C is for Calcium
L is for Lime
R is for Rust
The purpose of CLR is to dissolve calcium and lime deposits and to lessen rust stains, without a lot of rubbing or scraping. However some reviews do mention that a little “elbow grease” may still be required. Also don’t be too quick – let it sit for a few minutes to work.
Its main ingredients include:
Water – keeps the solution from being too toxic.
Citric acid – softens the water and makes it smell better.
Gluconic acid – dissolves mineral deposits.
Lactic acid – keeps the mixture from evaporating too quickly.
Glycolic acid – helps penetrate the surfaces to lift and remove deep stains.
Sulfamic acid – cleans metal and removes rust.
For more information, I found this to be a very useful page.
Added surfactants (“surface active agents”) make it easier for the liquid to spread out so that the chemicals can work. For a simple explanation of this, check here (I always want to know more about all this stuff, and sometimes find myself getting sidetracked, then sidetracked some more!).
CLR is supposed to work in all of these areas, although I certainly have not tried them all:
- Toilet bowls
- Stainless steel
- Coffee makers
- Washing machines
- Shower heads
I must say that it was quickly effective at dissolving all the mineral deposits inside plant pots!