How Does CLR Work?

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Uses for CLR

CLR is a common household cleaner that is designed to clean the heavy duty stains of rust, calcium, and lime. Usually these stains are caused by water build up and the constant drip of minerals in the water. Over time, this causes unsightly build ups in sinks and bath tubs. This cleaner is very high-powered, so it is important to follow the directions exactly as listed. Some people have complained about the smell of it, however, almost everyone agrees that it does the job well. One of the main advantages of this cleaner over other cleaners is the fact that it eliminates the stains of three major unsightly stains around sinks and tubs. This gives CLR an advantage over cleaners that only eliminate one kind of stain.


Designs for CLR

CLR is a household cleaner designed to get rid of tough stains. The stains that it is designed to get rid of are calcium, lime and rust. These are all stains that can be hard to get rid of without using harsh chemicals. CLR is a harsh chemical, but it gets the job done.

Main Ingredients

The main ingredients in CLR are water, gluconic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, surfactants, glycolic acid and sulfamic acid. These ingredients are all designed to eliminate the rust, calcium, and lime that build up on surfaces. Certain acids help with certain issues of each problem of calcium, lime and rust.


Household Use

The two main places that CLR is used are in the kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen tends to have a lot of mineral deposits, like calcium and lime. The bathroom has these problems and often can get rusty around the sink, tub and toilet. The CLR solution is placed on these problem areas and left for several minutes. Then when wiped away with a sponge, the build-up of minerals and rust come away with the cleaning agent.

Acid Science

Each different kind of acid in CLR is used for a specific purpose. Each of these has to do with their chemical compounds and aspects. Water is there to keep the solution from being too toxic. Citric acid is designed to soften the water and to provide a better smell. The gluconic acid dissolves mineral deposits. Lactic acid is there to keep the moisture and liquid inside the solution and to keep it from evaporating too quickly. Glycolic acid is used to penetrate the surfaces to get deep stains lifted and removed. Sulfamic acid is designed to clean metal and remove rust.


Understanding Surfactants

A surfactant is a necessary part of a solution like CLR. What they do is lower the surface tension of liquids. This makes it easier to spread the liquid, as well as making it easier for the other chemicals to work with the stains. Without the surfactants, the chemicals would have a harder time penetrating the mineral deposits and rust stains under the surface of the surfaces that need to be cleaned.


Ezmeralda Lee

Ezmeralda Lee is a published writer living in Upstate New York. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has experience with subjects such as business, management, computer programming, technology, horses and real estate, She has expertise in computers, home and garden, law and literature. Lee holds a B.A. in English from Binghamton University.