Limescale A Household Problem?
For many households, the task of keeping your home clean and tidy is just a minor part of your busy cleaning schedule. The last thing you would need is either one of your most used kitchen appliances playing up or under performing, or your central heating system breaking. The main culprit for such misfortune could be down to the build up of limescale within your central heating systems pipes or kitchen appliances. It is a problem which many homes within the UK are having to deal with, and it is something which can be prevented. This article take a look at what is limscale build up, and how to treat it.
Limescale Build Up Explained…
People who stay in hard water areas must be very familiar with the term limescale. The word limescale may not sit well with everyone – in fact, the terms associated with it such as descaling; scum and furring are quite disgusting to the ears of many people. Limescale is a big issue that people have been battling with from time immemorial. They have spent a great deal of their time dealing with this revolting powdery white deposits on kettles, boilers, taps etc. But the main question remains – what is limescale build up?
In a nutshell, limescale is the white-brittle, mineral deposits found on the surfaces of boilers, poorly maintained hot water heating systems and kettles. It can also be detected as similar white mineral deposit on the internal surfaces of water drainage pipes as well as other household surfaces where water has evaporated. In addition, hard water can build-up stains on coffee maker machines, washing machines, shower doors, dishware and faucets. Limescale is appalling when looked at, and it has never been easy to get rid of it.
In scientific perspective, limescale is the product of calcium carbonate. Magnesium and calcium ions are the main components found on hard water. These components are both cold water and hot water soluble. Therefore, heating or boiling water to 100 degree centigrade doesn’t cause precipitation of calcium carbonate. But there is a balance between liquefied calcium carbonate and liquefied calcium bicarbonate.
Hard water has a tendency of combining with other components to develop limescale. When cations from calcium combine with soap, it would form a soap scum. The soap scum will then precipitate out on the inner surfaces of pipes, showers, taps and sinks.
Effects Of Limescale Build Up
As mentioned before, limescale has negatively affected many areas in life. Some scientists have raised alarm on the possibility of limescale being harmful to people’s health. However, the alleged health danger of limescale has not yet been proven, so people will have to wait till the day researchers will get to the bottom of it. That debate will be reserved for another time and instead people should concentrate on the issue at hand.
Ways of dealing with limescale build up
There are tons of limescale removal methods, but one will need to pick one according to where limescale has deposited. Since time immemorial, people have been using vinegar to combat limescale in homes. Literally, vinegar contains acetic acid that has the ability to act as a sanitizing agent. People can use vinegar to cleanse kitchen appliances such as kettle in order to get rid of limescale. It can also be used in sinks, toilet bowls, baths and many other places—thus vinegar can be termed as the ultimate home remedy for limescale problems in homes.
Limescale can also be overcome by means of water purification. Water purification has the ability to soften hard water and remove calcium minerals from water. After water has been purified, limescale will be absolutely removed from the water. Some people have also used modern methods such Lime Away, a commercial limescale remover to remove limescale in faucets. Water conditioning can also play a huge role in hampering limescale deposits on items.
Today, virtually 60% of UK population is supplied with very hard water. Thus, cases of limescale deposits building up on house systems are very common. So it is of paramount importance to remove limescale from water to avoid additional cost of chemicals, water softening products and detergents.