Life Simplified

Vinegar power for your shower

10:24 AM

I grew up in a country with hard water, which lead to a lot of a limescale related issues. And naturally when you grow up with these issues, you know a few tricks to tackle them. A week or so ago DH pointed out that the shower head in my bathroom was clogged and weird and pointed out we might need to change it because it doesn't come off for us to be able to scrub it clean. I grinned at him because there is actually no point in scrubbing the crap out of limescale without having softened it first and I assured him I knew how to solve the issue but had to buy something first.

You see limescale is not one of these things that need scrubbing, or even costly and harmful chemical to remove. It need to be dissolved by something acidic, but that something acidic need not be dangerous to use and harmful for health. Back home we use vinegar for it, the good old plain cheap white vinegar. We usually unscrew the shower head or faucets ends in the case of taps and dump them in a pan of vinegar for several hours. Then gently brush of the softened limescale that hasn't fell off already. It is as simple as that. The problem with our shower head here is that it doesn't come off, but then it is just a matter of bringing the vinegar to the shower instead of the shower to the vinegar, and this is how you deal with parts that need a vinegar cleanse but can't be removed:

 

I filled an old ziplock bag that wasn't really food grade anymore but had no holes and was still liquid tight, filled it with white synthetic vinegar (don't waste your gourmet stuff there, the good old cheap tasteless kind is as good as any for the job), and then put the shower head in the bag before taping said bag to my plumbing with regular scotch tape. I left the bag there for 2-3 hours and then brushed off what was left of the limescale with an old tooth brush (don't throw these away...they make awesome cleaning tools). The shower head was back to being fully functional without much effort from my part...that is how ridiculously easy it is to deal with the woes of hard water...not that the water in any of the places I have been to comes even remotely close as Switzerland does when it comes to hardness.

 

7 comments

  1. I remember how nasty my skin used to feel after a shower in Switzerland, the water dries up the skin. We had a washing machine care product that had to be used every few load to prevent the heating coil in the machine from getting damaged by limescale, I only read about the vinegar as part of the wash water thing a couple of years back. Something about how it makes a great fabric softener, I never tried it, but I think it is worth a try, during the monsoon the washing machine end up catching fungus and it clogs the pipes so this time I am going to try the vinegar tip.

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  2. I love vinegar! I use it for everything. I clean my carpets with it. I've even had it remove squid ink from carpet! I use it as in home-made beauty rituals and more. It's one of the greatest products in existence IMO.

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  3. How do you use it to clean carpets? I just gave my oriental rug for cleaning, if I can do maintenance at home using vinegar I am ready to do it.

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  4. Well, since our carpets are stuck permanently to the floor, I generally put vinegar in my steam cleaner in place of soap. But, there's things you can do for rugs that would be even easier since you can hang them up and beat them. Here's some tips I found for you:

    "Some carpet stains can be removed with a paste of 2
    tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1/4 cup salt or baking soda. Rub
    into the carpet stain and let dry. Vacuum up the residue the next day.
    (Always test on an out-of-sight part of the carpet first)."
    That comes from - http://www.vinegartips.com/scripts/pageViewSec.asp?id=7

    and another link with a slightly different cleaning process:
    http://www.jacobsenrugs.com/clean.htm



    The vinegar part there is under the spills/urine. But I use it for everyday cleaning. The carpet will smell like vinegar for a few minutes but it quickly airs out and then you have fresh carpet again.


    Safe, natural cleaning. :)

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  5. Limescale is a big problem in our colony too. The water in many parts of delhi is hard. It causes skin irritation and hair fall. The water from our tap had a tangy taste like "golgappa water" perhaps even more bitter. The housing society has installed a "RO System" for softening the water for the entire society. IOt is no doubt expensive to maintain. Now, water seems to have soften a little but still leaves smudges on the bathroom floor and wash basin.

    We had a RO system for drinking water at our home but it is very expensive to maintain it. The filter and other parts need to be changed frequently due to hard water. Now, we buy water at least for our child. We are used to good quality water in our government colony. I was not even aware that there is something called hard water also in this world.

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  6. Ohhhh thanks for the links!

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  7. Oh yeah the water in Delhi can be nasty, BIL has a RO unit in his place because otherwise the water taste exactly how you describe it, I noticed there is more limescale there than anywhere else, but for my skin will still pull and itch a bit less than back home. Try vinegar to clean your tiles and sink you will love it. Another way to remove limescale from stainless steel parts is to make a paste with baking soda and lemon juice and apply it on the affected area, let it be for a few hours and then scrub.

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