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How to stay free of limestone in your shower and live happily ever after

January 8, 2018

Limestone debris.

Hear the word: lime-stone. Isn't it a bit terrifying? 

If to you is not, well, it should be, trust me.

If you love the rain effect of your new shower head and want to keep it going and extend the lifespan of your shower, you  want to read about this.

 

Because when we get limestone in our nozzles, our shower head loses quality.

And, if we keep it there, in time it will lose it forever. 

You want your shower head as free from limestone as you can. 

 

And here is a list of a few things you want to know about how to achieve that!

Some of that will really hit you. They are quite counter-intuitive!

 

1. Don't use any acid.

And I mean no acid.

No chloride acid, no phosphoric acid, no bleach, no chlorine, no formic acid - just when you were thinking organic acid would do, right? - and nor lemon nor vinegar. 

Yes. Nor lemon nor vinegar (a.k.a. acetic acid).

Stainless steel gets its greatly and widely appreciated characteristics from the thin chromium oxide layer, coming from the passivation of the surface. 

Almost any acid will, in time, work its way through this thin layer in a way that's beyond the self-reparing  powers of the stainless steel .

Composition of the alloy will make a difference, here. 

In fact, resistance to acid corrosion is a function of the level and the composition in terms of chromium, molybdenum and silicon.

 

AISI 304 can resist up to 3% sulphuric acid at room temperature. AISI 316 up to 20% at 50 ºC (122 ºF). Type 904 and Alloy 20 are highly resistant to this acid, in case you need to find one. We at ZINOX can work any type of steel.

Nor AISI 304 nor AISI 316 can resist hydrochloric acid (also known as muriatic acid), though.

Both will resist phosphoric acid, instead, but if you plan on following some web-suggestion about the alternative use of colas... refrain: there's orthophosphoric and citric and carbonic acid in there and the oxide layer won't enjoy a treatment with such mixture.

 

2. Give it a massage

I'm not suggesting to try and soften the limestone debris like you would do with a partner, but a simple and gentle rotary movement with your finger on the nozzle will work real magic.

With a few tips.

 

Tip number 1: let some warm water flow thru, first, so that the silicon nozzle will warm up and become softer.

This way, the nozzle hole will let pass the broken down debris easier, when massaged.

Tip number 2: apply a gentle rotary movement, one nozzle at a time; don't just push or squash them, because you want to break the debris, not the silicone nozzle.

 

3. Pan it away

Whenever the limestone deposit is on the stainless steel part itself, say in the exposed part of a waterfall or the external face of a shower head or a bathtub spout, remember point one and instead use... sand paper.

Yes. For real.

Why is that? Because a gentle rotary movement with sandpaper will remove the limestone deposit on the surface while barely attacking the chromium oxide layer which, if you've been light enough, will form again, whereas the acid attack will not allow the formation.

Again, with a few tips from the Experts in Stainless Steel here at ZINOX Laser:

 

Tip number 1:

Always - I repeat: always. Again: al-ways - use a new piece of sandpaper. Never use a piece of sandpaper used on a different material or otherwise small grains of the other material (possibly more ferrous than you steel piece) would be moved to a new piece and they might onset unwanted oxidation when you'll partly abrade the outer layer of your stainless steel piece.

 

Tip number 2:

Don't - I repeat: don't. Again: do not - use sandpaper on a Super-mirror finishing or any mirror-like ones: the scratching will get you to an effect similar to a... scratched mirror.

 

With a Supermirror finishing the only option is: patience and a gentle, soft cloth.

 

 

Enjoy your steel, people!

 

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