Limescale and calcium build-up poses a major problem for industries that rely on equipment that uses water. At home, limescale build up is unsightly and results in increased energy expenditure from your water heater, washing machine, dishwasher and other appliances that use water. Here are some tips for keeping mineral build up under control at home.
1. What causes limescale to build up?
Limescale is tough to eliminate and extremely unsightly. The crusty white film that occurs on your faucets, in your tubs and your toilet thanks to hard water leaving behind mineral deposits. Limescale can build up in your kettle, your coffee machine, and even your dishwasher. Not only is the mineral build up unsightly, but it also costs you extra money since your appliances use more energy to compensate for the blockage.
2. How to get rid of build up
The best way to get rid of limescale build up is to use acid to weaken the minerals. If you’ve ever tried wiping away limescale, you know how stubborn and caked on it is. Removing heavy mineral deposits requires you to use an acid to devolve the mineral’s connection to the surface. You can buy chemicals at the store to do this for you or take advantage of natural acids like vinegar, vodka and lemon juice. If you are unfamiliar with the process, don’t hesitate to call a local plumber for more assistance.
Rubbing your faucet with vinegar won’t work well enough to get rid of the caked on sediment. Instead, you need to let the faucet soak in vinegar to weaken the minerals. Wet a cloth or paper towel with vinegar and wrap it around the faucet with a rubber band or clip. Let the vinegar soak the faucet for about an hour then wipe it clean with a soft, dry cloth.
If vinegar doesn’t work for you, create a paste with baking soda and water, let it sit on the faucet and then wipe clean again.
For your toilet, the first step is to drain the toilet and create a vinegar and borax solution. Let the solution sit in the toilet for a few hours. After letting the mixture sit, scrub it clean with your toilet brush. Periodically adding vinegar to your toilet is also a good way to help prevent limescale from building up.
Every once in a while you should boil vinegar and water in your kettle. Mix in equal parts of both liquids, boil and let it sit overnight. Rinse out the solution the next morning, boil the kettle again with only water and you’ll have a clean kettle.
6. Shower door
Another common place for limescale build up is your shower. As water evaporates, all the minerals like magnesium and calcium are left behind.
For those with a shower door, give it a spray with vinegar or cheap vodka. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it dry.
If you have limescale build up in your tub, then plug the drain and let the vinegar sit in the tub before wiping clean. If you find the build up in the drain to be stubborn, use a baking soda and water paste to loosen up the deposits.
7. How do you prevent build up in the first place?
The best way to avoid mineral build up is to remove the minerals from your water. Water purification systems are great for your health since you’re drinking clean water, but they also are an excellent way to protect your appliances and mitigate limescale build up.
Another way to prevent build up is to keep your appliances consistently clean. Rinse your kettle after each use and stay consistent with wiping down your sink and faucet. Regular cleanings with vinegar, citric acid, vodka or other natural acids will help keep mineral build up under control.