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Removing Lime Scale from Stainless Steel

When removing lime scale from stainless steel, often special care needs to be taken. Anyone that has ever had any stainless steel in the past can tell you how easy it is to scratch, or scuff stainless steel. While very durable, when stainless steel becomes scratched or scuffed, then it becomes a little easier to damage in other ways. To avoid causing any damage to stainless steel when removing lime scale, use one of these methods.

All of these methods will require some physical effort on your part. As you are using them, keep a close eye on the steel itself to ensure that you do not accidentally cause any damage to it. Be sure to also use a little common sense when working with powerful cleansers. This means that you should always take the proper safety precautions to avoid accidentally getting hurt in some way.

  • Commercial cleaners. Many cleaners, such as CLR (which stands for Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover) can usually remove smaller deposits or buildups of lime scale. It will require some elbow grease on your part, and care when scrubbing. Follow the manufacturers directions to ensure that you do not use the cleaner improperly, or cause any potential problems to the surface itself.
  • Muriatic acid. Since you are dealing with an acid, this method is fairly drastic. Be careful as you use this method to ensure that you do not accidentally etch the metal itself. The best way to prevent that from happening is to lightly brush the acid onto the build up, and then rinse it away. To avoid getting hurt, and to avoid potentially causing any other problems, be sure that you follow any and all safety instructions that you find on the packaging. This acid can often be purchased at local pool stores and home improvement stores, and should be used with caution. Repeat as often as necessary to remove all the lime scale.
  • Replace it. Depending on the size of the stainless steel surface, it can become fairly expensive to replace. That being said, it is without doubt, the best possible way to ensure that you remove lime scale buildups. If you use this method though, make sure that you also invest in some way of preventing the situation from repeating itself.
  • Prevent it from happening if at all possible. Your best bet for cleaning huge lime scale buildups is to never actually be faced with them to begin with. Do this by regularly cleaning the area around your water source. At a minimum, this cleaning should be done once a week, but usually as often as is needed.

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Comments for this tip:

Rick    16 Oct 2013, 14:42
The BEST way to remove calcium from stainless steel pans/pots is to pour a can of tomato puree into the pot, completely covering the calcium area. Let sit overnight in the fridge and the acid in the tomato will completely dissolve the calcium. Magic!

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