Author: John Fay
Date Posted:26 January 2015
Water: it helps you remove filth and maintain cleanliness. However, it can also leave stains. These stains are referred to as water scales. You might notice these stains in your bathroom, specifically in your fixtures such as faucet, sink, shower head, shower enclosure, tub, toilet, urinal and bidet. The colors of these stains can range from reddish to brownish shades. Homeowners and hotel owners alike remove water scale from bathrooms because affect the beauty of their bathroom interiors.
Cause of Water Scales
Water scales may appear in spite of proper bathroom use and maintenance. This is because the root cause of water scales is external. It is hard water that actually causes water scales.
There are two classifications of water based on the presence of dissolved mineral content. These two classifications are hard water and soft water. In the water cycle, the water that just passed precipitation (rain, snow, hail) is considered as soft water. Meanwhile, soft water turns into hard water as it hits the ground and flows into both natural and man-made water systems. It encounters several sources of minerals such as rocks. Minerals such as magnesium, calcium, brass and manganese are dissolved into microscopic pieces and acquired by the water that flows down through your home water systems.
Whenever you use hard water in your bathroom, the dissolved mineral content is filtered out. These microscopic elements attach themselves into your fixtures and pipes. They accumulate over time. The accumulation of dissolved mineral content in your bathroom now transforms into water scales. The nature of the minerals is the primary reason for their reddish and brown colors.
Downside of Water Scales
The unsightly stains in your bathroom result to more serious problems. However, health issues are not part of it. Researchers already confirmed that hard water does not pose grave danger to the user’s health.
Damage to your bathroom fixtures is the downside of water scales. It is caused by the stains themselves or your way to remove water scale from bathrooms.
As mentioned earlier, water scales are accumulation of minerals. This build-up can clog your waterways, especially the narrow ones such as faucets and shower heads. It can also result to the discoloration of water that flows from such fixtures.
If the accumulation is too much, water scales can rot the affected areas in your bathroom. They can even aggravate the rusting in metallic fixtures. These consequences further result to costly repairs and replacement.
Apart from the stains themselves, you may also blame your method of removing them for the damages. Take the use of abrasives as an example. These chemicals can cause scratches to your fixtures.
Common Solutions to Water Scales
There are places where hard water with high mineral content is common. Hence, water scales cannot be avoided. In this instance, homeowners have no option but to use water softeners. Water softeners serve as filters in your waterways. They remove the high mineral content in hard water before it flows to your fixtures. These can help in preventing water scales. However, water softeners are not capable of removing them.
As a homeowner, you have three options in removing water scales. First, you can get rid of them by seeking professionals. This is also the best option if the scaling is severe.
The second option is to employ home-made solutions. These solutions include the spraying or spreading of a DIY cleaning product. Lemon, baking soda, vinegar and cream of tartar are basic ingredients that may be mixed to form home-made cleaners. These cleaners may also be used to scrub the water scales. However, applying home-made solutions is only recommended for minor scaling.
Lastly, you can utilize cleaning products to remove water scale from bathrooms. phosphoric acid based product forms part of these cleaning products. Chlorine, sodium hypochlorite and potassium hydroxide are other common chemicals you can find in commercial cleaning products.
Acids as Components of Cleaning Products
The chemicals that can be found in cleaning products are classified into five: disinfectants, solvents, acids, alkalis and surfactants. Disinfectants are the germ-killing chemicals. Solvents dissolve soils. Unlike solvents, both acids and alkalis neutralize. The former neutralize alkaline soils while the latter neutralize acidic soils. Surfactants, on the other hand, are responsible for allowing the cleaning chemicals to penetrate tiny entryways.
Among the five classifications, acids are the most advantageous components. They don’t remove water scale from bathrooms alone; they can also eradicate rust and soap deposits.
There are different kinds of acids used in acid-based cleaning products. Sulfuric and hydrochloric acids are the strongest ones used in such products. Meanwhile, home-made cleaners may contain acid as well. This is because lemons are sources of citric acid while vinegar contains acetic acid. Both of these acids are considered as weak acids.
A phosphoric acid based product is found to be safe and effective. Of all acids, phosphoric acid or H3PO4 is the most suitable for the elimination of water scales.
Advantages of Using Phosphoric Acid Based Products
A phosphoric acid based product doesn’t just remove water scales. It has anti-corrosive properties as well. This is perfect for metallic fixtures.
Another advantageous property of this product is that it can sanitize fixtures such as tub and toilet. It leaves a pleasant fragrance as well.
Precautions in Using Phosphoric Acid Based Products
When you use phosphoric acid based product to remove water scale from bathrooms, wear proper protection for your eyes and skin. You need to follow the instructions provided in the packaging as well. Also, make sure that you dilute when necessary. It should be diluted when used in areas such as shower enclosures and sink. Undiluted cleaning solutions are fit for toilet cleaning.
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