What is Scale in Water Treatment?

What is Scale in Water Treatment?

What is Scale?

Scale (also known as limescale) is a white, chalky substance that often builds up in damp locations. When you have hard water in your home (water with a high count of calcium, magnesium and other minerals) scale can form on or near water-using appliances, plumbing systems and fixtures. Over time, a significant amount of scale can even cause damage to them. If you’ve noticed scale in your home, here’s what you need to know about its cause, removal and prevention.

What Causes Scale?

Naturally occurring minerals like calcium and magnesium are found in most water. Unfortunately, when hard water evaporates, the amount of these minerals getting left behind can result in unsightly scale buildups. Worse yet, scale can end up in rarely checked places, like in the inside of pipes where it can cause clogs.

How to Remove and Reduce Limescale

Simply cleaning fixtures where there’s scale buildup isn’t enough to fix the problem. While there are some general removal tips, without a preventive water softening solution, scale will continue to appear in your home and potentially cost you in the long-term.


Removal of scale really depends on where it’s located. For most water-based appliances, you can’t go wrong with vinegar. Additionally, baking soda, borax and any appliance-specific cleaners may also do the trick (if only temporarily).


Water softeners use a process called ion exchange to remove excess minerals from hard water. Kinetico Water Softeners do this automatically and ongoingly, without being harmed by the minerals, so you always can have peace-of-mind about scale. They have no timers or screens to adjust and are even non-electric, which helps keep things low-cost and green. We even offer a combo filtration system that ensures sediment, chemicals and other unwanted contaminants are kept out of your home’s water, too.

Take Action Now to Prevent Scale

Wondering if hard water is behind your issues? Schedule a free water test to determine if you have it and learn about next steps for a water softener.