How to Deal with Limescale

Water tap with limescale, soiled bathroom faucet

Have you ever taken a peek inside your kettle or boiler? If so, you have probably noticed a tough, off-white, and somewhat stony crust at the bottom. That deposit is limescale – something that is left behind by hard water.

Hard water, as you probably know, has higher levels of dissolved minerals. Minerals like calcium and magnesium carbonate make water hard. Hard water, while not necessarily a problem has less than pleasant side effects. For instance, hard water makes washing difficult as soap does not lather well and can often leave a light scum behind. Similarly, detergents are not as effective and your clothes could end up looking dirty even when they are washed. Additionally, hard water can also dry out and irritate skin.

But perhaps the biggest problem is how when hard water is heated over 55 degrees Celsius or left to stand, the minerals it contains solidify, resulting to limescale that could cover taps as well as other surfaces with an unsightly crusty layer that can also be challenging to remove. However, that does not mean that you should just let it accumulate.

There are some steps that you can do take care of this nuisance. Here they are:

For Tap Openings

If there is a build-up of limescale affecting water flow, what you need to do is fill a plastic bag with vinegar. Place it over the spout, making sure that the end is submerged in vinegar. Secure the plastic bag in place with a masking tape or an elastic band. Leave it overnight or at least for a few hours. Have a toothbrush ready for scrubbing when you remove the bag. Work on removing the build-up with your toothbrush.

For Bathroom Fixtures

Saturate a cotton cloth that is long enough for wrapping around the problem area with vinegar. Wrap it tightly and leave for a few hours, drizzling the cloth with more vinegar if it dries. After the soaking period, remove the cloth and scrub away using a brush.

For Coffee Pots and Kettles

Fill your small appliance with equal parts of water and vinegar. Turn it on and let it heat as it would if you were actually using it. Pour out the solution and repeat the process at least once more. For rinsing, just heat some fresh water and pour it out.

For Washing Machines and Dishwashers

Pour a cup or two of vinegar into the appliance and run an empty load using hot water. Run another empty load, this time without the vinegar, to rinse.

Of course, these solutions only work on limescale on surfaces that you see. These are nothing compared to what you couldn’t see. If the amount you see bothers you, then you can be sure that a significant amount is also accumulating inside central pipes, clogging them up.

Water softening is the most common method of treating hard water. Hayes Plumbing, your trusted local experts can provide you with the best water softeners available. Call us today!

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