Does CLR Really Work?

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Does CLR work?Calcium, Lime, and Rust, that’s what CLR is supposed to remove easily from all types of surfaces. At least that’s what they say in their ubiquitous TV spots. At this point, it’s been put to the test in thousands of homes across the country, so the reviews are in, and we can make a determination on whether it actually works or not.








What Can You Use CLR For?

CLR is a very powerful formula that is manufactured to easily and quickly dissolve and remove stubborn lime, calcium, and rust surface stains. This product works well in the bathroom on toilet bowls, bathtubs, glass shower doors, and stainless steel faucets and shower heads. It can be used in the kitchen on many coffee makers, dishwashers, stainless steel sinks, and facets. Use it in your washing machine to remove hard water calcium build up. The use of CLR is septic safe as it contains no phosphates. Other surfaces CLR can be used on are:

    • Porcelain
    • Chrome
    • Stucco
    • Fiberglass
    • cement
    • ceramic
    • glass
    • brick
    • Plastic

Here are Some How To’s for the CLR Product

How Do I Clean My Shower Head?


Over time, minerals from hard water can build up in your shower head and cause clogged spouts, reducing the water flow. This can be very annoying.

To clean your shower head with CLR simply remove the showerhead, submerge it in a 50/50 mix of CLR and water, wait 2 minutes and rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Reinstall your showerhead. This product works quickly to dissolve these mineral build-ups, which increases proper flow of water through your showerhead.


How Do I Clean My Bathtub with CLR?


CLR is an amazing product for cleaning bathtub dirt, grime, and water mineral deposits. It is very easy to use. Always make sure you wear gloves when handling this product. Follow these simple steps for a clean, stain-free tub:

  • remove all items from the tub and surrounding tub area
  • Spray CLR directly onto the tub surface
  • Let the product sit on the tub for no longer than 2 min.
  • Simply wipe the tub surface with a clean damp cloth or sponge
  • Rinse the tub well with cold water

For stubborn stains, you may have to repeat this process, however using CLR on a regular basis will prevent stain build up.

How Do I Clean My Coffee Maker With CLR?

Coffee Maker

Mineral deposits and calcium buildup from tap water can greatly affect the way your coffee maker works for you.

To keep your coffee maker working well and adding longevity to it, it is recommended that you clean it regularly with CLR. However, this product should not be used on coffee machines that permanently hold water like Keurig Machines.

For a regular 8-12 cup coffee machine follow these instructions:

  • For every 8 cups of water, mix one cup of CLR
  • Run this mixture through your coffee machine
  • Dispose of the water/CLR mixture once it has run through the coffee maker
  • Run a complete cycle through your coffee machine using fresh cold water two times
  • Your coffee machine is now ready to use.

Remember to never use CLR in espresso machines.

These are just a few simple ways you can remove calcium, mineral, and rust from household items. There are many other uses for this product.

Is This Product Good For Outdoor Use?

garden tools

Many outdoor items may become rusty due to weather conditions and changes. CLR is a great product for removing rust from many metal surfaces. Allowing rust to remain on metal items can cause the metal to corrode and deteriorate. This is why it is important to remove rust when you first notice it. This product can be used on metal garden tools, metal arbors, outdoor metal furniture, and works great to clean hose nozzles.

What CLR Products are Available?

There are several CLR products on the market. Some are for specific areas of use such as CLR Bath and Kitchen and CLR Stainless Steel. The CLR, Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover can be used on many surfaces and household appliances. Other CLR products available are:

  • CLR Mold & Mildew Stain Remover
  • CLR Power Plumber
  • CLR Grease Magnet
  • CLR Outdoor Furniture Cleaner
  • CLR Metal Clear
  • CLR Septic System Treatment

There is a CLR product available to make your household cleaning jobs much easier.

How Much Does CLR Cost?

CLR product prices vary depending on the size and the specific product you choose to purchase. These products are available at many store locations and also online.

