Prevent And Remove Limescale Build Up

It is far easier to prevent lime-scale build up than it is to remove it. Choose from these prevention methods and tips.

If you cannot get rid of the ugly ring in your sink or tub, or if your faucets still look dirty even after you scrub them, you may have lime-scale.

Lime-scale is a filmy residue caused by hard water. Water is considered "hard" when it contains a high concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Lime-scale is not only unsightly but it can also harm your pipes and appliances, especially those that contain heating elements such as a washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, and coffee makers.


-Use bottled water for appliances that have tanks that require filling like coffee makers. There are different types of bottled water that you can use, such as distilled water, which is boiled until it turns to steam and is then reconstituted. Reverse osmosis water goes through a two part filtering process. The water is pushed through a particle filter and then a carbon filter. Reverse osmosis improves the taste of water and removes most of the elements that cause lime scale (be aware that reverse osmosis also removes fluoride).

-Purchase an ion exchange water-filtering pitcher to filter your water. Be sure to change the cartridges as recommended. Other filtering pitchers and the filters that screw onto your faucet are not usually sufficient, because they cannot "soften" the water. Ion exchange filters are the only type that can eliminate calcium and magnesium, which are the culprits behind lime-scale.

-Instant water softeners come in tablets or in gel or powdered forms. Add to your washing machine along with your favorite laundry soap and wash clothes as usual. There are also instant softeners specifically for the dishwasher. These products are designed to bond with the calcium and other minerals to remove them and diminish the effects of hard water. Instant softeners dissolve completely, so they should not leave residue of their own inside your appliances.

-Another method is to flush appliances frequently with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water to help limit build up.

-Some of these "quick fixes" can become expensive over time. If you would rather head off the problem where it starts, you can install electronic equipment that conditions the water, or install a water softener. These items may seem expensive, but consider the long-term expense of some of the other options before making a decision.


There is really no good way to remove lime-scale other than scrubbing. Prevention is the best way to win the battle against lime-scale. If you already have build up, use a strong concentration of vinegar or a specialized lime-scale product and a lot of elbow grease to remove it. Follow the directions on the label exactly as some products can be dangerous. Let the cleanser sit on the affected area for a few moments then scrub off the residue and rinse thoroughly.

Nobody likes lime-scale, but you may not want to filter your water completely. Believe it or not, hard water is said to be good for you. One wonders how something that does such damage to things around the house can be good for your body, but research indicates that hard water does have healthful benefits.

© High Speed Ventures 2011