Pros: I haven't found any
Cons: Did not work for me as it claims, strong odor
Before we installed our water softener, I had a terrible time trying to keep my bathrooms clean. Our mater bathroom has a fiberglass soaking tub, and sliding glass doors. Both of these, as well as the faucets, were covered with calcium and lime scale.
Before I found Lime Away, I tried out numerous other brands of cleaners which claimed to clean these problem areas. I had never heard of CLR until I saw the commercial on TV, and it was almost too good to be true.
CLR stands for Calcium, Lime, and Rust. The old commercials for CLR referred to it as Clear. I found this at either Costco or Sams Club, I don't recall which, and it was only available in a large gallon sized plastic jug.
It is produced by a company called Jelmar, and makes some astounding claims. The front of the bottle says that it blasts calcium, dissolves lime, and stops rust. The company tag line is "All kinds of dirty, one kind of clean.
The newer bottles have an earth emblem on them, with the statement "Design for the environment. U.S. EPA"
CLR is supposed to clean a whole host of items, such as any type of glass, metals, tubs & toilets, sinks, stainless steel, chrome, fiberglass, shower heads, humidifiers, dishwashers, and washing machines.
The commercial used to show a lady cleaning with CLR without using any gloves on her hands, although the directions state you should wear household rubber gloves.
CLR can be diluted to different strengths for different cleaning purposes. To clean a coffee maker, it should be watered down to 1 part CLR and 8 parts water. For cleaning tubs and toilet bowls, you can either dilute it 2 to 1, or use it full strength if that doesn't seem strong enough to work.
CLR supposedly cleans a glass coffee decanter by simply pouring it in, swirling it around, and pouring it out.
First, I am totally confused by CLR's claim that their cleaner is safer than those that contain "dangerous chemicals and harmful solvents". I still have my half full bottle because I hate to throw products away, and the back of the bottle says to use in a well ventilated area, not to mix with bleach, use gloves on the hands, and to prevent the CLR from being left on any surfaces for more than 2 minutes. That doesn't sound particularly safe to me.
I like that CLR claims to be safe for septic systems (we spent $12000 to replace our leech field 10 or so years ago), and it does not contain phosphates that are harmful to the environment, nor does it contain bleach or ammonia.
CLR is supposed to clean without rubbing or scrubbing, but even with the scrubbing, this product did not even come close to cleaning the way it claims. CLR has a nasty scent, so please do use it with a window open, or your bathroom fan on. It did not remove lime scale on my shower doors, nor did it clean my fiberglass soaking tub. It's also harder to clean with than Lime Away that foams, because CLR is as clear as water, and it is very runny, so it doesn't stick to the sides of a bathtub. I have had much better luck with Lime Away than I ever had with CLR.
We recently started having rust stains in our toilet bowl, which we suspected was coming from the 25 year old pipes in our well. The CLR did not remove the rust stains in the toilet bowl either. In fact, after we had a new pump and pipes installed, I found a cleaner at WalMart that claims to remove rust, (Whink Rust Stain Remover), and this removed the rust in our toilet in mere minutes. There is no comparison between these two products!
I even tried the trick shown on the commercials, to clean my clear glass coffee carafe, and talk about disappointed! I simply laughed at the job, or lack of, that this did to clean the hard water deposits in my carafe.
Did it remove some of the limescale and hard water deposits? Yup, it did, but it didn't come close to doing the job I expected from all the advertisements.