What is limescale?
First let’s understand what limescale it. Limescale is the product of insoluble calcium carbonate deposits in hard water. Sounds very technical but you probably know this as the white chalky hard substance that builds up around your taps or on the inside of your kettle. Whilst it is not harmful to consume, limescale is prone to build up if it is not properly removed.
A build of up this substance can reduce water flow in taps and pipes, bathtubs and sinks. It can also prevent heat transfer in kettles whilst also being a crusty unsightly annoyance that will keep occurring if you don’t take the proper steps to avoid it from doing so.
Hard water vs Soft water
There are hard water and soft water areas in the UK. In London, we have slight to moderate hard water. http://www.bristan.com/watermap shows a map of which parts of the UK have hard water or soft water.
The difference between the two is that soft water mainly contains sodium, whereas hard water contains an appreciable quantity of dissolved minerals such as magnesium and calcium. This is why many people prefer drinking hard water because it contains essential minerals and soft water has a salty taste to it.
Limescale removing hacks!
- To remove limescale from baths grab some white vinegar and either use it at full strength or dilute with it water. You can use a spray bottle for easy application. Soak the affected area with the solution and let it sit for 30 minutes up to a few hours, depending on how severe the limescale is. Add some elbow grease and scrub the area clean to remove the limescale but avoid using a scrub that is too abrasive to avoid damaging the surface.
- If you prefer using readymade products then get your hands on some commercial limescale remover bathroom spray. Spray it on the area where the limescale is and leave it overnight.
- To remove toilet limescale pour in some flat cola and let it settle for an hour. Give the toilet bowl a good scrub with a toilet brush then flush!
- Citric acid is another good limescale remover. If your dishwasher leaves your plates and glasses covered in limescale, you can add some citric acid with your washing cycle. A safe and cheap way to make sure your dishes come out sparkling!
Unfortunately for hard water areas preventing limescale may be impossible. However, you can prevent limescale build up by following the tips above! You can also choose to install a water softener to your taps but this may be costly.