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Spring Cleaning: Scale and Hard Water Damage

April_Blog_Spring_2015-4Spring’s finally here, after what seemed, in many parts of the country, like a new ice age was settling in. Now that you’ve got the windows open and the house aired out, it’s time to start spring cleaning. If you’re one of the many Americans battling hard water stains and scale build-up, here’s a few pointers to make cleaning a little easier and greener.

In the Bathroom

For hard water stains in a bathtub, mix up a half-and-half white vinegar / filtered water solution. Spray the tub with the solution, wait a few minutes, then rinse and wipe dry. That last step is important—you’re preventing hard water from resting on the surface you just cleaned. This solution also works well on shower doors.

Often a simple spray isn’t enough to rid your tub of hard water grime. For tougher spots, make a paste of white vinegar and baking soda (this will foam like crazy, so choose a large container for mixing). Smear the paste on the stain and let it sit for fifteen minutes. Then scrub it off, rinse, and wipe dry.

Hard water scale can build up in showerheads, clogging the nozzle. To clean, remove the showerhead and soak it for several hours in white vinegar. Scrub it, rinse well, and reattach. Faucets are another location where scale builds up. Spray the faucet with lemon juice, let rest for ten minutes, and wipe clean.

In the Kitchen

Stainless steel kitchen sinks exposed to hard water develop water spots, dulling their shine. Rinse out the sink, removing any dirt, then rub water spots with a clean rag dampened with vinegar. If the spot remains, lay the rag over the stain for a few minutes, then wipe.

Clean your coffee machine in much the same way. Once a month fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run it through. Discard the vinegar, then run the machine twice with filtered water to remove any vinegary aftertaste. Again, this shouldn’t be performed more than once a month to prevent appliance damage.

Your dishwasher offers a different challenge. Hard water not only leaves spots on dishes, it also causes scale to build up within the appliance, reducing the dishwasher’s efficiency and its lifespan.

Avoid it Outright

With a few gallons of vinegar, some baking soda, and some elbow grease, you’ve defeated hard water—for now. The problem will keep returning until you take steps to soften your water. One of the most efficient and eco-friendly methods is to install a Pelican NaturSoft salt-free water softening system. The NaturSoft naturally softens water for the entire home without wasting any water or discharging salty brine. Our water softeners will add years to your water-reliant appliances’ lives, while preventing scale and mineral build-up in your water heater and plumbing system—so next year, you can enjoy spring without having to scrub hard water stains.

Pelican Combo System Salt-Free Water Softener Whole-House Water Filter