How to Remove Lime Scale from a Car


Martin asked: I park in an underground car park, and water has been dripping through the roof leaving a lime scale deposit on the back window and rear of the car. Normal cleaning products don’t seem to shift the problem. Please help.

Lime scale deposits are left behind from hard water. They are commonly found in the home, but can occur anywhere a surface is continually exposed to the water. The removal techniques and products for lime scale are easy to find simple to use. Here are the steps to remove lime scale quickly and effectively.

You Will Need:

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Soft cloths or Paper towels
  • Soap to wash car
  • Good quality wax
  • Spray bottle (optional)

Steps to Remove the Lime Scale:

  1. Combine one part water with one part vinegar in a spray bottle or bucket.
  2. Spray it onto the affected areas.
  3. Wipe the area with a clean, soft cloth.
  4. If using a bucket, moisten a cloth with the mixture and use it to wipe away the lime scale.
  5. If the lime is not easily wiping away, moisten a cloth with the mixture and lay it over the area.
  6. Allow it to soak for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Remove the cloth and wipe the loosened lime away.
  8. Repeat as needed until all of the lime scale is removed.
  9. The vinegar in the mixture will remove the wax that was originally on the car.
  10. Wash the car as usual once you are finished removing all of the lime.
  11. Apply a good quality wax to protect the finish.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If the lime scale is thick or stubborn, increase the amount of vinegar in the solution. For really tough areas, use straight vinegar.
  • There are commercial cleaners available as well. Check the labels carefully to ensure the product is safe to use on automotive finishes.
  • Do not use abrasive cloths or scrubbers as they will scratch the surface and could remove the paint.
  • Clean spots as soon as possible. The sooner they are removed, the easier they will come loose from the surface.


  1. Trep says:

    It took four applications, leaving the vinegar and water soaked paper towel pad on the car hood for ten minute intervals. We rubbed with clearcoat rubbing compound between applications, and there is no longer any trace of the large and unsightly stain. We saved a bunch of money, because it was a leased car, and they would have insisted on repainting the entire hood.

  2. Yana says:

    I have the same problem, but the lime stains are on the windscreen and vinegar didn’t work on the glass. Please help.

  3. The Man says:

    Use glass polish on the windscreen and it will definitely come off. If you’re in the UK, Halfords own brand glass polish is actually very, very good. I use it on customers’ cars on a daily basis (I’m a professional car detailer).

  4. Dana says:

    For deposits on glass, I use a razor knife you would use to take off a registration label. Be careful around the window gasket is all.

  5. Alberto says:

    The post was so helpful… I didn’t even need the wax polish for the car later on! Thanks so much guys; this is nothing that we see in Spain often (doesn’t rain enough 😉

  6. Ian says:

    This tip is simply amazing. We tried so many products and procedures. Ultimately, a vinegar-soaked cloth and three minutes of time was all it took to remove the lime. Thanks!

  7. KK says:

    This simple tip worked for me. Thanks.

  8. Pete C says:

    Same problem – lime scale on the car paintwork from a leaking pipe in multi-story car park. Tried everything non-abrasive – no good. Vinegar and water – brilliant!! Many thanks.

  9. Tony says:

    Hi. I have found a 100% way of getting the limescale off of any car; just go to your local supermarket, buy 6 lemons, extract the juice from the lemons, put the juice into a spray bottle and spray on the affected area. Leave for 5 mins, then wipe it off with a rough cloth.
    I applied it three times and had a 100% result.

  10. Southme says:

    I had a similar situation; parked in an underground parking garage where water and lime dripped on to several areas of my car doors, windows, and tailgate. I followed the directions here and with several applications over a half hour period or so, all of the stains were gone! The guys at the car wash couldn’t remove them with their cleaners!
    Thanks for the advice as it worked fantastic!

  11. Sunil says:

    Works great… thanks for the input… the limescale cleared within no time. I tried all kinds of OTS products before that.

  12. John says:

    After many months of trying to figure out a safe way, this natural method worked great. Thanks!

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