Amazon’s pricing ranges from $7.17 to $50.16, depending on the size. Amazon also offers package deals, so the more you buy, the better the price will be.

Customer Reviews


Many of Amazon’s CLR customers have rated this product between 4 and 5 stars out of 5 stars. This is a good rating for a product. Choosing to read customer reviews prior to making a purchase can help you decide if this is the kind of product you are looking for.

Special Notes About CLR


As with many cleaning products you should never use CLR with any other products, especially if they contain bleach or ammonia.


  • Always wear protective gloves when handling this product even though it is a non-toxic product.
  • CLR is a powerful, safer cleaning product alternative to chemicals.
  • This product is safe to use around children and pets.
  • When using this product full strength, do not leave on any surface longer than 2 minutes.
  • If you dilute this product, it can be left on a surface a little longer.

Our Recommendation to You

If you are looking for a multi-purpose household cleaning product, CLR is worth trying.

Read some customer reviews to determine what this product works best on and if it will meet your needs.

You may want to consider purchasing the smaller size bottle to try it out before investing in a large quantity of the product.

If you are happy with this product, you should share your findings with family members and friends to make their cleaning jobs as easy as yours.

Be sure to tell your friends and family to check out what we had to say here about CLR.

56 Customer Reviews on “Does CLR Really Work?

  1. What more can I say ? They’ve been advertising this scam product heavily on TV lately and its so frustrating that they are making money from gullible people. Try vinegar and lemon before wasting your money on this rubbish.

  2. I have been a General Contractor in the Seattle area for years and have used CLR products in the past on various projects. There previous products were poor at best. There new products are garbage just like there new add campaigns on TV that make no sense. I recommend HDM or Lime Away products for professional results. DLF

  3. Those dolts who cry about it not working on mold … WHAT?!??! Its not supposed to!!
    It has cleaned everything I tried to clean with it … the idiots who had decades of rust stains (hunting cabin), no it won’t turn it bright white! Jeez
    Anyway, I stand behind CLR

  4. Put this on the shower glass over and over with very little results. Waste of time and money.

  5. This product didn’t clean the ring around the bowl at all. What a total waste of money.

  6. I’ve used it in numerous different situations of rust stains. Can’t tell that it does anything at all.

  7. I bought CLR to clean stubborn grey strains off the toilet bowl and clean the shower’s stubborn calcium deposits. Nothing. It didn’t work at all. It was expensive too – $15 for basically water. Tried it on other recommended items – nothing.

  8. Bit the bullet and tried this product, tv ads looked to be the product I required turned out to be a waste of money and effort. Rubbish product and product should be removed from shelves. False advertising at the best.

  9. Aces! I highly recommend Original CLR for cleaning your shower / bath. I used CLR for the first time to clean a neglected stand up shower at an elderly relatives home as the hard water, soap and even some mold were at a level requiring an hour or more of hard scrubbing had I used my old faithful powdered cleanser. I am very glad I chose CLR. I poured it directly onto a yellow/green scrubby and it easily removed much with a pressured wiping, and removed the tough deposits with a regular strength scrubbing. Very easy & effective compared to what I used to use, I finished the job in about 1/2 the time a regular weekly or bi-weekly shower scrub would have taken. I now use this to clean our home bathrooms exclusively. Be sure and wear appropriate gloves, I use the thin inexpensive nitrile type.

  10. I moved into a house that is on a well. The rust ring started building up right away in my toilets. I bought a jug of CLR after seeing the convincing results on the TV commercials. After an application per the instructions, the rust ring was still there. I tried more CLR and a scrub brush. Some of the rust came off but not enough to make it not visible as the commercials seemed to make it. After quite a few applications and letting it soak in for some time, the rust rings persist. I read the instructions again thinking maybe I didn’t buy the right formula, but the print on the jug says it will remove rust rings. Maybe my rust rings aren’t the kind of rust they are implying.
    I sprayed a little CLR on a dust cloth and it seems to remove dust off my furniture with no problem. Perhaps that’s what their commercials are implying.

