What is Limescale?

limescale on a faucet

Tubs, showers and faucets should be the cleanest areas in our homes – they are constantly being infiltrated with soap day in and day out after all! Unfortunately, as you’re well aware, soap scum, mildew and mold is a common result of these constantly “clean” places. We’re all too familiar of where these nasty resonates come from, but what about limescale? Where does it come from and for that matter, what even is limescale?

What is limescale?
Limescale is a white tough chalky crust that is found on faucets, sinks, tubs, toilets kettles and washing machines – pretty much anywhere tap water is used. Hard water generally consists of calcium, magnesium, carbonate and sulfate – limescale is what is left behind from hard water.

What does it do?
For starters, hard water makes it more difficult for soap to lather, so you end up using more soap and detergent. When limescale sticks to surfaces it makes for a tough cleaning job. Limescale can cause clogs in tubes and even piping. If it doesn’t clog your pipes, it’ll slow down your home’s water pressure.

How do you clean it?
It’s best to stay away from chemical cleaners when cleaning your plumbing because they have the potential to wear on your pipes. Vinegar is one of the best alternatives you’ll find out there that will rid your home of limescale. When cleaning your faucets, fill a plastic bag with vinegar, submerge the faucet in the vinegar and tie the bag to the faucet. Let it sit for 30 minutes before wiping it down. Vinegar and baking soda will also get rid of any limescale from your sinks, tub, shower and washing machine. Your toilet can be cleaned by; yep you guessed it, vinegar! First drain the water from the toilet, then pour white vinegar into it and let the vinegar sit for two hours before scrubbing.

How do you get rid of it?
Fortunately, there is a way to get limescale out of your home’s tap water. Adding polyphosphates to the water will remove scaling and corrosion and it’s not harmful or toxic. A water softening system adds small doses of polyphosphates to the water. This removes all of the harsh chemicals from the water while combating corrosion at the same time. The treated soft water enhances the flow of water and will improve virtually everything you use water for. You’ll even have softer hair and smoother skin because of the water softener system and most importantly, be free of limescale.

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Tom Gillece Sr. is the founder and president of Gillece Services in Pittsburgh, providing residential Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Waterproofing services throughout Western Pennsylvania. Established in 1980, Gillece has helped homeowners with all of their emergency, maintenance, repair and replacement needs for more than 30 years. For the latest news and offers, Gillece can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.