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remove limescale from tap water

How to remove limescale from tap water?

Limescale in tap water can be a big problem. Coffee machines and kettle get clogged up, glasses get tinted and difficult to clean and sometimes even the faucets and shower heads get blocked.

Therefore many households are looking for ways to remove limescale from tap water.

In this article we will explore what limescale is, potential health issues with limescale, types of limescale filters and the best alternative to filter limescale.

What is limescale in tap water?

Limescale is actually the result of hard water. Hard water is filled with minerals including calcium, carbonate, magnesium and manganese. When scale deposits are showing on your coffee maker, tea kettle, carafes and water glasses there is probably a “hard” problem in your home. Statistics reveal that 85% of European and similarly 85% of US homes are affected by such issues.

Limescale is that hard, chalky residue that lurks inside your taps, pipes and even kettle, left behind by hard water that contains above average levels of dissolved minerals (TDS). And while hard water and limescale isn’t dangerous, it could be very annoying and contribute to poor taste.

Is limescale in tap water bad for you?

Generally the calcium and magnesium that makes up limescale is not unhealthy. Limescale, in normal tap water quantities is therefore not bad for your health either. On the contrary: most mineral waters you find in stores have minerals like magnesium and calcium that are good for your body. The daily recommended minimum intake of calcium is 500-1200mg and magnesium 300mg. If you drink two liters of water a day, you could be getting 10 to 20% of your daily calcium requirement. Even more importantly you get up to a third of your required magnesium from tap water.

What about hard tap water? 

Hard water is the result of high mineral content which usually includes calcium and magnesium. It has no known adverse health effects. WHO says that in addition, hard water, particularly very hard water, could actually provide an important supplementary contribution to total calcium and magnesium intake.

There is some evidence from epidemiological studies that magnesium or hardness has a protective effect on cardiovascular mortality. At the moment the evidence is being debated and does not prove causality. There may also be health conditions where the patients should probably avoid hard water including those with kidney stones. But once again the science is inconclusive.

How do I remove the limescale from tap water?

There are several methods to remove limescale from tap water including

A) remove the calcium
and magnesium ions from the water, so that calcium and magnesium carbonates
cannot form

B) remove the calcium and magnesium entirely

C) prevent calcium and
magnesium ions from forming calcium and magnesium carbonates

Method A: Ion Exchange
Water softeners using e.g. ion exchange resins, swap the calcium ions for sodium ions. This is why the water becomes salty. Water softeners typically separate out the calcium and magnesium ions as waste water.

Ion Exchange generally uses cation resins that are strong acid/strong cation (SAC) resin beads to reduce hardness levels and increase sodium levels by removing scale-forming calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) ions. The downside is that the removal process can make the water slightly acidic (like naturally soft water). This can sometimes take a few weeks to get used to if you have been drinking hard water all of your life.

Method B: Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Uses a membrane with tiny holes to push through the “pure” water and block other chemicals such as calcium, magnesium, lead and more. Read more about Reverse Osmosis Filters. This is effective in removing limescale but also removes all the healthy minerals and makes the water taste “flat”.

Method C: TAPP Water
Our proprietary limescale inhibitor forms a complex with inorganic contaminants and prevents them from forming hard scale, staining, etc. It forms a protective coating of insoluble mineral scale in the coffee maker, kettle, water pitchers, etc.

The upside is that Calcium and Magnesium does not get reduced and the water doesn’t taste salty. The slight negative side is that you may still see some bubbly white particles in your tap water.

Other: Magnetic / Catalytic / Ionization Devices for limescale removal:

These are magical magnets sold in hardware stores and on social media that claim to soften the water with the magnetic force. Lab testing of these devices have generally shown that they don’t work.

What does TAPP Water use to remove limescale from tap water?

TAPP 2 Limescale Filter

TAPP Water spent the past 4 years experimenting with different technologies to come up with the best mix between taste, scale removal effectiveness and capacity.