  11. I tried it and it acted like I was just using water. This is one of those scam products that doesn’t work but they still make money because of the churning population. We are each victims at $8 or $10 so we go on with our lives, but a law firm could file a class action lawsuit and put a stop to this nonsense from Jelmar

  12. Save your money. No this product does not work. I am attempting to remove iron stains from a brand new toilet that are showing up after a few months. The stains are not even that bad. CLR not working at all.

  13. If you are thinking of buying CLR, let me offer a suggestion. Put 50 cc’s of dishwasher detergent in a one litre container, add 50 cc’s of household ammonia, add 900 cc’s of water. You will have a far better cleaner at 1/10th the price.

  14. I had a bad odor coming from my dish washer, tried numerous special cleaners for dish washers, to no
    avail. I even thought of replacing my hot water heater due to this smell on my dishes and pans!
    I spent a small fortune on these cleaners, waist of money. As a last resort, I tried clr in my dishwasher cups, ran it through the regular cycle, and to my amaze odor gone completely!!! It’s been 3 mo.s since the treatment and still no smell!!!


  15. I used CLR on my tube fixtures and it turned them black. I had to get a plumber to come and change them out. It still did not remove the rust spot.

  16. I purchased an old topless ammo can of ammunition reloading dies in a rusted, dirty and dismal state. They were unusable in their condition so my wife suggested I try CLR. I placed them several at a time into a tub with a lid and allowed them to sit submerged for 24 hrs. The rust and crud was gone inside and out. Some of the carbon dies appeared to take on a darker hue almost like bluing agent was applied but were otherwise unharmed. It worked GREAT for cleaning the rust off those old dies enough that I put them back into service. Dies have very close tolerances needed to reload live ammo and the CLR didn’t damage anything. Today I was looking into the idea of pouring CLR down a rifle barrel to dissolve lead, rust and crud from the bore and I happened across this post.

  17. Muratic acid works wonders. . But be careful with it. It hurts skin and eats metal.

  18. I’ve tried the stuff a couple of times over the years. It works about as well as using plain water. Not at all.

  19. I can’t believe this is nearly 3 times the price even accounting for 20% VAT, when given that GST would lower it down to a differential of from 0-8%. We just get ripped off for everything in England!

  20. Thanks for that. I did think it would containing certain chemicals detrimental to stripping the Enamel, and and it may be problematic in an old house, where we have copper /lead and brass fittings. I watched a few mechanics who used this and swore blind to it, on youtube to flush cooling systems. However, I note many are brass, plastic, and ceramic. It may cause more problems than it solves.

  21. My wife purchased CLR for me to use at the hunting camp. We have well water with a lot of iron in it, leaving rust stains in sinks and toilets. This product is useless and totally ineffective, does not work at all. Tried diluted and full strength to No avail – Don’t waste your money.

  22. I’m surprised at all the negative comments. I’ve used it for years. This is the only product I’ve found that will loosen the mineral ring build up in the bathtub. After applying, very little elbow grease is needed to remove the remainder, it comes off easy. then. I also just tried it on the wood stove glass, which had a burned on, thick, orange and black film. It’s perfectly clear after two short rounds of one minute each, followed by an easy scrape with a razor tool. This is the first time I’ve ever seen through the glass. I spill it on my hands and nothing happens, not corrosive. According to the label, it’s safe for septic tanks and is phosphate free.

  23. When I first starting using CLR it worked great. I would put some in a plastic bag and then zip tie the bag around the shower head. You could see the bubbles as it reacted with the lime scale. A couple of hours later the lime scale was gone and the showerhead worked like new.
    Now there are little or no bubbles and doesn’t seem to work like it used to. Ran across this thread looking to see if anyone else had noticed this. Looks like I’m not the only one.
    So, what is everyone else using as a substitute?

