Limescale, the low down…


Limescale – that silent menace which is a pain to clean off taps & shower screens and adds extra flavour to a cup of tea! If you don’t know,  limescale is that white crusty despot you find clogging up your shower head, inside the kettle and covering taps, sinks and shower screens.

We’ve all experienced limescale, particularly those living in the South & East of England. Limescale is a nuisance which takes considerable time to manage. As a result, we thought it would be useful to post a blog about where limescale comes from and why it causes us daily problems.

So, where does limescale come from?

Limescale is the residue of hard water (water that contains more minerals than soft water), which has either been left to stand or heated past 55 degrees celsius and allowed to sit.

Hard water contains higher than average levels of dissolved minerals, whilst rainwater (one thing we’re not short of) is naturally ‘soft’, containing few impurities. If rainwater runs over tough rocks like granite or slate, it stays soft. However, if the water runs through soft, spongy rock such as limestone & chalk, it absorbs the rocks’ minerals from them, and it’s these minerals (calcium or magnesium carbonate) that make the water become hard.

So, why does it cause such a problem?

Hard water itself isn’t necessarily a problem as people have been enjoying its healing effects for years!

Unfortunately, there are a number of side effects to hard water such as leaving behind light scum on surfaces, making detergents less effective and causing glasses & plates to look dull over time.

The biggest problem is that once heated past 55 degrees celsius or left to stand, the dissolved minerals solidify as the moisture evaporates and can cause a serious problem in the home.

On average, 1 litre of water in hard water areas in Britain (follow this link to find out if you live in one) contains an average of 300mg of dissolved minerals, which can generate up to 70kg of limescale in a year in a four person household!

As you’ve probably noticed in your own home, limescale will often cover taps and hard surfaces with the unsightly white layer which can be difficult to remove. The visible effects are nothing compared to those effects which can’t be seen, as limescale coats heating elements in your boiler, washing machine and dishwasher own the same way it covers your kettle, therefore making them less energy efficient. The result is that it causes your appliances to burn themselves out much more quickly than normal.

Want to know how you can effectively treat limescale, stay tuned as we’ll be posting a follow up article shortly with some handy tips! If you need help removing limescale in  your home, why not contact ProClean Team on 020 8742 1808 or email

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