Unapologetically Progressive. Uniquely New Orleans. Four Ways To Get Rid Of Calcium Buildup In Toilets
If you’ve ever had to clean your bathroom, you’re probably no stronger to calcium buildup –– and the pain it takes to remove it. Otherwise known as limescale, this hard, chalky substance tends to form where water is left to evaporate, such as on taps, toilet bowls, pipes, and baths. Because of its high mineral content, limescale occurs in places where hard water is present. Unfortunately, this means that it’s a prevalent problem especially in America and the UK, where 60-85% of their land masses use hard water. In this article, we’ll be teaching you all about limescale and how you can prevent it from happening in your toilets.
Limescale is a hard, chalky substance that often amasses on fixtures, where water (especially hard water) comes into contact frequently. When hard water is heated or evaporates, soluble magnesium and calcium bicarbonate leave behind an insoluble calcium carbonate impurity. This solidified mineral is what you know as calcium buildup. On the contrary, soft water doesn’t contain as many impurities as it is filtered by granite or slate, compared to hard water which runs through porous rocks, chalk, and limestone.
Appliances and items that heat up hard water, such as your washing machine, dishwasher, coffee maker, kettle, and even your pots and pans, are potential areas for limescale to build up on. It also can settle on fixtures and surfaces that come into regular contact with hard water, such as kitchen taps, showerheads, pipes, and countertops. The limescale buildup for surfaces is considerably slower than on appliances, as evaporation takes longer when the water is not heated up.
Whilst limescale isn’t directly dangerous to our bodies, it is visibly ugly to look at, and can give off the impression that the house is dirty and neglected. If left to fester, limescale can potentially damage your electrical appliances, resulting in higher energy usage and electricity bills. It also damages fixtures and creates blockages in pipes, which require lots of money to be spent on repairs and replacements. Because limescale buildups in toilets are the most common problem faced, we’ll be sharing some tips and tricks on how to combat this situation.Powered by Ads Pro
Ways To Prevent Calcium Build Up
As limescale builds up, it becomes bigger and harder to clean. Therefore, it’s extremely important to clean and scrub away the buildup frequently. This will ensure that a large amount of limescale does not build up and consequently, your toilet’s performance will remain at its best. One key area to note is beneath the rim of the toilet bowl, where calcium buildups tend to accumulate at. This area usually goes unnoticed, but if there’s too much of a buildup, you’ll end up being unable to even flush your toilet!
To begin, take a small handheld mirror and use it to check the flushing jets of your toilet bowl –– if you notice any white crusts, then it’s time to bring out the scrubbing brushes. We recommend using brushes with stiff bristles, as they have just the right amount of strength to help remove limescale deposits. You should never use abrasive pumice stones or metal brushes as these could damage your toilet’s porcelain.
If there are limescale deposits within the toilet bowl itself, we recommend pouring a bottle of Coca-Cola down and leaving it there overnight. Coke contains a concentrated amount of phosphoric acid, which is able to combat the high levels of calcium carbonate from hard water. If it’s still there the next day, use elbow grease to scrub it out.
If you’re not a fan of scrubbing, why not switch to chemical or natural descalers in removing limescale deposits? These descalers contain acids that react with solidified limescale deposits to create soluble salts that can be easily washed away.
Some effective chemicals to consider are hydrochloric acid, gluconic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, formic acid, or boric acid. All of these are frequently found in products for household cleaning, so you’re probably more familiar with them than you’d realize. However, do take extra care when using these products, as they produce potent fumes that can cause harm to your health. It’s best to keep them in a safe cabinet designated for chemicals. Click here to learn more about appropriate storage of corrosive chemicals. For those that prefer using natural descalers, you can try pairing white vinegar with baking soda or lemon juice. White vinegar has a natural acidity of 2.4 pH, which makes it effective enough against limescale.
Whether you’re opting for chemical acids or vinegar, the key to removing limescale is to let the product soak. Several cups of the solution would be the optimal amount to use, but if necessary, use enough product that it makes contact with your toilet’s rim jets. Alternatively, you could add the descaler solution into your toilet’s water tank and let it sit for a few hours. When you eventually flush your toilet, the limescale should flush away too.
As previously mentioned, limescale deposits happen when hard water evaporates on a surface. Therefore, one way to prevent buildup from happening would be to keep your toilets as dry as possible, to prevent excessive evaporation from happening.
With every flush made, water travels around the toilet bowl rim before going down into the pipe. In most scenarios, the dripping water left by the toilet jets is what causes limescale buildup. Hence, we recommend taking a toilet brush to run across the rim, removing any excess water left by the jets. If there’s water anywhere else, such as on the seat or beneath the seat hinge, you should wipe the water away too. This will ensure that calcium buildups don’t happen anywhere else on your toilet
Prevention is always better than cure. The best method to deal with limescale is to address the problem at its source –– the usage of hard water. By using a whole-home water softener system, you’re able to ensure that the water that flows around your house is free of hard minerals. These softeners work by replacing the hard calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. Since sodium ions are soluble in water, they will not form hard, mineral deposits.
However, whole-home water softener systems are expensive, as these systems require you to directly install them at your home’s water source. We strongly encourage those who can afford it to opt for water softeners, especially if your home is dealing with serious limescale problems. Having a water softener system allows you to prevent any future limescale issues, and keep all our fixtures, surfaces, appliances in tip-top condition. Check out Victoria plum for more toilet-cleaning tips and solutions.
Dealing with limescale deposits can be extremely frustrating, as they require serious effort and discipline. Whilst these cleaning tips are useful in getting rid of limescale, a better (and more permanent) option is to prevent it from the source. Purchasing hard water softeners and ensuring that your toilets are dry can reduce the amount of mineral buildup left behind by evaporation. Remember: persistence is key! With our guide, we hope that we’ve equipped you with the easiest and most efficient methods in dealing with limescale deposits.