  24. I saw the commercial for CLR and got very excited because we have a lot of rust in our water which caused orange stains in the toilet, tub and sink. However even though I followed the directions and scrubbed and scrubbed, it did nothing to remove the stains. I might as well just used plain water and saved my money. It’s a totally useless product!

  25. a few years ago i had a contract to clean an office building. we hada few sink stains at the time. so i tried clr. it did absolutely nothing. when my contract finished i left the bottle in the closet. it is probably still there. it is a totally useless product. i have no idea why they are allowed to sell this stuff. also i have read testimonials on this site where people saiys it is a wonderful cleaner. these people must be sharholders n this company.

  26. I’ve tried clr half a dozen times and it doesn’t do much. Total garbage and a waste of money. Clr should get sued for false advertisement.

  27. Sorry but this product does not work as marketed. Sure, if you want to put alot of muscle into i.e. cleaning the tub it will help but any product will do that. Very disappointing.

  28. This product works if you let it sit for a while say a couple days. I have used it several times and it does work eventually. Also as with most chemicals worming it up makes it work faster, and better.

  29. I tried this product on a toilet bowl ring. I did not work. Then I tried it on two faucet screens. I soaked them for 24 hours in straight CLR. When I rinsed them off there was no change in the build up. What a waste of money!

  30. I have bought CLR Twice and used it in the bathrooms it cleans up dirt but it does not remove stains ,lime scale ,rust and mildew.

  31. Your CLR KITCHEN & BATH does not work well at all plus the fumes are not good at all. It doesn’t remove Mold what so ever. Your oringinal CLR in the grey bottle does clean a little better but again the smell is not good. Sorry but that’s the truth.

  32. CLR Did a Number on Canadians, u should be able to take Canadian tire and all other sellers of CLR to Court, RCMP should look at the SCAM with this product, but heck itès Scamada, the land of the Big stupids.

  33. I used to. Us CLR for most cleaning problems but I bought one bottle after you changed the formula. The “environmentally friendly” doesn’t clean anywhere near as well as the original. Because the product doesn’t work as well and yet the price of the product has gone up with poorer quality I never bought it again. I have found several products that work as well or better than the formula used now at a lower cost.
    I don’t even consider trying any of your other products because the cost and quality won’t match products I use now.

  34. I am surprised that they continue to be allowed to advertise this product and make the claims of it’s effectiveness. I have tried it several times without any success.

  35. I agree with reef bismuth-The CLR ingredients have changed and the product is no longer effective at removing calcium, lime and rust. However, the company did make CLR environmentally safe (it says so on the container) Save your money and don’t buy the new CLR.

  36. This product does not work. If it worked as good as the hyped-up ad it gets on TV I would be happy! I bought it to remove rust stains from concrete walkway caused by a fertilizer application that got on the path and was not swept off. Needless to say the stains are still there. I had bought a product out of the States that does work called F9 BARC. By the time I paid the exchange and SHIPPING cost plus brokerage it cost me $128.00 for a gallon!! I guess you get what you pay for.

  37. No it’s misleading and crap! It’s expensive and doesn’t work at all with out scraping and scrubbing… Might try oven cleaner on those nasty scale deposits; just won’t leave it on too long though.

  38. This product was put through our dish draws as per the instructions.
    Both Dish draws do not work now and our Fisher and paykel specialist has advised that it is due to using this product.
    This has turned out to be a very expensive exercise-NOT HAPPY AT ALL.

  39. I don’t like to be so critical, but what a totally useless post! I saw this page come up on Google, and assumed you had actually, you know, TESTED the product. Not just “evaluated” user reviews and given a common-sense “analysis” of product advertising claims. People really need to be told this crap? Oy…

  40. In short I think that they dumbed it down a few years ago and now it’s basically works like vinegar except a lot more expensive. A very weak acid. I’ve been experimenting with diluted muriatic (hydrochloric) acid and it seems to work like CLR used to work before they dumbed it down.

