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CLR vs. Lime Away: Pros, Cons, & Verdict

CLR vs Lime Away

CLR and Lime Away are both specialist cleaners designed to tackle stains left behind by calcium, lime, and rust. These stains are usually present around drains, taps, and other surfaces where water is allowed to settle, and they are caused by minerals in the water.

Both cleaners claim to effectively remove stains without the need for hard scrubbing, and both are popular with home users. But while they have the same purpose, they have different ingredients, so they tackle the stains in different ways.

Below, we look at the differences between CLR and Lime Away to help you determine which is the best lime stain remover for your needs.

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At a Glance


  • Tackles calcium, lime, and rust stains
  • Contains lactic acid, gluconic acid, and lauramine acid
  • Can be used on metal, ceramic, glass, and tiles
  • Claims to be a fast-acting formula
  • Industrial strength cleaner

Lime Away

  • Cleans calcium, lime, and rust stains
  • Contains sulfamic acid
  • Can be used to clean metal, ceramic, glass, and tiles
  • Comes in a convenient spray bottle
  • Household cleaner

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Overview of CLR

CLR Clear Pipes & Drains Clog Remover and Cleaner

CLR stands for Calcium, Lime, and Rust, and these are the types of stains that the industrial strength cleaner claims to tackle. The company claims it is a fast-acting cleaner and has a patented formula. It can be used in the bathroom and is also safe for use on surfaces including glass, ceramic, tiles, and metal. It and Lime Away are not considered safe for use on materials including wood.

CLR is an industrial strength cleaner, and it uses a combination of chemicals and detergents to tackle staining. It does a good job of removing simple stains on its own, and with the assistance of a scrubbing brush, it performs well on harder stains, too.

CLR comes in jugs, rather than a spray bottle, but this is common for chemical-based cleaners because it minimizes the risk of accidentally spraying the cleaner in your eyes or mouth. However, it is less convenient than if it were to come in a spray bottle.

  • Industrial strength cleaner
  • Uses a combination of chemicals for improved cleaning
  • Fast acting solution
  • No spray bottle

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Overview of Lime Away

Lime Away

Lime Away also aims to tackle calcium, lime, and rust stains. It is a water-based cleaner that contains sulfamic acid. It is considered a household cleaner, which means that it doesn’t use as harsh or strong chemicals as an industrial-grade cleaner. However, just like CLR, you shouldn’t leave the cleaner on surfaces for too long. The cleaner needs to be removed and neutralized by wiping it with a damp cloth after 2 minutes.

While Lime Away may not be as strong as CLR, it does have the upper hand in the convenience stakes, because it comes in a spray bottle that makes application easy. Lime Away does contain chemicals and you need to avoid getting the cleaner in your eyes or mouth, however, so take care when spraying the cleaner.

  • Spray bottle for easy application
  • Not as harsh as industrial cleaners
  • Can be used on different surfaces
  • Not as strong as an industrial cleaner

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What Are the Differences Between Them?


  • Edge: CLR

CLR is an industrial-strength cleaner that uses a combination of chemical cleaners. Lime Away is still more effective than an all-purpose cleaner and will be good enough for most applications, but CLR is the more powerful cleaner of the two.


  • Edge: Draw

Although prices vary from one retailer to the next and offers can make one cheaper than the other at certain times, the two are priced roughly the same. While CLR is more effective, potentially giving it the edge, Lime Away comes in a more convenient spray bottle.


  • Edge: Lime Away

CLR comes in a jug and the cleaner does not recommend the use of a spray bottle, likely because of the strength of the cleaner and the potential hazard of contact with the eyes and mouth. Lime Away’s spray bottle makes it easier to apply and more convenient to use.

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What the Users Say

To help determine which is the better of these two lime cleaners, we have looked at forums, reviews, and buyer experiences, to find which is the most popular and why.

CLR and Lime Away are more powerful than general all-purpose cleaners when it comes to cleaning the stains and mess that hard water can leave behind. Most users agree that CLR is more effective on tough stains, especially on those stains that have been left to sit.

Users point out that less scrubbing is required. However, the spray bottle is popular with a lot of buyers because it makes applying the cleaner so much easier. The general consensus among buyers is that Lime Away is more beneficial for easy and general stains while CLR is the preferred choice if you have really stubborn lime stains.

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CLR and Lime Away are lime cleaners that also help remove calcium and rust stains. They are especially useful on bath and sink drains and fittings, although you should always limit the amount of time either of these cleaners is allowed to sit on surfaces.

While Lime Away comes in a more convenient spray bottle, CLR is preferred when trying to tackle difficult and stubborn stains because it is stronger and works more efficiently without the need to scrub or clean further.


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