[Greenbuilding] calcium & lime removal (was re: Fixture Folly)

RT archilogic at yahoo.ca
Tue Dec 20 13:21:49 PST 2011

bill.allen wrote:

> What "acid" do you use?  I haven't found anything common that works.
>> use an acid to get rid of all the calcium and lime deposits

Acetic acid (aka vinegar) does the job, just not as quickly as muriatic
acid solutions but it's not as corrosive as muriatic acid either.

ie If you use an electric kettle the heating elements will likely develop
a thick calcium coating over the years. Pouring enough vinegar into the
kettle to completely submerge the elements and leaving it to soak
overnight or for a day is usually enough to dissolve a thin layers of the
calcium or lime. If you listen closely you can hear a faint "s-s-s-ssss"
as the vinegar does its stuff.  If the coating is really thick, you may
need to refresh the vinegar and repeat the soaking. Corollary: If you
don't hear the "ssss"-ing, then the vinegar is spent and could stand

Similarly, soaking mineral-encrusted plumbing parts in vinegar will clean

For mineral coatings on surfaces where soaking is impossible or
impractical, soaking a rag or paper towel in vinegar and applying it like
a poultice around or on the affected part or surface and re-wetting with
vinegar as necessary to prevent the poultice from drying out, usually does
the trick.

=== * ===
Rob Tom
Kanata, Ontario, Canada

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