London is a hard water area. This means limescale creeps in, in various forms, all over our home: our taps, our showerheads, our toilets, our kettles, even our washing machines are not safe.
Here are a few tips to get you on the clean and shiny path to scaly free homes.
TAPS & SHOWERHEADS:
People think that Viakal is the best product to use but our best buy recommendation is Cillit Bang limescale and shine. Second best is Lime Lite – our clients recommend this regularly – but these pricy products will only work if you are using them regularly as a way of slowly preventing the build-up of limescale on your bathroom and kitchen taps and surfaces. If the build-up is already there, then here’s what you need to do:
TACKLING BUILD UP:
Ever heard about the Coke down the toilet trick? Pour a bottle of Coke down the toilet don’t flush and leave overnight. This works for all forms of limescale build-up. Unscrew all the easily detachable bits from your taps and showerheads and soak them overnight, (making sure you don’t unscrew something essential that gives you a reason to call the plumber). For the other parts use cotton wool pads soaked in lemon juice and wrap firmly around the remaining parts. Keep basting the pads with lemon juice ensuring that the pads are fully in contact with the part. If all else fails, we have a frightening trade secret – Harpic toilet cleaner is potent stuff, but if you don a pair of gloves and carefully apply some with a toothbrush, watch with an eagle eye and leave for no longer than 2 minutes before rinsing thoroughly, this should obliterate limescale on your taps.
Oust. You can’t beat this. If you are trying to save money and the planet then white vinegar works very well. Fill your kettle 3/4 full with equal parts water and white vinegar, boil, remove kettle form the port source, leave for 15-20 minutes, rinse several times and voila! a sparkly new looking kettle.
Are you expecting me to say washing machines live longer with Calgon because some time in the nineties you were inadvertently brainwashed by a nice man in overalls on ITV? Well I was, until I did a bit of research! More about this below. Calgon is a water softener and therefore a preventative rather than a descaler. Descalers on the market that work well in Washing Machines are Oust and ecozone balls. White vinegar has been known to work too.
TO SOFTEN OR NOT TO SOFTEN?
Spending money on water softening tablets for specific appliances is not economical. Tests done by Which? UK show that after six years of Calgon use, you may have a limescale free machine, but you would have also spent approximately £295 while at normal use (40 degrees washing) the limescale build-up in a machine would not grind it to a halt for another 2 or 3 years.