To ensure the highest efficiency of limescale removal EcoPro and EcoPro Compact uses the latest technology available for limescale reduction. The technology combines on our 5-stage microfiltration carbon block technology with a proprietary formula for scale reduction by sequestering the calcium and magnesium minerals which cause limescale and corrosion.

At TAPP Water we are water geeks and believe in total transparency. We study everything there is to know about water quality, contaminants, filters, health benefits and issues related to drinking water in the markets where we are active. Best of all, we share everything we learn with you here. See our Independent Lab Tests for results on limescale reduction with our filters.

What are the benefits of a limescale water filter?

If you live in an area with hard water and limescale the benefits of limescale water filter include:

  • No more limescale in the coffee pot or tea kettle
  • No more limescale in carafes and glasses making them difficult to clean
  • Potentially better tasting coffee, tea and drinking water if you are used to soft water
  • Your Nespresso machine, other coffee makers and appliances that require water may last longer and require less maintenance


In summary

  • Limescale is the result of hard water formed by calcium and magnesium
  • There is no proven negative health impact of hard water or limescale
  • There are various filter technologies available for limescale removal in tap water including Water Softeners, Reverse Osmosis, Ion Exchange and TAPP Waters proprietary technology
  • EcoPro, EcoPro Compact and PitcherPro uses the latest combined water filtration technology to keep your tap water free from limescale


Min daily intake of calcium for adults: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-dosage

Min daily intake of magnesium for adults: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-dosage

Health impact of hard water: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775162/

How Ion Exchange (IX) works: https://www.watertechonline.com/ion-exchange-resins-and-their-applications/

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18 thoughts on “How to remove limescale from tap water?”

    1. Hi William,

      Unfortunately we don’t. Our focus is drinking water from the tap/faucet. But it works great for the kettle, coffee machine and anything else you can fill from the faucet.


    1. Apologies for slow response. The cost will be the same as existing TAPP 2. Available to buy from mid June. We will send you an e-mail reminder if you’ve signed up for the discount.

  1. Hello! I’ve been searching for a faucet filtration system that can remove (especially) limescale from my “hard” S/W Florida water. You see, I suffer from a form of scaring alopecia (w/subsequent hair loss) which has caused a great deal of distress. Therefore, I finally chose to purchase a high-end hair piece—which, of course, came w/an extraordinarily high-end price! Therefore, I need to help protect my investment from the ravages of limescale and chlorine, etc for as long as possible. As I understand the possible health benefits of so-called hard water, I hope your company can provide a solution to my problem—w/o having to install a water softener for the entire home. Thanking you in advance for your very kind attention to this sensitive matter…

    1. Interesting question. In your case I think we would recommend buying a water pitcher that reduces TDS / softens the water. That way you can filter the water you need for hand washing of your wig. You can of course also order a TAPP 2 with limescale removal as soon as it’s available in July/August.

      The Tapp Water Team

  2. Hello again. Sorry for a 2nd email but I’m getting a new faucet and wish to purchase your absolutely newest tap filtration device to remove limescale, etc. I do not presently have any type of filtration device. My goal is to “soften” this hard Florida water so that I can finally wash my very costly wig (necessary for a medical condition) I would very much appreciate any information about cost and shipping time, as well. I am so grateful for self-professed “water geeks”!!

  3. Hi,
    I read some of the kitchen faucets you wrote about, all of which are described.
    I’ll buy that kitchen faucets, but I don’t know which one is best for me.
    If you could help or clear me a little, I would take a kitchen faucets that is good in price, beautifully designed, and durable.
    And also How long will it lust? So will you help me? Please reply me soon, I am weating for you!

    1. Hi Rebecca and thanks for your comment. TAPP 2 filters last about 3 months with normal household consumption. We recommend that the cartridges are always changed on time to avoid bacteria growth and contaminants spilling into your drinking water.

