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Clr Cleaner Great On Lime, Otherwise Mediocre

Reviewing: Clr Kitchen And Bathroom Cleaner  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Other Home & Garden Expertise:
Image for CLR Cleaner- Great on Lime, otherwise mediocre

If you have lime (calcium) in your hard water this product will clean off those deposits very well. It does not deliver as well on its other promises.

CLR (short for Calcium, Lime, Rust) promises to remove calcium, lime (redundant... lime is calcium chloride!), and hard water deposits, discoloration, soap scum and dirt. It is non abrasive and also claims to deoderize.

I tried this product on several tough stains in our house. We have a lot of lime, and some rust in our water.

The scent is average, not too chemical. But don’t let that fool you. This is a strongly acidic product and you should wear rubber gloves when using it. Don’t use it on marble, painted surfaces, mirrors, fabrics, etc.

I don’t like spray products in general because you have to be careful of overspray, spraying painted surfaces or walls near the sink or whatever you are trying to clean, but the spray is fairly well directed.

First I tried it on the calcium build up on the sink stopper that was left after the Scrubbing Bubbles failed to remove that. There were crusty ridges of lime around the edges of the chrome. CLR quickly cleaned the flat patches of lime from the top of the stopper, and I was able to remove the ridges by spraying them and then gently scraping with a screwdriver blade. The lime build-up was completely removed. This implies that you could soak blocked shower heads and successfully clean them out.

Then I tackled the shower door. The foam ran quickly down the door (see picture), and did not stay where I sprayed it. But is it ran you could see it removing the lime in its tracks! I would suggest putting newspaper or an old towel under the bottom edge of shower doors or other vertical surfaces that have a floor below that you want to protect. But one application of this product removed the hard water stains better than two applications of Scrubbing Bubbles (see picture).

It claims to remove soap scum and dirt. But near the bottom of the shower door where there was more actual greasy dirt, the CLR did poorly. I needed to wash this portion with a soap based product first, to break up the oil before the CLR could cut through the lime.

I compared it side by side with Scrubbing Bubbles and Zud in both the fiberglass shower stall and the picture shows the results after one application (according to each product’s directions) as noted. Each of the areas would need a lot more work, but the CLR performed in the middle of the group, but rather poorly.

An even harder test is the fiberglass utility sink with real buildup. Again, you can see the results after one application of each product. Again the CLR performed in the middle of the group. I don’t think it does much on rust stains.

I would have rated this higher if the product made only the claim for lime– it’s the best for that problem. However, since they went on to claim a lot of other things, they lose ranking in my mind since they aren’t so good at meeting these other promises.

If you are troubled with lime buildup from hard water, this product will do the job. Otherwise, I suggest finding something else.