Thursday, 12 April 2012

Win the War against Limescale!

There’s nothing like putting your feet up at the end of a long day with a lovely cup of… limescale?!

If you live in a hard water area you’ll know what a pain limescale can be. Not only does it ruin your tea, it leaves water marks everywhere, stops your shampoo from lathering properly, reduces the efficiency of appliances and can even contribute to them breaking down.

Luckily we’re here to arm you with clever tips and tricks to defeat that gunk!

Know your enemy

Here comes the science bit, concentrate!

Limescale is essentially alkaline mineral - calcium bicarbonate - suspended in water. It’s actually very good for us to drink this water because of the rich minerals in it, but it can play havoc with appliances that heat water like your washing machine, kettle, dishwasher, iron etc.

A lovely lump of limescale!

This is because the minerals are attracted to heating elements. When the soluble calcium bicarbonate minerals are heated they become calcium carbonate – a poorly soluble substance that therefore ‘sticks’ to the element. As more and more limescale builds up on the heating element, it requires more and more energy to heat the water and may eventually lead to the appliance breaking down.

So now you know what it is, how can you stop it ruining your stuff?


Prevention is better than cure

Water softeners use sodium to replace the calcium in the water - the same principle applies when we advise using Soda Crystals in each wash. Soda Crystals are also known as sodium carbonate, and work to soften the water in your washing machine, making laundry detergents work better and preventing limescale from sticking to heating elements. Soda Crystals also help to remove stains on clothing, as well as detergent build up in the machine. Use between 25g-50g in each wash and you will also find that you don’t need to use as much detergent too – pretty cool huh!

Different areas of the country have harder water and so require the full 50g, whereas areas with softer water won’t necessarily need as much. This map highlights the areas of hard water in England and Wales.


Fight fire with fire!

Because limescale is alkaline, acidic cleaners like White Vinegar and Citric Acid work best at removing it. Below are a few methods for removing limescale from surfaces and appliances.

Draining Boards
Coffee Machines


Shower Screens

So don't let limescale ruin your next cuppa - fight it head on with your army of traditional and natural products!

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