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Now living in a very hard water area where water doesn't fall to the floor it crashes to the floor lime scale can be a big problem and removing it a bigger one. Especially from taps and plug holes. I have used vinegar in the past when I was really into my natural cleaners phase to remove it which works well but I'm not a fan of the smell of vinegar so after a while of my bathroom smelling a bit like a chip shop I wanted an alternative.
I have now used Viakal many times over the past 18 months to keep on top of the lime-scale especially on the taps in my bathroom. I bought my latest bottle for around £3 for 500ml from my local Sainsbury's.
The gel comes in a white bottle with a blue 'child proof' cap, the type you have to squeeze the sides and twist. This is still, in my opinion, too easy to open but as long as it is kept out of reach of children it shouldn't be a problem. Under the cap is a small nozzle allowing for a bit more control over where you direct the gel so you don't slop it everywhere.
The pale blue gel is perhaps a bit thin to really be called a gel but it doesn't run of the taps as soon as it is applied. After leaving it on the lime-scale for a few minutes I then wipe it off with a wet cloth then rinse it off and most of the lime-scale has gone restoring the shine to my taps. With rather tougher lime-scale it may need a second application to remove it all. However, with really encrusted lime-scale (I'm talking years of build-up) something harsher may be needed. When applied, at times you can sometimes see it fizz as it eats through the lime-scale to remove it. The smell from the gel is more of a fresh clean smell than anything else and it is not that offensive acidic catching the back of your throat smell which some lime-scale removers have.
I have a hot tap in my bathroom which is a bit temperamental and occasionally drips. This can leave a lime-scale build up inside my sink which can look a bit unsightly as it just seems to absorb the colour of any dirt which comes into contact with it by using the sink. This gel makes short work of removing this scale as well without having to scrub it off. At times my shower does lose a bit of its power (not that I have a power shower) but lime-scale build up in the shower head is a big issue. I Squirt Viakal over the shower head and leaving it with the outlet nozzles facing upwards for about 5 minutes. Turn the shower on and this clears the vast majority then a quick scrub with an old toothbrush dislodges the rest, wipe with a wet cloth and it's all gone. This returns my shower back to its full power and glory. I have also used to remove suborn lime-scale from my toilet bowl. A quick squirt round the inside of the bowl wait about 3 minutes then scrub with the toilet brush and flush - and the lime-scale is gone.
WARNING - Do NOT use this product in your toilet (or anywhere else) at the same time as or just after/before other cleaning products especially bleach as this can release Chlorine gas.
Like all lime-scale removers this is acidic and prolonged contact with it should be avoided and those with sensitive skin should wear gloves when using it. After using it I would advise everyone to wash their hands - just in case any of the product got onto them.
Please note this gel is not suitable for removing scale from kettles or gold plated fittings.
Well it is more expensive than vinegar but it does the job it says on the bottle. Also it smells better than vinegar as well.
Limescale is a real bugbear of mine, it can make an otherwise clean house look grimy and dirty. Living in a hard water area, it can also be quite a problem, particularly around bathroom and kitchen taps. I therefore work hard to keep it at bay and any product that can help me do this is always welcome! One such product that I use is this Viakal gel which is said to give 'brilliant removal and brilliant shine'.
The gel come in a bottle of 500ml which costs between £4 and £5, depending on where you purchase from - it is available online as well as in most supermarkets. It comes in a rounded white plastic bottle with a blue, child proof, screw cap. On the labelling around the bottle there is a picture of a sparkling clean stainless steel tap - promising!! Once the cap is removed, a small plastic spout is revealed through which the gel - a light blue colour and quite runny - can be squeezed. It smells quite strong and distinctly chemically so I would recommend applying in a well aerated room.
The gel has a formula that 'respects your surfaces and helps prevent limescale return' It has a sheeting action on surfaces to prevent limescale build up and removes the dulling effect of limescale deposits so leaves a shiny finish. It also removes watermarks so it is great for use on shower doors too. I apply quite liberally around my taps and leave for several minutes. After this, I use a soft sponge to remove harder deposits of limescale and I find that this works very effectively. It means that less elbow grease is required and there are definite visible results. It also leaves the taps with a shiny appearance. I also apply to my shower doors and it removes the watermarks really quickly and easily - leaving a clear finish that I have previously struggled to achieve. The smell of the gel, whilst strong when first applied, quickly subsides and doesn't linger at all so I have no problem with this.
