Have you noticed chalky marks on your shower head, or a flaky gritty residue in your kettle? If you do then you have limescale. Unfortunately this is one of the downsides of living in a hard water area and left alone can build up in your dishwasher, washing machine, kettle and pipes.

Over time this can potentially damage your appliances, which will cause them to run less effectively. The build up on your shower head can lead to the holes in the head closing up, and will give your taps an unsightly chalky residue that’s hard to remove.

How can you prevent and remove limescale?

You can buy products to prevent limescale, such as Magnoballs for your washing machine and dishwasher, and Magnoloo for your toilet. These are cost effective, environmentally friendly solutions that last 5 – 10 years and can prevent the build up of limescale. You can also buy shower heads that have a built in system to prevent the build up of limescale.

But what if you already have a limescale problem? There are various chemical based products on the market that can help with the removal of limescale, but there are also home made solutions that can also tackle the problem.

Lemon and vinegar are both great for removing limescale. In a kettle, fill a quarter of the way with lemon or vinegar and leave for an hour or so. Top up the kettle with water and boil the water. Once boiled, pour the water away (while hot). Make sure you rinse the kettle before using it, you don’t want your tea to taste of vinegar!

Lemon and vinegar are just as effective for removing limescale in your washing machine and dishwasher. Simply pour in a cup of either vinegar or lemon where you would put detergent in the washing machine, or pour a cup in the bottom of your dishwasher. Run both on a normal cycle – the limescale should dissolve. If you find that it hasn’t removed all of the scale simply run another cycle with another cup of your chosen liquid.

If you have limescale buildup in your toilet then grab a bottle of Coke! Pour the Coke over the limescale in the toilet – half a bottle should do the trick. The coke will dissolve the limescale over night. Simply flush the following morning and use a toilet brush to scrub away any stubborn marks.

Pipes blocked with limescale is a much bigger problem and harder to remove with home made remedies. If you think your pipes are blocked with limescale contact Maintracts for advice and a free quote.

Lemon image by Aureliy Movila