      The TAPP Team

  4. I suffer from arthritis and know from experience that when I drink our extremely hard water, I can barely move my hands. I have been buying water to use for drinking while I endure the hardship of limescale on everything, but my insides. Please research more into the effects of too many minerals on joint inflammation. It is not a myth. I am proof.

    1. Hi Betty,

      Sorry to hear about this. Although there is no scientific research to support that hard water or limescale is a general health risk there could still be individuals that suffer. Unfortunately you seem to be one of them. Much of the bottled water in Spain has similar hardness as the tap water though. Exceptions include Bezoya but a water filter will save a lot of money and plastic waste in comparison.

      The TAPP Team

  5. Friday 14 May 2021 :: hi there Magnus big thanks for such a nice website and rather interesting to read with all the information regarding limescale : this ongoing story is one of my biggest challenges that I have and I’m going crazy to find a proper good solution :: I live on an island here in the Philippines where our local water supply just comes out of a natural spring from the mountains, untreated and unfiltered so this dam limescale is my enemie and cannot get rid of it, every water tap, shower head, washing machine, anything with A small jet or little wire mesh filter especially the ones that is inside the opening of the screw on shower head, toilet, washing machine always get clogged up with this dam limescale ( shower head every day ) every three months I have to drain my 1500 let water storage water tank then climb inside for a 2,5 hrs of a hard hot and humid work out to clean the inside and especially the sides of the plastic water container and bottom full of limestone deposit ::
    Magnus I already have purchased and installed a very good quality 3stage large glass cilinder containers with the removable water filters which I even added one extra filter, making it a four stage inline system to try and help me with my situation, so I’m only 60% of the way there but this limestone seems to be able to go strait through my four stage inline system even through one of the filters with activated charcoal, my water does have a bitter taste and even slightly salty :: I only use this water for shower, bathroom, washing machine and washing dishes as I use purchased clean filtered mineral water for drinking and making coffee/ tea, brushing my teeth :: just like you have sead on your website the glasses are milky in colour after washing::
    Please do try to find a solution or advice me on one of your products that I can install after my four stage water filter system to totally remove this limestone, but more on an industrial level as the one that I have seen which is installed onto the end of just one tap outlet will not be sufficient enough for my application as I use 1500 let of water per week ::
    I will not drink the water only for House use washing etc :: my four stage water filter system does manage to filter out most of all the other crazy bad things traveling with the water so that is why I need to try and add your water filter system after my four stage inline system to avoid clogging up your filter unnecessarily ::
    Is your products available here in the Philippines and where can I purchase them please ::
    Many many thanks for all your information and help much appreciated
    Best regards Brian

    1. Hi,

      It depends on what you want to achieve. If you primarily want to reduce limescale from forming in tea kettles, coffee machines, glasses, etc then TAPP 2 / EcoPro by TAPP Water is very efficient. If you want to remove the calcium-magnesium that causes limescale to form then you will need a reverse osmosis or distillation filter. Unfortunately this means that you remove all the healthy minerals from the water and make it more flat but it will prevent limescale.

      Hope this answers your question? Feel free to e-mail us on [email protected]

      The TAPP Team

  6. Hello, I’m trying to find a solution for the hard water in my home, but mostly for showers. Every time I take a shower, this hard water makes my skin itch like crazy, even though I use Olay body wash with “moisture ribbons”, and follow up with a ton of skin lotion after the shower. Buying a whole house water softener is not an option for me because I rent the house I live in (and I know my landlord won’t let me install one even if I pay for it). Do you have a product that can soften the water, for example, as it enters the shower head, or do you know of such a product? Thank you very much.

  7. Thank you for all your work on this site. Gloria enjoys carrying out investigation and it’s really easy to understand why. All of us hear all about the lively mode you convey vital things through this website and cause response from others about this point then our own child is without a doubt learning a lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You’re the one carrying out a powerful job.

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