I do use quite a bit of this, but I think I probably apply more than necessary. This first clean always requires more to remove any tougher deposits but I do think that this does help to reduce any further build up. It is quite an expensive cleaning product but worth it, particularly if you have a few stainless steel taps and surfaces in your house. Recommended.
A month or so ago my partner had the tenants in his property leave and although they left the house itself in a clean state the taps and plugholes had unfortunately suffered at the hands of limescale. We live in a hardwater area and if left the limescale can build up. The tenants had been in the property for a few years and by the looks of things hadn't really bothered doing anything about it so before the new tenants moved in and wanting to keep the cost down we decided to purchase a product to try and tackle the limescale as we really didn't want to pay someone to sort it.
After browsing in our local discount warehouse for various items we came across in their cleaning product aisle a product called Viakal Liquid Gel. I had heard of Viakal before but had never used any of their products although from reading a few of their reviews their products are actually quite useful and do the job they claim. We bought a 500ml bottle for £2.50 which I thought was good value and should not work we haven't lost a great deal either.
What is it?
Viakal Liquid Gel is a specific treatment for limescale. It claims to remove the toughest limescale as well as watermark problems and leaving the surface with a problem free shine. However, there are numerous warnings about what surfaces not to use it on such as enamel baths, inside plastic kettles, gold plated taps, silver, marble or natural stones. This is due to it being an acid based product so it goes without saying that you keep it out of the reach of children as well as being careful when you use it.
The Viakal Liquid Gel comes in a white plastic bottle with a safety blue top. The front label depicts sparkling clean taps and plugholes as well as the Viakal logo. On the back of the bottle features information about the product, how to use it so it is effective, a long list of warnings and instructions.
My only gripe with the packaging is that it features silver coloured plugholes and taps yet cannot be used on silver or chrome plated taps etc. This to me is a bit misleading as lets face it there are some of us out there that don't always read the instructions word for word!
The liquid gel is blue in colour and has the same sort of consistency as a liquid soap and doesn't have a major smell to it although you do get subtle hues of a strong acid based smell similar to that of an oven cleaner! The top of the bottle once the cap is off there is a small plastic spout which is quite narrow making it easier to get the gel onto the required area as it is far more precise than just pouring it out especially if wanting to do the ends of taps.
Viakal advise that for tough, encrusted limescale that you can leave it on up to a maximum of 5 minutes which is what I did on all the taps and plugholes as they were pretty awful. I found applying the gel was an easy process if not a little wasteful as it can come out of the bottle quite quickly. The main problem is applying it to the end of the taps as it will inevitably end up dripping off. I did make sure I was using gloves as it is an acid based gel.
After 5 minutes I started the process of trying to break it off gently and I find with a little bit of effort that the outer part of the limescale easily flaked off but for the tougher parts a bit more elbow grease was required but I found that with the help of an old toothbrush which is ideal for the ends of the taps and around the base that I was able to scrub most of it off whilst keeping the chrome in tact as I was a little worried it would peel off!
Although the really tough limescale on the underneath of the tap was tough to remove completely I was amazed at the results. The limescale which was very minimal came off with a wipe of a damp cloth and the tougher parts did come off with a little bit of force but all in all my taps look a lot cleaner and remarkably better to the point where you can really see the difference the gel has made.
I really have no major complaints about this product other than that when you apply it you can waste it easily but at just £2.50 per bottle I'm not going to loose any sleep over it. I do think though that if you were to leave it on for just a little too long you could end up doing some serious damage to your chrome plated taps so you do have to be incredibly careful when using it and for how long you leave it on for.
Overall, the fact that it was able to remove the limescale relatively easily I really cannot moan, my taps look a lot cleaner and now I know what product can be used and which actually works I will be using it in my own house to avoid limescale as well as making sure the next tenants keep on top of the problem. No complaints from me and a definite recommendation to those who battle with limescale.
Price: £3.00 (Ocado Nov 2012)
Availability: Supermarkets, discount stores etc