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Limescale: Causes, Prevention, and Removal


Limescale buildup can cause many problems in your home, leading to costly repairs. While limescale is destructive, there are a few things you can do to stop it. Let’s look at how to prevent limescale in your home.

What Is Limescale?

Limescale is a by-product of hard water. Large quantities of magnesium and calcium can be found in limescale. When the hard water evaporates, it will leave behind mineral deposits. You might notice green or white crust-like residue in your sink, shower, or other places in the home. This residue is often found near spots where you use hot water. Limescale affects your plumbing and appliances. If you have hard water problems, you might have to replace your washing machine, dishwasher, or showerhead.

Why You Need to Remove Limescale

If you don’t remove the limescale, it will significantly impact your water. Limescale reduces the lifespan and efficiency of your appliances. As a result, you will need to replace those household machines. After a while, the limescale clogs the water spout, leading to reduced water pressure. You might even notice water pressure problems with your sinks, showerheads, and other appliances.

Those blockages hurt your budget by increasing your energy usage. It will take more energy to heat the water and push it through the pipes. You will also use more water in the shower or sink.

Limescale can even devalue your property. Homebuyers don’t want a home with hard water problems. Plus, the hard water can spoil the look of your fittings and other components.

Hard water can affect your shampoos and soaps. If you use soap with hard water, you will probably notice scum around the sink or bathtub. That residue will also coat your hair and skin. You might even have to use more soap and shampoo to produce a thick lather. Some people experience problems with clogged pores and lifeless hair. Limescale is known to aggravate certain skin conditions, such as eczema.

Your body produces natural oils that keep the skin slightly acidic. That can help prevent bacteria and fungi from growing and multiplying. Hard water is alkaline, and it can neutralize your acidic barriers, allowing microorganisms to invade.

Fortunately, limescale doesn’t affect the health of your family or visitors. You can drink hard water without any long-term effects. However, it still creates unsightly problems that you want to correct. The longer limescale builds up in your home, the more difficult it is to remove from the water lines.

Preventing Limescale

Now that you know the issues with limescale, you will want to take steps to prevent it. Prevention is better than trying to remove it. You will save on replacement, repair, and cleaning costs for your home.

Whether you have a new or old home, there are a few ways to soften the water. Before installing any component, talk to an experienced plumbing company to find the right method to prevent limescale in your home.

You can do a few things to prevent limescale in your home. First, you will want to invest in a water softener. A water softener can help those homes that have problems with hard water. These appliances work by using a process called ion exchange. With that, the magnesium and calcium minerals are removed from the water supply. The hard water is transformed into “soft” water.

The process uses negatively charged polymer resin beads to attract calcium and magnesium. Those minerals are replaced with sodium ions. After the process is complete, the water softeners use a saltwater solution to remove any remaining minerals from the water. That process is known as water regeneration.

Salt helps to eliminate calcium and magnesium from the water. For that reason, you will want to check the salt levels once a month. If there is not enough salt in the water softener, you could have hard water issues.

Some homeowners don’t want to deal with the salt in a water softener. There are salt-free models on the market. These devices are an alternative to traditional salt-based water softeners. Salt-free water softeners are also more economical than conventional options. Like a traditional model, salt-free water softeners effectively prevent limescale, but they do not soften the water. These devices cannot remove calcium or magnesium from the water. Instead, they neutralize the minerals and alter their chemical structures. As a result, calcium and magnesium cannot attach to the water’s molecules.

These calcium and magnesium removers are cheaper and easier to clean than the standard water softeners. However, you will not be able to enjoy all of the benefits of soft water. For example, soft water helps your clothes, skin, and hair feel softer. Soft water also reduces the need for extra detergent or soap. If you are looking just to reduce the buildup of limescale, then a salt-free water softener is probably the better option for your home.

How to Remove Limescale

Prevention is critical with limescale. If you already have limescale in your home, there are a few solutions to remove it. First, you need to find out where the limescale is located. Limescale can develop in faucets, washing machines, and coffee makers. Look for signs of buildup around sinks and tubs.

Fortunately, many products can clean up limescale. Some homeowners choose natural solutions, such as vinegar and lemon juice. White vinegar is acidic, but it will not cause damage to your faucets. You will want to make a vinegar solution and scrub those areas with hard water buildup.

Next, you should drain your water heater. Limescale is known to build up in water heaters. With the buildup, it prevents water flow in your pipes. You can avoid limescale by draining your water heater once a year. During this process, you will want to make a vinegar and warm water solution to flush out any buildup in the heater. By doing this, you can prevent costly repairs or replacements down the road.

If you are searching for another way to remove limescale, reach for the baking soda. It is an effective natural solution that can clean up limescale. You will want to apply it generously and scrub with a brush. Remove all of that limescale buildup with a bit of pressure and a baking soda paste. For those who don’t have baking soda, baking powder works just as well. Unlike chemical cleaners, baking soda and powder are natural, and they don’t cause damage to the environment.

Stop Limescale Before It Damages Your Home

If limescale is not prevented, you can have various problems in your home. With a bit of prevention, hard water will not be an issue. In turn, that can make your appliances operate efficiently and keep your pipes free from blockages.

At S & D Plumbing, we can help with all of your plumbing needs in Austin. Our full range of plumbing solutions includes leak detection and drain cleaning services. We understand that the customer comes first. For that reason, you can enjoy exceptional customer service and exclusive offers, such as our VIP Club. If you have issues with limescale in your home, our technicians are ready to help. Schedule your appointment today!

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