Last Updated on November 2, 2022 by TODD FRANZEN
Limescale is a common problem in homes all over the world. It can cause appliances to break down, water pipes to corrode, and potentially even harm your health! In this blog post, we will talk about what limescale is, how it forms, and how to treat it.
We will also discuss ways to prevent limescale from forming in the first place. So if you’re concerned about limescale, read on!
What is Limescale?
Limescale is a hard white substance found on many metal tools that use water or heating such as kettles and pipes. When hard water is heated and dissolved in water, this is the time for limescale, which can grow and accumulate as it grows in the atmosphere.
The harmful effects from limescale in water can affect a person’s body and their water bills as well as reduce energy consumption and the efficiency of home appliances. In water, limescale is associated with its mineral properties based on its geology.
What does limescale look like?
You’re likely to see them in homes without thorough water filtration or softening. This is a chalky white substance commonly found around water spots, notably toilets, faucet stains, and bathroom tiles.
Those nasty stains can leave your home looking shabby and worn out in your absence. Occasionally limescale may appear pink or brown – like rust. It is very crusty and difficult to remove, making it distinct from foods and other buildups.
It is mostly caused by dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water coming from your municipality.
Can Limescale Deposits Kill You?
Fortunately, limescale is harmless. It is believed that hard water consumption contributes to kidney stones. In addition, limescale is a hazard that can cause serious damage to your residence as it attaches to the insides of plumbing and service pipes.
Let me list the negatives…
Limescale deposits destroy appliances
Limescale may develop on surfaces exposed to hard water. Conditions are more likely when heating appliances such as kettles dissolve the soluble calcium bicarbonate in areas where steam can deposit these minerals in layers.
Limescale buildup is known for having a detrimental impact on the efficiency and life span of your appliances by a staggering 30%. This is often the culprit to your electric or gas hot water heater failing. The element inside slowly grows full of limescale, directly impacting its ability to heat water properly, and instantly affecting your heating bills.
This happened during Covid to my family while I was in the hospital undergoing my treatment for lymphoma. This caused a huge headache as I am the one that usually deals with appliance repair and replacement when they fail.
Over time, this will affect your washing machine as well as your clothes looking duller and colors not as vibrant.
Bad skin and hair
Hard water can be damaging to your skin, as we’ll see later in this piece. High concentrations of minerals and salt thinning hair.
The minerals that cause Limescale can irritate the hair follicles and cause hair thinning. Hard water also irritates the skin, making it rough and dry which makes it prone to irritation.
When you add a detergent like body wash and soap using hard water, you will not see the lather, which makes soap not as effective.
Calcium and Magnesium: Ugly white and colored stains everywhere
Does limescale precipitate and harden? Yes. You must be cautious in areas where there is water. Limescale is often prone to browning in bathrooms and kitchen sinks. It may also damage your bathroom’s showerhead. That is horrible and it’s hard to clean.
Another good way to tell what limescale is if you have ever washed your car and you see the water spots left over from the sun drying. Limescale is very difficult to remove and often requires a good deal of elbow grease.
Faulty showers, taps, and plumbing systems
Accumulated limescale can easily clog showerheads, faucet pipes, or fixtures. The only solution to a plumbing problem is either the removal or replacement. This can be extremely costly as the work that needs to be done is extensive. This is why hard water can be such a pain in the butt.
There are several ways to prevent limescale from forming in your home. One way is to install a water softener, which will reduce the number of minerals that cause limescale in your water. You can also use a descaler or limescale remover regularly to keep your appliances and plumbing free of build-up.
After you soften your water, you can also remove many different types of contaminants with water filters, continuing to make your drinking water much better and healthier as well.
How can I get rid of limescale deposits?
This is a very common question, and the answer is not as difficult as you might think. You can use either a chemical or physical process to remove limescale.
Do water softeners affect taste and smell?
Hard water has a very similar taste and texture to soft water. Soft water has a slightly dull smell because it is completely stripped of minerals. They’re the flavoring ingredient giving the water a refreshing flavor. But that’s subjective.
Several people prefer softer water in particular. It seems easy enough for us to become accustomed to. But if you do not want a good water flavor then there are other options.
Some municipal ‘descaling systems’ can consist of crystallizing water minerals instead of substituting them for salts. But generally speaking, for the average consumer, a water softener is a great direction to go.
Test your water
I’m a big believer that testing your water will inform you about what’s in your water and how to solve the problems that the results will show. The tests can help you understand what’s dissolved in water, including the concentration of ions in water and information about bacteria and chemicals that can cause problems in our bodies.
You can buy equipment to test the water in the store. There are many kits that you can purchase online that will help you get an understanding of what is in your water. Click Here to go down the rabbit hole about purchasing online water testing kits.
This will help you make an educated decision on the steps you need to take to help to protect your largest investment.
Can water softeners protect you from contaminants?
No water softener only removes the most concentrated contaminants from water. Your water should be cleaned before entering the water softeners.
In addition, a treatment device such as reverse osmosis or disinfection is required to deal with bacterial and parasitic contamination.
Best Practices In Removing Limescale
Vinegar is a great way to remove scale from your appliances. Just mix one part vinegar with one part water and use it to clean the limescale off of your faucets, showerheads, and other metal fixtures.
For tougher deposits, you can make a paste out of vinegar and baking soda. Apply the paste to the limescale and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it away.
You can also use vinegar to descale your coffee maker by running a cycle with half water and half vinegar. Just be sure to run a few cycles with just water afterward to remove the vinegar smell.
Also, watch out for the dirty ring in many toilets. Pour four cups of vinegar into the bathtub. Keep it out of the house overnight and ensure everyone doesn’t use the toilet. Wake up early and scrub and wash off the dirt. The toughest rust is removed using sandpaper or pumice.
Combine two cups of water and one cup of vinegar in the spray nozzle. Shake the bottle and spray the area with the diluted solution. After about one hour scrub your tile using the tile brush and wash it with clean water.
Using a Homemade cleaning paste
Mix 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of baking powder. Apply cleaning cloths to a dish towel to soak up vinegar as outlined above.
Even though limescale is a pain in the butt when it comes to the care and maintenance of your home’s appliances and water systems, it is not necessarily bad for your health. But, you do need to be aware of issues that minerals that are in the water can cause within your body.
How do you get rid of limescale in a kettle?
Fill your kettle with one part vinegar and one part water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat and let the kettle soak for 30 minutes to an hour. After that, just rinse it out with clean water.
How do you remove limescale from a toilet bowl?
Pour four cups of vinegar into the bowl of the toilet. Keep it leave it in overnight and ensure everyone doesn’t use the toilet. Wake up early and scrub and wash off the dissolved mineral deposits. You might have to use a little elbow grease using sandpaper or pumice to remove the toughest stains.
How do you remove limescale from a coffee maker?
Run a cycle with half water and half vinegar. Just be sure to run a few cycles with just water afterward to remove the vinegar smell.
How do you remove limescale from a dishwasher?
Fill the dishwasher with hot water and one cup of vinegar. Run the dishwasher through a heavy cycle. After that, run it again to rinse it out.
How do you remove Limescale from shower heads?
Mix one part water and one part vinegar in a bowl. Submerge the shower head in the mixture and let it soak for a few hours. After that, scrub it clean with a small brush or an old toothbrush.