What Is Limescale?
If your plumbing fixtures have a buildup of limescale, it can prevent them from performing properly and can look unsightly. Removing limescale that builds up over time can be difficult. So, what is limescale? Limescale, or the buildup of hard (mineral-rich) water, is caused by water containing a higher than usual amount of minerals like calcium, lime, magnesium and iron. It is frequently found in homes on faucets and shower heads.
Hard water is not harmful to ingest, but its role in the creation of limescale is a major reason many people soften their water. It can add a distinct taste to water than many people dislike. Hard water also makes it more difficult to wash soap out of your hair, as well as leaving water spots on your dishes. So, what can you do to prevent and remove limescale buildup?
Limescale removal can be an easy process. Sometimes simply washing the buildup with a rag is enough to get rid of the stains, but most of the time it takes more effort than that. Fortunately, there are some very simple solutions that can be implemented. The use of an acidic solution is the easiest way to help in the removal process, and a common household ingredient, vinegar, is perfect for the job. If you are able to, remove fixtures and submerge them in a bucket of vinegar for about an hour. Once you take the fixtures out, the buildup by scrubbing with a coarse sponge or old toothbrush.
This method is great, because it not only cleans the outside of the fixture, but also cleans the buildup inside. However, sometimes it isn’t possible to remove a fixture to soak it. So, what should you do then? Again there is a simple solution! Take a small plastic sandwich bag and fill it about 3 quarters of the way full with vineagar. Then put the bag around the fixture you are cleaning, and finally attach the bag using tape, a rubber band, or a zip tie.
Most of the time vinegar is strong enough to remove the limescale, but there are cases where you may need to use something stronger. We always recommend going with environmentally friendly vinegar before using a chemical remover like CLR, but sometimes it is necessary.
The easiest way to remove limescale is to prevent it from forming in the first place! Installing a water softener can help solve your limescale issues before they even happen. Water softeners offer a lot to your home and can do more than just prevent unsightly scale buildup. Water softeners can help make your appliances last longer by preventing buildup, as well as make your hair and skin feel softer.
If you think a water softener might be a good investment for your home, make sure you have a qualified technician come out to get it installed properly. Give us a call today at (636) 887-200 and we can help get rid of your home’s hard water!