Note: This page may contain affiliate links.

Note:This page may contain affiliate links.

What Is White Chalky Residue From Water (Ways to Remove)

What Is That White Chalky Residue From Water

Noticing white chalky residue from water on your bathroom or kitchen faucets?

Here’s the truth:

The white chalky residue you are worried about is limescale buildup caused by high concentrations of hard water mineral deposits, mostly calcium. 

This calcium buildup is not harmful to health. Still, it can cause various hard water problems:

  • Damaging your water appliances,
  • Giving a weird taste to your drinking water, and 
  • Ruining your home’s aesthetics by forming a white layer over the surfaces of appliances and fixtures. 

Continue reading for a detailed guide on short-term and long-term solutions to deal with limescale in water.

🤔Is It Safe to Drink Water With White Residue?

At the Geneva Conference, WHO (World Health Organization) informed that water hardness has no adverse health effect on human beings. 

On the contrary, hard water comprises numerous healthy minerals apart from calcium and magnesium ions that are good for your body. Also, some studies suggest that hard water can protect us from cardiovascular ailment though the results aren’t conclusive yet.

However, the minerals present in hard water, mostly calcium, can create hard water stains in laundry and choke the plumbing fixtures, as revealed below:

👉What Problems Can Limescale Cause?

Limescale (the “white residue” in water caused by medium to a high concentration of both calcium and magnesium residues) though harmless to your health, may cause the following problems:

  • Clog your faucets, plumbing systems, and showerheads by forming a white layer on their surfaces, increasing maintenance costs.
  • Create awful hard water stains in various water-prone places of your house, such as on the surface of sinks, bathrooms, etc., that are tough to clean.
  • Discolors the costly tiles and other sanitary wares in your bathroom 
  • It can destroy or damage various water appliances in your house. 
  • Degrades the quality of your skin and hair so that your skin turns rough and dry, leading to skin irritation, and your hair becomes dull and brittle, leading to immense hair fall and scalp irritation.
  • Make the drinking water taste bitter.
  • Restricts the smooth water flow from the pipes and eventually the free-flowing tap water
  • It may expose the drinking water to Legionella bacteria
  • Reduces the effectiveness of water heaters and increases water heating bills.
  • Household chores like laundry work and dishwashing become difficult. This is because hard water mineral residues, in combination with the detergents, make the laundry clothes stuffy, rigid, and tarnished. They coat the dishes (especially glass dishes and containers) full of white chalky smears and buildups.   
Also Read: Best Softener For Hard Water In Apartment

🎯How Do You Remove White Residue From Water?

Here are the steps to remove calcium or the white hard water stains from the surface of your different home water appliances or tap water fixtures: 

🪙How Do You Get the White Residue off Stainless Steel?

  • Take 3 parts of tap water and 1 part of vinegar in the white-stained stainless steel container and mix them well. Check if the affected area of the container is fully submerged in the solution. 
  • Put the container over a gas oven and light it up.
  • Heat the solution until it starts to boil.
  • Now, turn the burner off. 
  • Allow the hot solution to dissolve the white mineral buildup present in the stainless steel container. 
  • Throw away the vinegar solution and wash the container with cool tap water to get a stain-free look.

⚪How to Get White Stuff off the Shower Heads?

  • Open the shower arm nut of your home’s shower equipment using a wrench 
  • Disconnect the showerhead of your shower and wash it thoroughly.
  • Clean the showerhead’s white deposits by breaking them down using a toothpick. 
  • Put the dismantled shower head parts within a container containing distilled vinegar and let them get soaked overnight.
  • Remove the shower head parts from the container and wash them to get a stain-free appearance.
  • Put the shower head parts correctly so that it becomes ready to use. 
Also Read: How To Remove Pink Bacteria From Bathroom

💧How to Get White Buildup off the Faucet?

  • Take some vinegar in a container. 
  • Soak the vinegar in a towel.  
  • Cover your white stained faucet with the towel and wrap it properly. 
  • Allow your faucet to soak the vinegar from the towel for thirty minutes. You can keep it up to sixty minutes if there is a large limescale buildup around your faucet due to the high calcium and magnesium deposits present. 
  • Unwrap the towel, scrub, and clean your faucet using soft water and soap.

🚽How Do You Remove Encrusted Limescale From a Toilet?

