In the context of home improvement, the term limescale refers to calcium carbonate precipitates which sticks on the surface of utensils like kettles and cooking pans. Before embarking on looking for ways to remove the precipitate, it is appropriate to understand how the compound is deposited on the surface of appliances. Most households across the UK use hard water in their kitchen and laundry rooms. In this case, hard water refers to water containing significant quantities of dissolved magnesium and calcium ions. Limescale forms whenever hard water containing calcium ions is heated above 600C. As a result, the high temperature leads to formation of solid calcium carbonate, which precipitates and sticks on metallic surfaces.
In actual context, it is undeniable that huge or even slight deposits of the calcium compound on your kitchen appliances can prove disgusting. Consequently, detergent producers offer appropriate cleaning agents meant to remove limescale from your house equipment. This juncture introduces us to a limescale remover, which are either organic or inorganic compounds meant to counter the effect of calcium carbonate on surfaces. The need to use counteractive compounds in removing limescale is because calcium carbonate deposits are stubborn deposits, which cannot be wiped off suing only a cloth. In fact abrasive scrubbers can slightly eliminate these disgusting deposits, but may in turn damage the internal finishing of your appliances.
Based on the fact that calcium carbonate is a basic compound, limescale removers are acidic substances, which neutralize the alkaline deposits. In the past, people would use household vinegar in cleaning their utensils. Other traditional compounds used to remove limescale include the use of hydrochloric acid and lactic acid. All these acidic compounds were found to be good limescale removers. However, dedicated sites with informative content like general articles September 2013 will offer additional insight on modern substances used to remove these deposits. Currently, consumers across the UK are turning towards embracing the use of eco-friendly detergents. In this regard, modern limescale removers include ordinary vinegar and lemon juice.
The problem with removing these stubborn precipitates is not on finding the right acidic detergent, but making the detergent stay in contact long enough to dissolve the precipitate. Basically, the main trick is to bring the acid and the alkaline deposit in contact long enough for it to facilitate a neutralization reaction. Prolonged contact between limescale and the limescale remover will cause dissolution or softening of the deposit; thus can be easily scrubbed off the surface using a soft cloth. In case you are using lemon juice, which is a mild acid, you should devise a way of increasing the contact time between the two counteracting compounds. General articles September 2013 recommend that homeowners should soak a cloth on lime juice and place it inside the affected appliance overnight.
In case you are cleaning water taps in your bathroom, bringing the limescale remover in contact with the tap surface could be tricky. However, the best method of cleaning taps involves dressing a cotton wool with the selected limescale remover, and letting it rest inside the tap for an extended period of time. In case the scales persist, you may consider leaving the soaked cotton wool for longer hours before scrubbing off the dissolved deposits.