Does everything in your kitchen or break room look faintly cloudy? Does ever glass come out of the dishwasher with water spots? Does the coffee pot seem to be getting frosted with some clean yet visible residue? That is hard water scale.
Hard water contains a high level of calcium and Magnesium. London and Kent have especially hard water with limestone chalk in the geology. These chalky minerals leave a chalky residue on every surface where water evaporates. This means water spots, cloudy glass, and clogged plumbing on a daily basis. Fortunately, you can keep a spotlessly clean kitchen and/or make your break room look ages cleaner with just a little vinegar and elbow grease.
This is a step-by-step guide to cleaning a hard water kitchen to get rid of water spots and that grungy, cloudy look on everything.
Supplies to De-Scale a Hard Water Kitchen
- Vinegar, gallons of it
- Borax and cleaning powder
- Wash cloths and sponges
- Nail brush, grout brush, or toothbrush
- CLR Cleaner
Vinegar and CLR are your primary combatants against hard water scale. Some people like to boil water and make a 50/50 hot water and vinegar cleaning solution. Anything vinegar can’t break down, try a blast of CLR chemical cleaner and scrub with a borax or baking soda paste.
We’ll be using these supplies and techniques throughout the guide.
What Hard Water Does
Hard water leaves behind “scale”, which is that chalky residue sometimes called water spots. Scale also clogs faucets, stops up dishwasher nozles, and slowly closes pipes from the inside. Fortunately, there is one thing that defeats mineral scale every time: Vinegar. The acidic content of vinegar breaks down scale – and it’s safe to use as a kitchen cleaning chemical.
You can de-scale everything from your dishwasher to your coffee maker if you know how to tackle hard water cleaning. In a kitchen that runs hard water, you’ll want to de-scale every two to six months, and polish cloud glassware as needed.
De-Scale Your Sink, Dishwasher, and Every Faucet
Get your gallon of vinegar and start de-scaling. Wipe down your sink with vinegar and use a nail-brush soaked in vinegar to clear out the grooves.
Scrub down your dishwasher with vinegar, wiping down every wall and tray. Remove the dishwasher’s spinning arms and soak them in vinegar to break down any clogs in the small nozzle holes.
Take a bag of vinegar and soak every faucet and shower head in the house. Hard water can build up in the filter screen and nozzles of faucets to clog them. Plus, minerals are not great for your skin or hair.
Scrub Every Plate, Glass, and Caraf with Vinegar
If your dishes and glassware are getting cloud, wipe them down with vinegar or scrub with a paste of borax and vinegar to break down the build up of scale on your dishes. Carafes, pitchers, coffee pots, and clear drinking glasses often see the worst and most visible buildup and will look worlds better when wiped down with just a few splashes of vinegar to break down the chalky scale.
Run an Empty Vinegar Load in Every Cleaning Appliance
For every cleaning appliance, fill the soap cup with white vinegar and run the appliance on hot and empty. This will wash the vinegar around inside the appliance for a quick automatic de-scaling. You may still need to climb in there and scrub the worst mineral deposits, but many people see a serious improvement in performance and reduction in load-to-load scale after one hot vinegar load. Do this to your dishwasher, washing machine, and any other cleaning appliance that runs tap water.
Descale Your Coffee Maker
Coffee makers also regularly process your hard tap water, which can build up scale. Run vinegar through your coffee maker an/or scrub out the chamber with vinegar. Then run two or three pots of clear hot water to make sure all the vinegar is gone before your next pot of coffee or hot water for tea.
Change Water Filters More Often
If your building is in London where water is hard, you may want to change your water filters more often. Minerals will build up in the filters which is great for drinking less mineral-packed water but also uses up your filters faster than the recommended duration. For water tanks, faucet filters, coffee pot filters, and humidifier filters, be sure to change or clean those more regularly with hard water.
Install a Water Softener
If you’re looking for a longer-term hard water solution, building owners and managers can install a water softener which removes most of the scale-causing minerals in a tank system before the hard water hits your taps. This can improve the water quality for an entire home, building, or section of a larger building.
Chalky scale can be seemingly impossible to clean away with plain soap and water. You have to know the trick. For more great office and home cleaning insights or to schedule professional cleaning services for your London property, contact us today.