Leave taps ‘sparkling’ with 14p item that ‘performs miracles’ on stubborn limescale

Households may have noticed chalky deposits on the end of their kitchen taps, this is what’s known as limescale. Aside from looking dirty, having calcium carbonate build-up can increase water bills because the scaley bits make it harder for water to travel. Thankfully, Britons don’t need a plumber to get rid of this plaque-like substance, nor do they need to buy harsh chemicals to treat their taps. Polly Shearer, cleaning expert at Tap Warehouse, has outlined seven parts of the kitchen that are usually overlooked but do need tending to in a spring clean, so that households can tackle all areas with confidence.

1. Taps

The expert said: “Taps often develop stubborn limescale over time, especially if you live in an area with hard water.”

Anything acidic is great for breaking down mineral deposits like limescale. But households needn’t go to lengths to get any professional chemicals to tackle their taps.

Polly claimed: “Lemons can perform miracles when it comes to removing limescale because of their acidic nature and will leave your kitchen tap sparkling clean.”

Simply rub the flesh of the citrus fruit onto chrome taps or faucets and rinse with clean water. If the limescale is too persistent, leave half of a lemon (screwed onto the spout until it stays in place) for 15 to 30 minutes.

READ MORE: ‘Best solution’ to descale kettles in ‘10 minutes’ – ‘you need it’

Ensuring the tap is rinsed with water afterwards is a “vital step”, urged the cleaning pro, otherwise there’s the risk of eroding the finish on taps with the lemon residue.

Lemons are so much cheaper than their chemical alternative and households are more likely to already have them in their home. If not, a pack of four lemons can be picked up from Tesco and Asda for 55p – this works out as 14p per lemon.

2. Kettles

When thinking about how much a kettle is used, especially for Britons, cleaning the kettle should be much higher up on the priority list. Polly said: “If you live in an area with hard water, descaling your kettle is well worth your time to avoid floaty bits in your tea. 

“Thankfully, it’s pretty simple to do: throw a few sliced lemons into the kettle and boil. Let it sit for ten minutes before boiling again. The natural acids from the lime will break up the limescale in the kettle and can be rinsed away.”

For those who have “quite a significant build up of limescale” in their kettle, try filling it with a half and half mixture of white wine vinegar and water to around a third of the kettle.

“If that isn’t enough, mix white vinegar with baking soda and pour the solution down the drain. Leave it for a couple of hours to work its magic, followed by a kettle of boiling water.”

4. Under appliances

Cleaning the hob, microwave, toaster and other amenities sitting on the kitchen counter are key areas to clean as it’s easy to spot stains or spillages that are within view.

One area often left out of the usual spring clean is underneath appliances. Polly said: “It’s surprising how much grime and little bits of food can build up under amenities, holding all kinds of germs including Salmonella and E coli. A simple wipe down underneath of your appliances once in a while will ensure there’s no build up of potential harmful bacteria.”

5. Fridge coils 

Cleaning the fridge can be a tiring task especially if it’s full of food. But it’s not only the inside of the fridge that needs cleaning, the outside does too. With the increase in energy prices, many are on the lookout for ways to save energy and one way to do this is to ensure appliances run as efficiently as possible. 

Fridge coils are often overlooked – yes, those metal things on the back of the fridge that have been sitting there collecting dust for years. What’s more, dirty fridge coils can actually “shorten the life” of the appliance, warned the expert. They overload the compressor which can result in a repair totalling hundreds of pounds.

A little hoover of the fridge coils just once a year, especially for those who have pets, will go a long way to keeping a fridge functioning efficiently. Don’t forget to turn the appliance off first before cleaning though.

6. Extractor fan

After cooking, getting rid of lingering odours is vital to keeping a kitchen airy and fresh. If an extractor fan is dirty and has a build up of grime, it will hinder how well a job it can do. If an extractor fan has filters, take them out and wash them with hot soapy water one by one, ensuring they’re dried out fully before placing them back in. For those who use their extractor fan regularly, the expert said to aim to clean the filters every three months to keep them in good condition. 

7. Bin 

Oily foods and leftovers that have been discarded quite often seep through the bag and into the inside of the bin, causing a stench throughout the home. Giving the bin a proper clean using hot, soapy water will be more than enough to “eradicate any leftover grime”, claimed Polly. She said: “If your bin is regularly giving off a foul odour, try putting some ground coffee in the bottom which will neutralise any funky smells.” 

As the temperature gradually starts to increase, it’s worth being aware of the effect warm weather has on bins. It’s not unusual for maggots to be found among rubbish as flies become drawn to leftover waste which rots faster in the heat. The expert said: “During warmer months, your bin should be cleaned more frequently. A white vinegar and water solution boiled in the kettle is sufficient to extinguish maggots and their eggs too.”

source: express.co.uk