Those white and green, chalky deposits that gather on faucets and showerheads are annoying. When tap water contains calcium salts it leaves behind an alkaline residue after the water evaporates. Not only does it look dirty, but it can constrict water flow when left untreated. Because we are no strangers to hard water here, we know a thing or two about getting rid of it.
The problem with limescale is that it’s a mineral. That means that the stain is fixed in place. It can be scrubbed off but that risks scratching the appliance. The best cleaners for limescale are mildly acidic. This allows for the scale to be lifted off the metal, leaving it looking brand new.
Lemon juice is our favorite go-to. It is usually handy and rubbing in a few drops takes care of most of the buildup. Lime juice is even more acidic and another option for tougher stains. Half a lemon or lime can be twisted over a spout and left on for a half hour, allowing the acid to work into the buildup.
In case you’re wondering, no, oranges won’t work. Yes, they are a citrus, but they contain too much sugar for our work here. It might smell great but all the bugs in the area will think the same. Things will get sticky.
For deposits that won’t let go, white vinegar is also effective, cheap, and usually around here somewhere. Soaking rags in a vinegar solution and leaving them wrapped around the appliance for an hour will remove those stains easily. Running a washing machine on a normal cycle (without clothes) and cup of vinegar will also take care of limescale buildup.
Sometimes a cleaning job takes more than pantry items. Borax (sodium tetraborate) is a natural mineral that combats limescale. Once mixed in water it safe to use on virtually anything. Simple Green and CLR are two brands that work great, also, and be found at major retailers.
Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, there are a number of ways to lessen the impact of limescale coming into the home. Check out this article for some ideas to get hard water out of your life. To learn more about hard water and its effects on home and health, check out this article: Effects of Hard Water.