The lime content in tap water is usually tasteless, so there is no need to descale the water to make it taste better. However, there are regions in Germany where the hardness of tap water is particularly high. Brief explanation: Lime contains calcium and magnesium. The more of it there is in the water, the “harder” it is. And in fact, extreme water hardness (such as in Berlin, Cologne or Düsseldorf) can have a negative effect on the taste - but not on our health. However, this does not change the fact that over time, annoying limescale deposits become noticeable on household appliances such as coffee machines and kettles, which cause long-term damage to the appliances. You can find out how you can find out the degree of hardness and descale the water as follows.
To determine the degree of hardness, you can choose between two options:
You can use the test strips to determine the German hardness (°dH), which is the relevant unit for the degree of water hardness and is divided as follows:
As already explained at the beginning, there are no health reasons why you should descale your drinking water. This is all about personal taste and how you prefer to drink your tap water. However, if it is particularly hard, stubborn limescale deposits can become noticeable in the bathroom and kitchen. Calcified fittings don't look particularly nice, and the water can often no longer flow freely through the tap. However, limescale is even more harmful for household appliances (e.g. coffee machines, dishwashers or washing machines) as it can clog hoses and thus paralyze the entire technology. Apart from that, the machines have a significantly higher energy consumption if they are heavily calcified. For these reasons, it makes sense to regularly descale your kitchen appliances and bathroom fittings. Superficial deposits can be easily removed with citric acid. There are special descalers for coffee machines. However, if you would like to descale the water, there are more effective methods for water treatment.
There are several ways to descale tap water. Three of them are briefly presented below:
Option 1: Boil the waterBoil the water, for example in a pot or kettle, and then pour it through a normal coffee or tea filter - this will cause the limescale residue to get stuck in the filter. You can repeat this process several times as there is less lime in the water after each cycle. However, this process is extremely complex and not for everyone. Alternatively, you can also use a special descaler for small household appliances, which will help dissolve limescale deposits when boiling.
Option 2: Use a water filter If you often drink tap water or use it to boil coffee or tea, you can descale it more quickly and efficiently by using a special drinking water filter (for example from Brita). This is located in a practical plastic carafe and filters the lime (as well as chlorine, copper and lead) from the water using ion exchangers and activated carbon. The only downside: The filter must be replaced regularly so that your tap water remains permanently lime-free.
Option 3: Install a filter system If you live in a region where the water is particularly hard (i.e. has a high lime content), it is worth investing in a professional filter system. These are attached directly to the water connection and descale your drinking water as it leaves the tap. Here too, cleaning is done using ion exchange to make the water softer. Depending on the manufacturer and model, a filter system can cost between 50 and 300 euros. In addition, many models only fit kitchen faucets with external threads.
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