bathroom: Viakal Classic Limescale Remover Liquid, £3
  • Best limescale remover for tough limescale: HG Limescale Remover Concentrate, £4
  • Best limescale remover for appliances: Oust All Purpose Descaler, £1.75
  • Best versatile limescale remover: Kilrock Big-K Multi-Purpose Descaler, £2.40
  • Best spray limescale remover: Cif Perfect Finish Limescale, £3.50
  • Best limescale remover for washing machines: Dr Beckmann Service-It Power Descaler, £3.29
  • Best limescale remover for dishwashers: Finish Dishwasher Cleaner, £6.50
  • Best limescale remover for kettles: Lakeland Kettle Protector, £4.99
  • Best limescale remover for toilets: Harpic Power Plus Toilet Cleaner Limescale, £1.75
  • Best natural descaler: White Vinegar, £7.25

What to consider when choosing a limescale remover

What you want to descale – There are different descalers designed for each appliance. If you want to descale your dishwasher, washing machine or kettle, then it's recommended to get a limescale remover specifically designed for that appliance. For removing limescale in the bathroom or kitchen, then a simple limescale remover spray may be ideal as it's versatile and can be used on most surfaces.

Capacity – Some descalers, particularly those designed for specific appliances are sold in sachets or tablets which mean they can only treat the appliance a couple of times. Other multi-purpose descalers may be more expensive but have a much larger capacity and can be used on lots of different surfaces or appliances over and over again.

Safety – It's important to consider where you're going to store limescale remover. Most, if not all, of these products featured in this list are toxic and must be kept out of reach of children or in a child-proof box.

Ease of use – Sprays and sachets are a very quick, easy and mess-free way to remove limescale. Other options may require you to dilute, make a solution or pour onto the targeted area which can easily get messy.

Our pick of the best limescale removers

1. Viakal Classic Limescale Remover Liquid, £3

– Best for the bathroom

Viakal Classic Limescale Remover Liquid

Capacity: 500ml

Lots of parents in our Top Testers Club recommend using Viakal for descaling the bathroom. It works well on taps, showers and plug holes.

It removes limescale, gets rid of dirt and bacteria and leaves silverware shining. Not only does it remove limescale, but it also prevents it growing back in the future.

To use, just fill the dosage cap and apply to the targeted area, wiping clean after.

The bottle is made with 100% recycled plastic and is made with 100% renewable energy.

Pros: Great for bathrooms and silverware, removes and prevents limescale returning, easy to use, bottle made with 100% recycled plastic
Cons: Slightly messier than a spray

Available from: Sainsbury's and Amazon

2. HG Limescale Remover Concentrate, £4

– Best for tough limescale

HG Limescale Remover Concentrate

Capacity: 500ml

For really tough limescale, this heavy duty concentrate is brilliant. It's designed to be used in the bathroom and works on tiles, shower doors, bath screens, taps, shower heads and more.

Although it's tough on limescale, you don't need to worry about it damaging delicate surfaces. It's safe for any surface in your bathroom.

You can apply the cleaner with a sponge – diluted or undiluted depending on the level of limescale – wait, wipe off and then thoroughly rinse the surface.

Pros: Heavy duty for tough limescale, does not damage surfaces
Cons: Messier to use than a spray, designed mostly for the bathroom

Available from: Amazon, Tesco and B&Q

3. Oust All Purpose Descaler, £1.75

– Best for all appliances

Oust All Purpose Descaler

Capacity: 3 x 25ml sachets

These descaler sachets are ideal for descaling all your appliances, from the kettle and coffee machine to the iron and shower head.

Parent tester Seaneen said, "I use Oust and it's great. I find it lifts all of the limescale off my kettle."

Each pack contains 3 x 25ml sachets so you can descale 3 appliances or the same appliance multiple times – Oust recommends using 2 sachets if you have very heavy scale in your kettle.

Oust outline how to use the sachets for all different appliances on their website. They are very easy to use and can get to work with just a flick of the kettle.

Pros: Great for different appliances, easy to use
Cons: Pack only contains 3 treatments

Available from: Amazon, Tesco and Wilko

4. Kilrock Big-K Multi-Purpose Descaler, £3

– Best for versatility

Kilrock Big-K Multi-Purpose Descaler

Capacity: 400ml

Our Top Testers highly recommended this descaler and love how versatile it is. Parent tester Poppy said, "Kilrock Limescale Cleaner is the best! You can get it in many versions, I use the multi-purpose cleaner for everything."

It has a biodegradable, phosphate-free formula and can be used on pretty much anything. This bottle of descaler offers 5 doses.

Pros: Versatile, biodegradable, phosphate-free formula
Cons: Only has 5 doses

Available from: Dunelm and The Range

5. Cif Perfect Finish Limescale, £3.50

– Best for a spray

Cif Perfect Finish Limescale

Capacity: 435ml

A spray descaler such as this Cif one is quick, easy and less messy than alternative descalers. All you have to do is spray onto the targeted surface, leave for a few seconds or for a few minutes for heavy scale, clean off and thoroughly rinse the area. If you really want a lasting shine then you can also wipe with a dry cloth.

