3 TIPS TO REMOVE LIMESCALE AND OTHER RESIDUE FROM YOUR PLUMBING FIXTURES
AUG 24, 2017
If you are not ready to install a water softener just yet, there are some things you can do to remove limescale from your plumbing fixtures to keep them looking sparkly and new (and keep all of your faucets working properly). Here, we will explain how and why limescale builds up on your fixtures and then jump into some of our favorite limescale removal tips.
LIMESCALE REMOVAL TIPS
HOW LIMESCALE BUILDS ON PLUMBING FIXTURES
Broadly speaking, a plumbing fixture is any exchangeable component that drains or delivers water in your home — faucets and showerheads, for example. Hard water can cause limescale to build up on these fixtures, resulting in a degraded appearance as well as potential problems with the way the plumbing fixtures function.
Hard water is incredibly common, especially in the Phoenix area. Signs that you have hard water include skin irritation, laundry not coming clean in the wash, a weird taste or smell to your tap water, excess soap scum and then, of course, limescale. Hard water occurs because the tap water picks up minerals as it encounters limestone in the ground. If the mineral content in the hard water is high enough, installing a water softener may be warranted. Over time, the hard water will not only lead to annoyances for you and your family but can seriously impact the lifespan of major appliances like dishwashers and it can lead to increases in plumbing problems like clogs.
Many people find ways to live with their hard water by using water filtration for drinking water. But the limescale buildup is known to plague even the most intuitive of homeowners. The white, chalky buildup has a tendency to show up on showerheads and faucets, even causing gross looking stains in toilet bowls. What are you to do?
VINEGAR TO REMOVE LIMESCALE
Vinegar has got to be one of the top five most dynamic and useful substances known to man … seriously, it is up there with WD-40. And it is especially effective when you are trying to remove limescale because vinegar dissolves calcium — a primary component of limescale.
How exactly to use vinegar to remove limescale will depend on where it is. If it is near the base of a faucet, soak a paper towel in white vinegar, then wrap around the offending area of the faucet and secure with an elastic. If it is a larger faucet or showerhead, fill a plastic bag (like a Ziploc) about halfway with white vinegar and secure around the faucet or showerhead with an elastic — just make sure all of the limescale is submerged in the vinegar. Whichever method you are using to apply the vinegar, let it sit for at least an hour (longer if it is some serious limescale) before wiping clean.
If you are combatting limescale in the toilet bowl, vinegar can be helpful here too. Pour a generous amount of vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few hours before you try to remove limescale with your toilet brush.
BAKING SODA TO REMOVE LIMESCALE
If vinegar is our favorite common household product, baking soda is a close second. And just like vinegar, it can be used to remove limescale from most of your kitchen and bathroom fixtures. To do this, mix baking soda with water to create a paste. Apply the paste directly to the area from which you want to remove limescale and let it sit for at least an hour before wiping away (if the area is seriously covered, you might consider using a toothbrush to help scrub away the limescale after the hour is up or letting the paste sit longer).
Baking soda is effective in attempts to remove limescale because of its alkalizing nature. As a bonus tip, add half of a cup of baking soda to your washing machine’s rinse cycle to counteract the negative effects hard water has on your laundry.
DENTURE TABLETS TO REMOVE LIMESCALE
While not up there with baking soda and vinegar in terms of versatility, denture tablets are another effective way to remove limescale from the toilet bowl. In addition to baking soda in the tablets, they also usually contain a mild bleach which makes them attack limescale in multiple ways. Drop one or two denture cleaning tablets into the bowl (something like Efferdent) and walk away for 30 minutes – an hour while they do their thing. Then scrub clean with your toilet brush and flush to rinse. Hopefully, your toilet bowl will be as shiny and white as your teeth!
When you are ready to say goodbye to hard water for good, be sure to call us to discuss which type of water softener would be good for your home and how quickly it can be installed. In the meantime, we hope that these tips are helpful to you in your battle to remove limescale!