How to Remove Limescale
No matter how hard you to try to keep your sinks, appliances, and taps clean, chances are that over time, you will notice limescale. No matter how hard you clean, or how often you wipe up, it will still form over time. This is through no fault of your own, or from a lack of cleaning, it is simply just from the water that you have coming into your house. Depending on the water supply you have, some houses may experience more or fewer limescale deposits, but good news, it is easy to handle, and limescale build-up can easily be avoided!
What is Limescale?
Limescale, or more simply, mineral deposits, is just what the name suggests; a deposit or, build up of deposits, from the minerals and solids that are suspended in your water source. Most people have heard the terms, soft water, and hard water, but what do they really mean?
Soft water, or water containing very few parts per million of contaminants or minerals, is water that flows from areas with rock and earth that is not porous, and therefore stays cleaner and contains fewer minerals and solids. Hard water, on the other hand, is water that flows from, or sometimes through, rock and earth that is porous. The porous nature of the rocks allows for the water to carry with it small molecules that will later build up and deposit onto the appliances and surfaces of your home.
The two most common minerals that lead to limescale buildup are magnesium and calcium, and if not treated, can cause your appliances to not function properly like they should, and will leave milky looking residue on appliances, taps, faucets, and sinks.
How to Best Remove Limescale from Appliances
Some of the most common household appliances that you will notice limescale building up on are, of course, the ones that require water to function. For example, your coffee maker, kettle, steam iron, dishwasher and washing machine will all be susceptible to limescale build up if not cleaned routinely.
Each machine or appliance will require its own cleaning regimen, but not to worry, they are easy to follow and easy to maintain. The more often each cleaning method is used, the easier it becomes to maintain because the limescale will have less of a chance to establish itself. Once a layer of the mineral substance has attached itself to the appliances surfaces, more buildup will occur, and at a faster rate because it can build on top of the existing molecules. This is why it is important to keep up with limescale removal.
How to Remove Limescale from Coffee Makers and Kettles
There are a few methods to help and remove limescale, but the two most popular are to either add some water softener into the kettle or carafe of the coffee maker or to allow them to soak in a simple homemade solution using ingredients from your own home. If you want to use water softener approach, add two tablespoons to the kettle or carafe, fill with water, and boil for five minutes. Rinse well after, and it is ready to be used again. Dental cleaning tablets will also work instead of the water softener.
If you want to make your own solution, pour ½ cup white vinegar, and ½ lemon juice into the kettle or carafe, and allow it to sit and soak overnight. In the morning, rinse, and fill with water, and allow it to boil. Rinse again, and it will be ready to use.
Removing Limescale from Washing Machines and Dishwashers
Both of these machines are very easy to clean, and they pretty much do all the work themselves! For both machines, simply set to a normal load setting, and do not place any dishes or clothes in them. Place a limescale remover, a store bought chemical, into the dispenser drawers of the appliance, and let the cycle run through.
To prevent future buildup of limescale in your washing machine, you can add a small amount of fabric softener or Borax to your laundry loads. These two chemicals will help to make it more difficult for limescale deposits to cling to the inside of your machine, and will keep it working the way it should.
You can also make your own solution, which is to add one cup of baking soda to a large load sized cycle, set to hot, with no clothes in the drum. Let that cycle run through, and repeat for another cycle, this time adding a cup of white vinegar. Let the machine run through for a third cycle with no additives to rinse, and it will be back to normal for you to use.
For your dishwasher, saltwater tablets periodically added to your loads will also help to make it harder for limescale deposits to form on the interior of the appliance.
How to Remove Limescale from Small Appliances like Steam Irons and Taps and Faucets?
There are many different store-bought chemicals that all help to combat limescale buildup, and all work to fight the chemical deposits left behind from heavy or hard water. If you do not want to use a store bought chemical, there are also many remedies that you can use and make from simple ingredients found around your own home.
Lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda, and cream of tartar are some of the best limescale fighters that you have in your home, and will all work wonders on your small appliances and other surfaces without any fear of chemicals or damage to surrounding surfaces.
Using a clean cloth or sponge, dip it into a solution of ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup lemon juice, and wipe around faucets and taps, or the bottom of steam irons for a sparkling finish. Sounds simple, and it truly is. Cream of tartar is also a great substance to us, especially on metal and stainless steel. Not only will it remove limescale build up, but since it is abrasive, it will also leave your surfaces shiny and clean.
Baking soda and vinegar are also great for cleaning sinks and bathtubs. Simply wet the sink or tub down with water, and sprinkle with baking soda. Give the area a good scrub, and leave it to sit for one hour. Next, stray from a spray bottle some vinegar to the area until you see it foam up. After the baking soda has stopped foaming, rinse the tub or sink with water, and it is ready for use.
Just remember, the more often you maintain your surfaces and appliances, the easier it will be to clean off any built up limescale. Hard water will cause limescale to build up faster, and depending on the water you have coming into your home, cleaning and maintaining these appliances or surfaces may need to be done more often. One trick to staying on top of limescale build up is to build a treatment plan for your surfaces or appliances into your cleaning routine so that nothing gets left off of the cleaning routine.