How to prevent limescale deposits

Anyone who lives in a “hard water” area will know that limescale deposits are a problem. Limescale is a chalky, hard substance that builds up due to calcium carbonate deposits in water. Limescale can cause problems such as reduced water flow in taps and pipes, build-up on bathtubs and sinks and blocking the flow of water in shower heads and boilers. 

Drinking water with limescale in it is not harmful. Limescale is mainly formed of calcium salt crystals which should have no negative impact on your health. If you accidentally swallow some of the hard limescale it should just naturally pass through your digestive system. If you’re worried about drinking limescale, you could use a water filter to filter your water before you drink it or fill your kettle.

Limescale can leave deposits on your bathroom and toilet, making it look dirty and unsightly. Even if your bathroom is freshly scrubbed, limescale deposits can make it look grubby. When we moved into our house I thought our bathroom loo was filthy, but after hours of scrubbing I showed it to our builder who tipped some limescale remover down it, and within a couple of hours it was like new again.

For tackling bathroom and kitchen limescale there are a number of household products available which are easy to use. These may require a couple of hours to soak off the limescale deposits. Failing that, if your limescale is stubborn, there are companies who can come in and deal with it for a fee.

Likewise with your washing machine and dishwasher, additives can be used to help prevent the build up of limescale deposits. These are fairly inexpensive compared to having to repair or replace your washing machine regularly.

If you’re concerned about chemicals in your home, vinegar or lemon juice is said to be good for dissolving limescale, though you may need to soak the limescale in vinegar for some time. If the limescale is stubborn you may need to soak it for a number of days. I’ve done this with a shower head which took several days, but it did work.

Dealing with limescale deposits in a hard water area is an ongoing and potentially expensive job. You will need to keep on top of it and have regular descaling sessions of your various appliances.

Alternatively, there is a product called Combimate which helps to prevent the build up of limescale in your home. Combimate adds Combiphos to your water and is quickly and easily fitted onto the incoming cold feed pipe to a combi boiler. The Combiphos helps to prevent limescale deposits in the heat exchanger and will reduce limescale formation in the boiler, appliances and in your hot taps and is completely safe to drink and use. 

Combimate is easy for any plumber or competent DIY enthusiast to install. It doesn’t require any electrical work or special tools. It can protect boilers and appliances against limescale formation and corrosion, help to keep your energy costs down and can extend the life of your kitchen appliances.

There are several ways to keep on top of your limescale problem, but as with everything, prevention is often better than the cure. Do you have any top tips for dealing with limescale?

limescale deposits

= In collaboration with Combimate =

Tackling limescale with Durgol Universal

Coming from Manchester we are used to delicious and soft water flowing from our taps, we don’t really suffer from limescale build up at our home in the glorious north, but here in our uncle’s holiday cottage in Devon I’ve never known anything like it. The kettle is furry, the taps have crusty white deposits on them and the shower head is the worst. We’ve been coming here for years and each year we try to clean the shower head of its limescale build up. Over the years we’ve tried vinegar and a range of descaling products, all with mixed amounts of success.

I was sent a bottle of Durgol Universal to try out. Durgol is a liquid decalcifier from Switzerland, which is designed to remove limescale from kettles, coffee machines etc as well as household items such as shower heads.

Costing £9.99 for a 500ml bottle I was expecting really good things from it. The instructions suggested a ten minute immersion in undiluted Durgol for our shower head. Knowing just how bad it would be I gave it 15 minutes and then rinsed the shower head throughly in cold water. We tried the shower out the next day, it was vastly improved, but as I still had the bowl of Durgol I decided to give it another soak, so I popped it back in the undiluted Durgol and left it for another half an hour. I then tested it again and it was almost like new.

Having previously tried a number of other products of this ilk, I was impressed with the Durgol. Sure it took a bit longer than the instructions suggested, but the limescale was thick and years old. The bonus was that we were still left with the bowl of Durgol, so waste not, want not, we cleaned the sink and taps with it, which left them very clean and limescale free, a little in this instance, does go a long way.

For such a powerful liquid you expect it to smell quite potent, it didn’t, it had a neutral smell, not chemically or bleachy at all. I think Durgol Universal is a really useful kitchen maintenance product, we re-used the solution once we’d soaked the shower head, so we made it go further and therefore we thought it was good value for money.

I think if you live in an area prone to limescale build up, then maintaining your appliances is essential and can keep them in good working order for longer. It’s a case of spending a little to save money in the long run.

You can find out more about Durgol Universal and other Durgol limescale products on their website.


Note: We were sent a bottle of Durgol Universal free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.