  41. I’m honestly shocked by the negative reviews. I had a terrible stain on my toilet bowl that I couldn’t scrub out no matter how hard I tried. I really wanted to buy a new toilet because the stain looked like poop. I tried CLR just to see if it would make a difference before buying a new toilet. I drained my toilet water and filled it up with CLR up to where the stain was overnight. I scrubbed it a little in the morning and when I flushed my toilet, the stain was gone and my toilet looked brand new! Since it worked for me, I would highly recommend this product.

  42. No it does not work. PERIOD
    It does not take out rust and calcium deposits.

    Safe for the environment ?
    I highly doubt THAT statement also.

  43. The yellow spray bottle for kitchen and bath is a total waste of my money. Scrubbed and scrubbed the lime didn’t come off. But I had a work out! Never again over priced non working product

  44. I wouldn’t recommend this product. I had high expectations after watching tv ad and it didn’t even live up to half of my expectations. I used it in the shower and kitchen sink that have your typical calcium build up. I use it as directed (dilute 1:1), wipe and rinse. There was no difference at all! Then I used it as concentrate from the bottle and still nothing as per the tv ad! And finally I decided “that’s it” I’m putting on my elbow grease, concentrated clr, soaked for 5 minutes, and started scrubbing like there’s no tomorrow. Finally there’s some results! It most of the deposit off (more like I took it off with my heavy scrubbing) but there’s still residual remaining. So I’ll say 1/5 stars!

  45. I tried this product over 10 years ago. Bought it from Canadian tire. I used a small amount to wipe off the stain and the yellowish grime on the bathtub/sink as well as lime build up on the shower head. Needless to say, it DID not work, I don’t know why it is still on the market, perhaps the marketing hype keeps fooling people. I returned the opened product to Canadian tire and they refunded the entire amount. Don’t waste your time and money!!

  46. Tried CLR (not a knock off brand but the real CLR) on a shower head that was pretty clogged up with the white crusty deposits of city water. I let it soak overnight when initial results weren’t very promising. Found it no more effective after 12 hour soaking so I tossed the shower head and the CLR in the trash. What turned out to work much better was a new shower head from Lowes. Worked much better for not much more than the cost of CLR.
    Maybe I should have tried the AmWay CLR my neighbor is always peddling – NOT!

  47. I’ve used it a lot. As I remember it used to work really well and the ingredients listed a real acid. Strong enough to work but not strong enough to hurt you unless you did something really stupid. Now it barely does anything and the “acid” in there sounds like a food product. I think that they weakened it so now it does nearly nothing.

  48. I’ve tried CLR a number of times….mostly I found it’s completely useless! I let it sit for quite awhille and although it took SOME of the very lightest accumulation off, mostly I had to scrub and scrub to get it off…If I have to do that anyway….why buy CLR? It doesn’t do whats claimed!

  49. CLR contains very caustic substances (it has to). If it leaks on a rug or clothing, etc., it will probably stain/bleach it or burn a hole through it. It has also been known to dissolve the finish on porcelain/ceramics (like your toilet or sink). You will get a great clean only to find that a stain comes back that you have to work hard to get out now. That could be indicative that the coating on the porcelain/ceramic is gone. Stains on toilets shouldn’t take elbow grease to get out if the finish coating is still viable. If you haven’t used CLR on your bathroom porcelain/ceramics, I would suggest using something else.

    With things that work wonders, there’s a price.

  50. I use the CLR on my coffee maker. My expensive coffee maker quit working and I couldn’t figure out why. My husband said it had lime buildup and he went and bought the CLR. I couldn’t believe it. We put a cap full of CLR into the maker along with water and ran it through a few times and the coffee pot works just like brand new. I use it in my bathroom for hard water stains. This is an amazing product and very reasonable in price too.

  51. I don’t know about coffee maker and dish washers, but anything in the bathroom is tough to clean. Especially the tub always gets dirty build up on the side and removing them is a pain in the ass. I was going to gladly purchase this since it’s fairly cheap, but is too bad it’s not receiving good enough reviews. I don’t know anymore…

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