The value of de-scaling

Trip Start Sep 25, 2012
Trip End Oct 16, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

English tap water is notoriously hard.  This means that it's chock-full of divalent cations, mainly calcium and magnesium.  As the water evaporates and concentrates these ions precipitate out as limescale, the scourge of electric tea kettles all over the country.  It cannot be ignored!

As you recall, there is a photo on the entry the day we visited Nanou's house (see copy below) of her with a painting that said "echelle des valeurs," which literally means "scale of values."  Note that, inexplicably, it was written backwards, from the bottom up.  Thus it seemed entirely appropriate that back in Britain we were sort of turning this on its head; today we were going to demonstrate the value of de-scaling. 

So it was off to Sainsbury's to buy all sorts of specialized descaling powders and solutions, though I'm not convinced that plain ol' vinegar works any less well.  Our goal was to attack the limescale that was insidiously accumulating on not only our electric tea kettle, but the steam iron, the faucets, the shower head, the washing machine, the coffee maker and the steel tea pot. There was a special de-scaling formulation made for each purpose.

So we spent the day merrily mixing solutions and purging our lives of limescale.  How satisfying to give additional years of life to all these inanimate objects!
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