Essigessenz for descaling - how effective is it?


When it comes to decalcifying, vinegar is a much-used home remedy. What is the difference between vinegar and vinegar essence, and how well vinegar essence is actually suitable for removing lime, you will learn in this post.

Effectiveness of vinegar essence against lime

Hard calcium deposits are not water soluble. To dissolve them, acids are needed. The stronger the acid, the better the lime-dissolving effect. Essigessenz is - like citric acid - a relatively strong acid.

Vinegar and vinegar essence

The difference between the two is first of all the chemical concentration. The acetic acid present in conventional vinegar has a concentration of around 5%, in the vinegar essence the acid concentration is almost five times higher, usually 25%. Therefore, vinegar essence is much more effective at dissolving lime than conventional bottle vinegar.

Another difference lies in the purity of the substances. Vinegar is usually made from alcoholic liquids such as wine. Essigessenz is almost always made directly from acetic acid. As a result, less unwanted ingredients are present in the vinegar essence than in ordinary vinegar.

Smell of vinegar

If vinegar essence is used to decalcify equipment, often a slight vinegar smell is left behind. As a rule, this smell disappears very quickly and can be easily removed by rinsing the devices several times.

In some cases, however, a vinegar odor may persist for a while - for example when decalcifying a coffee machine. When decalcifying the steam iron or lime removal in the shower that usually plays a minor role.

acid problem

Vinegar essence is already a highly concentrated acid. Individual devices can be sensitive to it, especially if the strong acid comes in direct and undiluted contact with plastic parts or hoses and remains there. For sensitive equipment, such as washing machines, you should always be careful with strong acids and always follow dosage instructions (do not overdo it!).

Although a dilute application also reduces the direct effectiveness in removing stubborn limescale, but this can be compensated by a prolonged exposure time again.

Tips & Tricks

An alternative to unpleasant-smelling vinegar is of course always citric acid (you can buy in powder form) or citro-essence. It is an equally potent acid.


Video Board: Wasserkocher schnell & einfach entkalken - Water cooker quickly and easily descale