Home tester Hannah uses, "Cif Perfect Finish Limescale and a pair of exfoliating gloves to rub it in."

Not only does it descale surfaces, it also leaves surfaces shiny.

Pros: Easy and mess-free, leaves a shine
Cons: May not work as well for appliances

Available from: Wilko and Ocado

6. Dr. Beckmann Service-It Power Descaler, £3.29

– Best for washing machines

Dr Beckman Service-It Power Descaler

Capacity: 2 treatments

It can be difficult to see limescale in a washing machine, but it can have a really big impact on the machine's performance and decrease its longevity by increasing the likelihood of the machine breaking down.

Dr Beckmann's descaler has a very strong formula to cut through hidden limescale in the tubes and heating rods. It's suitable for all washing machines and dishwashers.

To use, just add one of the contents of the sachet into the machine and run a 60°c cycle.

Pros: Great for removing hidden limescale, increases performance of washing machine, easy to use
Cons: Only has 2 treatments, only suitable for washing machines

Available from: Amazon

7. Finish Dishwasher Cleaner, £6.50

– Best for dishwashers

Finish Dishwasher Cleaner

Capacity: 2 treatments

Much like a washing machine, a clean dishwasher increases performance and longevity. This Finish dishwasher removes grease and limescale, leaving your dishwasher scale-free, clean and smelling fresh.

It cleans visible limescale as well as hidden scale in the filters and tubes.

To use, ensure your dishwasher is completely empty, remove the sticker (but keep the cap on), place the bottle upside down on the bottom rack of the dishwasher keeping the cap closed and then run the dishwasher on an empty cycle at about 65°c.

Pros: Removes visible and hidden limescale, cleans whole dishwasher, easy to use, leaves dishwasher smelling fresh
Cons: Only contains 2 treatments, only suitable for washing machines

Available from: Amazon and Sainsbury's

8. Lakeland Kettle Protector, £4.99

– Best for kettles

Lakeland Kettle Protector

Capacity: 1

This clever kettle protector prevents the build-up of limescale. It sits inside your kettle and attracts limescale towards it, stopping it from reaching the inside of your kettle.

This kettle protector does not only remove the unsightly look of the limescale, it also helps reduce your energy bills by increasing the kettles performance.

Pros: Prevents limescale, increases energy efficiency of kettle
Cons: Preventive measure, does not remove previously formed limescale, only suitable for kettles

Available from: Lakeland

9. Harpic Power Plus Toilet Cleaner Limescale, £1.75

– Best for toilets

Harpic Power Plus Toilet Cleaner Limescale

Capacity: 750ml

When you think of limescale, a toilet may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, the water in your toilet can cause limescale and some bleaches and disinfectants actually make the problem worse, leaving a trail of limescale behind.

This Harpic Power Plus toilet cleaner removes limescale, tough stains, rust, dirt and urine stains.

Just use this cleaner as a regular bleach you would put down the toilet.

Pros: Cleans the toilet and removes limescale, easy to use
Cons: Only suitable for toilets

Available from: Wilko, Tesco and Sainsbury's

10. White Vinegar, £7.25

– Best natural descaler

White Vinegar

Capacity: 5L

Out of all the limescale removers available, a large number of parents in our Top Tester's Club said they use white vinegar to combat limescale. Home tester Sophie said, "I use white vinegar and water, leave it for 30 minutes and then rinse, refill and boil, then tip that away and use as normal."

This 5L container of white vinegar will last a very long time and can work for descaling almost anything. This is a natural descaler which you may even already have handy in the cupboard.

The only downside is, as this is a natural descaler, you may find it can't remove tough limescale as well as other heavy duty limescale cleaners. It is also slightly more messy than a spray or sachet.

Pros: Natural, easy to find
Cons: May not be as effective on tough limescale, slightly messier to use, has a strong scent

Available from: Amazon

How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

When testing and selecting the best limescale removers, we considered appliance or area trying to descale, capacity, ease of use and value.

Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don't just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

What is limescale?

So we know we want to get rid of limescale but what actually is it? It's a hard, chalky deposit which consists mainly of calcium carbonate. It is caused from the flow of hard water, in particular, hot hard water.

This is why appliances such as kettles, coffee machines and irons are prone to the build-up of limescale, as well as larger items such as your boiler, shower and taps. Limescale can get particularly bad in bathrooms and toilets.

Why is limescale a problem

Not only is limescale unsightly – a horrible off-white, grey, pink or reddish brown colour – it can also cause your appliances, showers and taps to deteriorate quicker. This means you may need to spend more, replacing your appliances much more regularly.


For appliances such as kettles, washing machines and dishwashers, heavy limescale may also end up increasing your energy costs as they will not be performing optimally and will require more energy to do so.


Picture of Chloe Brightwell
Chloe BrightwellDigital Reviews Writer and Coordinator

Chloe is a Digital Reviews Writer and Coordinator for Immediate Media's Parenting team, specialising in household and trying to help parents save money. She researches and writes articles, recommending the best products, ranging from best cordless vacuums to best playpens. She has a First-Class Honours Psychology degree where she developed a strong interest in child development. During her teenage years she worked as a play worker and Brownie volunteer to support children's play.