28. Limescale-removal, Industrial style, and Clean water

What are the different ways to get rid of scale from the bathroom? Is industrial and black on the way out or here to stay? What is clean water and how is it made?


How to remove limescale from showers, fittings and furnishings?

How much lime is in our drinking water varies quite a lot between different parts of Sweden. Some of us happen to live in a slightly more lime-rich area. We have experienced first hand what it’s like to try to keep lime stains away. Everyone has their different methods, some use commercial scale removers while others use old housewives’ tips.

What is lime?

When you say lime, you actually mean different chemical compounds that contain the element calcium. In addition to being in our drinking water, lime has been mined in Swedish lime quarries for a long time. Primarily, it has been used in building materials under the name lime mortar. A reason why it became such a popular building material might be because it is also antibacterial. This means that whoever whitewashes the facade of their house runs less risk of mold and other small organisms. They normally thrive in cool and moist stone environments!

The commercial limescale remover

These days there are any number of brands that offer some form of limescale remover. Everyone, from coffee maker manufacturers to chemical specialists! Normally these descaling agents contain some kind of acid (acetic acid, citric acid, etc.) in combination with substances that break down other dirt.

Many agents also contain some kind of impregnation to be able to penetrate the pores on the surface (shower doors, tiles, porcelain, etc.) and close them. This helps keep the shower or tiles clean longer. They are also somewhat equivalent to the coating that many shower doors have from the factory.

Old tried and tested housewife tips

Your grandparents probably didn’t use any commercial descaling agents, but they certainly had their own tips and tricks to get rid of those white-yellow stains in the bathroom!

One of the most common methods is to mix vinegar with water and spray on the surface you want to remove limescale from. Leave on for a few minutes and then scrub with a brush or sponge. In the same way, you can use freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Another popular way to remove limescale deposits is by making a paste of baking soda and water that you then smear on the limescale deposits. Let sit for a few minutes and then scrub.

The longer you let the vinegar, citric acid or baking powder sit, the more time it has to work on particularly difficult limescale stains!


Style & Design: Industrial & Black

The fact that the industrial style has been in for the past few years can hardly have escaped anyone in the bathroom industry! Customers have practically thrown themselves over black faucets, bathroom furniture, and other black details. I’ve even had some that had to have black copper pipes and pipe holders for their surface pipes. It turned out to be a bit too difficult a nut to crack for me and I don’t know if they succeeded in the end. The point is that black is and has been in!

With black details, it naturally follows that you also want black details for your shower corner. Often also with some kind of frame or decorative pattern. So, how should you think when looking at black bathroom decor?

Black color?

When it comes to the color itself, it is apparently difficult to achieve the right matte tone with e.g. PVD treatment and is often painted on instead. However, this can mean that the paint is not as durable and resistant as other paints and can wear more quickly. Then you also have to be very aware that black attracts dirt, especially in a bathroom where the dirt often consists of lime, shampoo & soap residue and other deposits that come with the water. If, on the other hand, you don’t mind covering the black details with a cloth a little from time to time and like the style, you shouldn’t be discouraged!

The industrial style

Many think of the industrial style as dark, heavy and harsh. Sure, it’s a bit like that, but it doesn’t have to be all that bad! If you choose to go the industrial route, there are plenty of opportunities to liven it up and get a slightly warmer feeling from your bathroom. The black color will probably be the dominant color, apart from what is on the floor and walls. Black complements very well with both brass and copper, both of which happen to be typical bathroom colors!

You can e.g. complement the black bathroom furniture with an overhead washbasin in stainless steel and brass color. Or a mixer in copper colour, which complements the water pipes or why not a small candle holder made of press fittings?

When it comes to the shower and shower doors, several different manufacturers offer shower corners with black checkered decor that fit in very well with the industrial style.

The future of black details

From what I can see, it’s not a trend that’s in any way going away, possibly being dampened by something. Some manufacturers who previously did not have much black in their range due to that they could not guarantee the quality of the coating/colour has given up after several years and is starting to give up with more black in its range. Personally, I think that the black mixers, etc. is here to stay and the first person to come up with a solution for a quality paint that doesn’t attract quite as much dirt will have a cash cow like no other!


What is clean water?

Where does our drinking water come from, what is the definition of clean water and how do we know that the water we drink is actually clean?

Here in Sweden, we have plenty of clean drinking water, unlike many other parts of the world. This is largely due to our many lakes, streams and groundwater. We also have many springs where clean, filtered water bubbles up directly from the ground.

So, what is the difference between clean and dirty water?

Before the advent of large-scale agriculture, the risk of encountering bad water in Sweden was considerably less. It was really only if you drank directly from a stream that swept past a freshly fertilized field or if you happened to drink from water where some animal or fish had died.

Nowadays, it is primarily heavy metals linked to agriculture that are of concern, along with some bacteria and microorganisms. A new cloud of concern is also so-called PFAS substances (poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances), which are a group of chemical substances. There are several thousand different topics that are included in this group. At VA Syd (Södra Skåne’s water supplier) they test for 25 pieces.

Water purification process in the Scanian Vombverket. Image by Sydvatten

How is my drinking water purified?

The drinking water is purified in several stages to remove all substances and particles you don’t want in the finished drinking water. First, it passes through micro-strainers that remove debris and other small and large particles. The water then continues into large “basins” where it slowly sinks down through layers of sand and gravel into large wells. From the wells, the water finally enters the treatment center itself, where the water is aerated and softened to remove a large part of the limescale.

After softening, ferric chloride is added to separate small particles from the water. The ferric chloride is then filtered out together with the small particles in another filter. In the final step, the water is disinfected from any small bacteria and organisms that are still hanging around.

After that, the finished water is sent through large water pipes to your home where you can enjoy a clean glass of tap water!


If you have tips and ideas about topics, comments, or corrections, you are most welcome to contact me! The easiest way to do this is by writing a comment under the article or in the chat!

Read more on bathrooms here!

Have a nice weekend!

/Gustav


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If we allow the system to act as both the test person and the ones running the tests, can we still claim to have tested our theories on humans?

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With that said, the LLMs of tomorrow (and to some extent of today) will simply have so much information about us to accurately predict our behavior better than we can. This will allow for incredibly easy and cheap access to automatically generated predictions and data on subjects that are hard or expensive to study right now.

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The study

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This is the beauty of consciousness, we’ll probably never be able to define it fully.

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This type of behavior include pushing small wooden balls around with no apparent connection to survival or mating, but seemingly just for the heck of it.

My 2 cents

Personally, I believe all, or at least, most organisms do possess some form of consciousness similar to ours. Consciousness is something we can tap into, like attention. When we actively pay attention to something we’re exhibiting higher levels of consciousness. Of course, our physical biology set the limits on what we can pay attention too, and how, and thus, I think, it’s rather connected with intelligence.

The less intelligent the lifeform, the less it can act consciously, while most larger animals that have larger brains and are considered more intelligent, may display higher forms of consciousness.

Don’t hesitate to comment if you agree or disagree!

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2024-04-23 11:02 | 0 comments