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How to Remove & Prevent Limescale

Does it feel as though you are constantly cleaning your plumbing fixes? Limescale causes a chalky green or white coating on showerheads and faucets. Limescale is a mineral-rich deposit that not only looks unsightly, but it can also damage your fixtures and pipes from the inside.

What Causes Limescale?

Limescale is really a byproduct of clean water with a higher-than-normal concentration of minerals such as iron, magnesium and calcium. We call that concentration 'hard water'.

While it is generally safe to consume hard water, it is not always convenient, because:

  • hard water does not taste great
  • hard water makes it difficult to lather
  • hard water does not rinse away all the soap
  • it makes your skin dry and itchy
  • it causes your clothes to become scratchy
  • it leaves water spots on your dishes.

But it's the hard-to-clean mineral buildup on pipe joints, shower heads and faucets that frustrates most. It can even cause nasty clogs.

How to Remove Limescale

When trying to remove limescale, a wet rag just won't cut it. The key is to dissolve the mineral buildup using a mild acidic solution, such as household vinegar.

Remove any loose parts from faucets and shower heads and submerge it in vinegar for a few hours. The vinegar will dissolve the limescale inside and outside of the parts. You may have to scrub off any remaining limescale using an old toothbrush.

If you can't remove fixtures, pour vinegar in a ziplock bag and wrap it around the fixture, using a rubber band or zip-tie to secure it at the top. If you have limescale on exposed pipe joints, you could wrap a rag soaked in vinegar around the affected area.

Household vinegar is a gentle solution, and may not necessarily get rid of a bad case of limescale. If it doesn't work, you may have to try a chemical cleaning solution that is formulated specifically for the purpose. Look for a chemical that breaks down rust, calcium and lime. Never expose these chemicals to your skin - use gloves.

How to Prevent Limescale

Tired of heavy-duty scrubbing and cleaning? Not only is it a time-consuming activity, but it can become quite costly. Perhaps it's time to find a more permanent solution. Most water softeners introduce sodium-based solutions into the water supply to help counteract the damage done by mineral-rich water. While your plumbing system will perform much better and remain cleaner, it will also benefit your skin, hair, dishes and clothes.

  • Water Softener
  • Electronic Water Descaler / Conditioner

A water softener bonds the elements that make water water together. It deposits salt into the potable water supply, this softening the water.

An electronic water descaler is a safe and economical solution to hard water issues. It does not use salt, and is easy to install on your main water supply. A descaler removes existing limescale, and prevents future build ups.

Tired of limescale problems? Speak to Anta Plumbing about a more effective and permanent solution.

Written by Tanya Klien

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