  • Put off the water supply to the toilet.
  • Flush the toilet with existing water in the toilet tank so that you can see the white deposits. 
  • Pour some vinegar on the deposits and wait for thirty to forty-five minutes.
  • If the deposits don’t go away properly, put some baking soda on the toilet and scrub it using a toilet brush. You will see that all the white deposits of hard minerals from your toilet have gone away.
  • You can further scrub the toilet with a pumice stone for more efficient cleaning. It will take off all the tough stains of your toilet and make it shine like new.

🗑️How to Remove Hard Water Buildup From the Washing Machines?

  • Pour a cup of baking soda and run your washing machine empty (for one time)
  • Now, clean your washing machine’s washer part using a tidy cloth.
  • Put a cup of vinegar and run your washing machine empty for the second time. All the lime scale buildup will get cleared. 

The steps above can only give you a temporary solution to the hard tap water mineral deposits. 

However, to get a permanent solution to the problem of the chalky white substance buildup, you have to:

ion exchange softener installation is the most effective method for removing the limescale buildup. However, some other techniques that also work by converting the hard water into soft water are:

  • Put distilled white vinegar on the hard water and scrub your laundry clothes or dishes.
  • Adding washing soda in the laundry clothes washing hard water (softens the water by reacting with hard water minerals such as calcium and magnesium) 
  • Pouring laundry borax into the hard water (for washing clothes) 
  • Using low-pH detergent while washing laundry clothes along with warm water
  • Adding baking soda to your bathing water
  • Pouring vinegar in the hard water that you want to use for bathing 
  • Sprinkling bath salts in the water by using a spray bottle
  • Spilling some baby oil in the hard water 
  • Installing shower head filter 
Also Read: Best Faucet For Hard Water

💡White Chalky Residue From Water FAQs

Why Does My Water Leave White Residue?

Limescale is caused by hard water minerals like Ca2+ and Mg2+ (calcium and magnesium), which react with the water to form calcium carbonate or limescale. Limescale is a natural mineral on the earth’s surface and generally occurs in moderately hard water with at least 61-120 mg/L of CaCO3 (calcium carbonate). 

If the water is harder than that, then the quantity of lime scale also increases. 

It appears as white chalky residue and builds up inside water appliances where hard water has flowed.

Why am I getting water spots with a water softener?

You can get water spots with water softener if-

1. Incorrect salt is used. 
2. Salt bridging (a solid salty layer over the salt pile close to the brine tank) happens. It generates a gap and prevents the melting of salt within the water. 
3. Salt mushing (the recrystallization of dissolved salt and the formation of soft sediment within the brine tank at the bottom) happens. It prevents the adequate regeneration of the water softener.
4. High TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) or a large quantity of calcium (Ca2+) ions and magnesium (mg2+) ions are present in your home water.
5. Your water softener is not maintained regularly.

Why does my well water leave a white residue?

The water of private wells sometimes leaves a white residue because of the hard water mineral deposits, especially calcium, and magnesium. This residue is chalky and occurs when the minerals come in contact with fixtures and fittings.

What is that white stuff floating in the water after boiling?

That white stuff is the white precipitation of calcium carbonate or limescale (calcium and magnesium remnants) that occurs when hard water is heated or kept at a standstill. It is harmless, and there’s nothing to bother about.

Can water filters remove limescale?

Yes, water filters like the reverse osmosis system (92-98%) and ultrafiltration (50%) can remove limescale by pressurizing the calcium and magnesium leftovers (calcium carbonate deposits) into a semi-permeable membrane. 

However, they require pre-treatment as hard minerals like calcium and magnesium damage the RO filters. Therefore, water softeners are the best choice for removing limescale.

2 thoughts on “What Is White Chalky Residue From Water (Ways to Remove)”

  1. I have a problem with my water. I had a water softener fitted as I had a new bathroom and wanted to protect it from limescale. The water is now soft, but I’m getting this residue.This is a photo of my shower screen after one shower. I do not know what it is. I have had the softener supplier out and they are blaming the water supply, I’ve been in touch with Thames Water and they say that it’s the water softener causing it. What do I do?

    1. Hi Andrew, sorry to hear about your problem. Your water can have high TDS (Total dissolved solids).

      You may need a whole-house water filter. It’s best to consult a plumber for a personalized solution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top