You might hear someone mention the water in their home as hard or soft at some point and you probably wondered what that meant exactly. Wondering how to get rid of limescale? This article is packed with tips on descaling your taps, pipes, tiles and household appliances – read on to find out more!
Hard Water, Soft Water & Limescale?
Limescale is a calcium carbonate deposit left inside kettles or on taps when water evaporates in the hard water areas. Soft water contains fewer impurities than hard water because it runs through rock such as granite or slate, while hard water runs through porous rock such as chalk and limestone, picking up a significant quantity of dissolved minerals, such as calcium or magnesium. When hard water is heated or left to stand, these dissolved minerals in the water solidify and form limescale.
Why You Should Remove Limescale?
Limescale can cause problems in your home, from minor to major issues. Here are a few typical problems caused by hard water and limescale:
▶️ Blocked heating pipes, shower heads and taps
▶️ Loss of water pressure due to the reduced pipe diameter
▶️ Bacterial growth in drinking water pipes
▶️ Frequent repairs or replacement of heating pipes and home appliances such as kettles and washing machines
▶️ Irritation of sensitive skin, dry and dull hair
▶️ Less effective detergents, causing clothes to look dirty even after being washed
▶️ White residue and dull surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen
How to Remove Limescale & Soften Hard Water?
▶️ Limescale can be dissolved with a range of mildly acidic items you can find in your house, such as lemon juice and vinegar. Use lemon juice to remove limescale from a shower head, taps, tiles and smooth surfaces. Not only will it remove the limescale but will also leave your bathroom or kitchen smelling fresh and clean
▶️ Remove limescale from your kettle by using a half cup of white vinegar and a half cup of water. Bring the solution to a boil and leave it to stay in your kettle overnight. The limescale will rinse away the next morning. In general, this may need to be done once a week to keep your kettle running efficiently.
▶️ For your washing machine, use a non-precipitating softener tablet. This will prevent limescale from blocking the internal workings of your machine, and also help the detergent clean your clothes more efficiently.
▶️ For your pipes, you can use a magnetic descaler, which is a clever device to clamp onto the outside of pipework. The magnetic field alters the characteristics of the minerals in the water, making them lose their ability to adhere to pipes and form limescale.
▶️ Carbon water filters in taps and jugs utilize carbon to soften water. Tap filters can be fitted directly under a tap to supply fresh, clean drinking water.
▶️ Refrigerator water filters will keep your fridge water dispensing system clean and reduce limescale build-up, whilst provide clean drinking water and ice. It’s better to choose the fridge filters whose cartridges made from coconut-shell based activated carbon.
▶️ For a more permanent solution to hard water hassles and limescale, consider purchasing a water softener. Softeners do not remove the minerals in water, but do prevent them from adhering to surfaces.