Limescale Removal Tips and Facts
Limescale build-up in your kitchen appliances, taps, toilet & shower are a real pain. Below are tips on limescale removal & the possible health implications of hard water.
Table Of Contents:
- 1 Limescale Removal Tips and Facts
- 2 What is Limescale?
- 3 What is hard water?
- 4 Is limescale harmful?
- 5 Hard water areas (UK)
- 6 Hard water problems
- 7 Limescale removal from kettles
- 8 Limescale removal from taps
- 9 Limescale removal from your lavatory.
- 10 Limescale removal from your shower head
- 11 Limescale removal for free
- 12 Even more water hardness options
- 13 Share this:
- 14 Related
What is Limescale?
Limescale, is a chalky, off-white coloured deposit that comes from hard water. See photo below for a fairly bad case of hard water scale.
What is hard water?
Hard water is water that has picked up calcium and magnesium mineral salts from the rocks it has percolated through on its journey to your tap.
About 22% of our planet’s fresh water is ground water, and as it flows through soil and rock it picks up the minerals, it is a natural process.
Water is a lot harder in chalk or limestone areas, opposed to those areas with insoluble rock such as granite.
Is limescale harmful?
Is limescale bad for you ? This is debatable. There have been studies that correlate domestic hard water usage with increased eczema in children and heart problems in adults.
However, The World Health Organization says that “there does not appear to be any convincing evidence that water hardness causes adverse health effects in humans“.
Other research claims that water hardness can actually act as a dietary supplement for magnesium and calcium.
So, until there is more concrete (excuse the pun) evidence about the effects on humans from hard water, nobody can be 100% certain either way.
Hard water areas (UK)
Drinking water in England is generally known to be very hard. Water in London is particularly hard. In the USA More than 85% of American homes have hard water.
Hard water problems
Hard water can cause limescale (also known as scale or calcium deposits) to build up in kettles, coffee machines, steam irons, toilet bowls and cisterns, washing machines, taps, shower heads and scaling in pipes.
It can also leave an unpleasant scum around basins and baths, so predictably, most people want to get rid of it.
Limescale removal from kettles
Limescale in your kettle? Look no further than standard kettle descaler metal balls UK. (USA link) Two of these in your kettle will keep most scale at bay for months on end. Every few months you just rinse out the scale from the metal balls and pop them back in the kettle.
I know from bitter experience that using expensive kettles without descalers is a costly habit.
Because my area has extremely hard water, my kettles only lasted for about 6 months. With these kettle descalers popped in, my kettles now last for years, as they should. I definitely do not like water hardness and limescale after the money it has cost me over the years.
Other options, if you are not too keen on the idea of having balls of steel, are, liquid descaler (USA link) (I’ve tried this and it works but it’s a lot of hassle) and kettle filters uk (USA link) (personally I don’t think they are that effective).
Limescale removal from taps
A simple, easy, effective and cheap solution to the problem of ugly scale build up on and inside taps is a rather cool tap descaling gadget.called “Limey”. This exact product is only available in the UK at the time of writing, but similar products for the USA can be found here
To use it, fill Limey with your chosen descaling solution, (you could use white vinegar to save money if you wanted, see the tips section later on) and then slide the Limey over the end of a tap with the scale build-up.
The solution will rest inside the nozzle of the tap and break down the scale deposits, I like to leave it on overnight for best results. You can then take the Limey off and do the same to your next tap that has lime scale. (see also Kilrock Gel, below)
The Limey may look like a sex toy, but it does work. Try scraping off limescale by hand and then you will appreciate it more 🙂
Limescale removal from your lavatory.
When toilet scale builds up it can look really gross. There are a ton of commercial options, some work well and some are not so great, basically you get what you pay for.
Just pop two tablets in the bowl and leave overnight, it will remove almost any amount of scale and kill 99.9% of germs as a bonus. no scrubbing required. Be aware this product is quite pricey.
Limescale removal from your shower head
Kilrock Descaler Gel (USA here) is an awesome solution to this problem, rave reviews everywhere, it really works a treat, it’s often sold out everywhere you look, especially in water hardness countries like the UK and USA. But if do find it available It’s dead cheap to buy.
Just apply the gel to the shower head with the supplied brush. The gel is non drip. Give it a few minutes and see instant results, it’s that powerful. Gel Kilrock Also works well on crusty taps too.
Limescale removal for free
If you don’t have the budget available for the more exotic items mentioned above to tackle limescale pollution from water hardness then you can take the slightly harder, but more fun, economical route of using items you probably already have indoors or maybe you can nip to the supermarket?
lemon juice is particularly effective on most medium limescale and leaves a nice fresh smell afterwards as a bonus.
Any type of vinegar works, but pickling vinegar or white vinegar is the best for tough scale.
lime juice can attack even the most hardened scale deposits.
When things get really tough, try rubbing a pumice stone on heavier scale build-ups, but be careful not to damage the surface you are cleaning by rubbing too hard, though pumice usually does not scratch metal.
You could also use baking soda mixed up in a paste with one of the above to make a non drip goo for taps and shower heads etc.
“Better than some proprietary limescale cleaners! A teaspoonful dissolved in a cup of hot water removes limescale deposits on stainless steel, glass, plastic and ceramic. Also less dangerous than other chemical cleaners, I suspect, as it’s a food grade product.”
Citric acid is the reason people say you can use Coca Cola to clean your toilet, and yet Coke only contains a very small amount of citric acid.
so now it all makes sense!
Even more water hardness options
If you enjoyed this article you may also like: 50 Marmite Facts you may love or hate
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Water hardness & Limescale removal tips (c) 2016 aeef.