Is Limescale Bad for You?

What Is Limescale?

Limescale is a white substance that accumulates inside kettles, washing machines and hot water pipes over time. It has a chalky appearance and is very hard to get rid of. Depending on the minerals involved, the colour of the limescale can range from white to pink and even reddish brown.

What Causes Limescale?

Limescale is caused by the conversion of Calcium Bicarbonate into Calcium Carbonate, which is insoluble in water. This conversion occurs when hard water evaporates. Hard water is rich in minerals like Calcium Bicarbonate. Upon evaporation, it leaves behind deposits of Calcium Carbonate on the surface of the container it was in.  

The Problem With Limescale

Increased Energy Bills

Limescale build up inside hot water pipes can reduce their thermal efficiency. It means that the pipes won’t be able to conduct heat efficiently from the water inside them to their outer shell. Due to this inefficiency, more power will be consumed to heat up the pipes, increasing your energy bills in the process. 

Limescale Deposits Destroy Appliances

Appliances like a washing machines and kettles get limescale deposits on their insides. These deposits can hamper their working and cause them to work harder than they should to heat up water. This can reduce their lifespan and cause unnecessary wear and tear. Similar to these appliances, the boiler in your home can also become a victim of limescale deposits. If left unattended, these deposits can build up and choke the boiler’s heat exchanger. To compensate for that the boiler has to work overtime to heat up your home. This overwork can be fatal to a boiler and result in frequent breakdowns especially during the winter.   

Extra Cleaning Is Required

Limescale isn’t easy to clean. You can’t just wash it away with water. In fact, it won’t go away with regular cleaning products too. You will have to spend on special cleaning supplies to get rid of the limescale deposits especially if they have been building up for a considerable period of time.

Dries Out Skin And Hair

Water containing limescale isn’t a friend to your skin and hair too. It can make your hair brittle and dull and cause scalp irritation due to the high concentration of minerals and salts in it. Also, it can clog the pores of your skin, causing loss of skin glow as well as skin dryness.  

Ugly White And Coloured Stains Everywhere

Limescale is responsible for the white and coloured stains all over your bathroom. You will see them on the tiles, the water taps, and even the showerhead. Limescale is also the reason for the formation of brown rings in the toilets and the sinks that are very hard to clean.  

How To Remove Limescale From Water Supply?

Hard water and limescale go hand in hand. The white chalky build up from limescale can be removed at the source by investing in a water softener. When we installed a water softener in our home I immediately notice that my skin was a lot less dry and itchy. My electricity bill was also a little bit less each month because my appliances didn’t have the limescale build up anymore.

How To Get Rid Of Limescale In Your Kettle

This is the method I use to get rid of the limescale in my kettle.

  1. Pour in 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of water inside the kettle
  2. Turn the kettle on and let it boil
  3. Pour out the mixture and rinse
  4. Fill with clean water and boil

If you do this regularly, this will remove all the limescale. I have found that if I haven’t clean my kettle in a while I may have to do this process twice to get rid of all the limescale.

Where Does Limescale Form?

You are probably familiar with all the places limescale can form which you can see, but did you know that limescale also builds up inside your boiler, pipes, and radiators.

Visible Limescale

  • Kettle
  • Showerheads
  • Shower screens
  • Tiles
  • Taps

Invisible Limescale

  • Inside the Boiler
  • Radiators
  • Water and Heating pipes
  • Washing machine/dishwasher

FAQ

Is Drinking Limescale Ok?

Yes, drinking limescale is ok because it contains Calcium Carbonate, which in low amounts doesn’t affect your health.

Is Limescale Dangerous?

No, limescale is not dangerous. It is just a nuisance that makes bathrooms look dirty and reduces the lifespan of your appliances.

Is Limescale In Kettle Bad For You?

Limescale in the kettle is not bad for you but many people don’t like to see it. The reason for this is that limescale can damage the kettle and stop it from working properly.

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