How To Treat Limescale In The Bathroom?

How To Treat Limescale In The Bathroom? Many countries have hard water, that is, water with dissolved mineral salts in it – usually calcium or magnesium carbonate. Rainwater, which is naturally soft, does not contain any minerals, but as it seeps through rocks such as limestone or chalk, these minerals are dissolved in it. If it passes through hard rocks such as granite, or through peaty soils, it does not pick up minerals and remains soft.

You will know if your water is hard because soap will not lather very well, soap scum will be left in sinks and baths and crusty deposits will form in showerheads, on pipes and taps, and around plugholes. This is limescale.

It is formed when the dissolved salts in the water are precipitated out when the water is heated, or remain after cold water has evaporated. The former causes limescale to build up in your kettle; the latter causes it to build up around a dripping tap.


The good news is that hard water is generally believed to be good for us. In the past, when lead was used for water pipes, hard-water deposits on the pipes protected people from lead poisoning. People who live in hard-water areas also claim that their water tastes better, but as the same claim is made by people who live in soft-water areas, that is probably a matter of what we are used to.

If you are renovating the house, you may want to consider a permanent water-softening system. These are installed in the plumbing system and normally work by replacing the calcium and magnesium with sodium. You cannot drink the softened water, so you will still need a supply of hard water. Magnetic and electrical devices can alter the calcium ions so they do not fur up pipes, but some of them are of limited effectiveness. They do not soften the water.


How To Treat Limescale In The Bathroom?

A steam cleaner is very effective at removing limescale deposits from bathroom fittings, but equally effective and much cheaper is white vinegar, used either neat or diluted with water. Vinegar can be used safely on porcelain basins and on modern vitreous enamel and acrylic baths. On older baths, go carefully and allow the vinegar to stay in contact with the enamel for a minimum amount of time. Proprietary limescale removers are effective but expensive. They are worth using on vertical surfaces such as tiled walls in shower enclosures where vinegar would run off.

To avoid limescale building up in the first place, make sure that taps are fully turned off and fix dripping taps.

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