Hard water: a blogger's perspective
This month has seen the launch of our brand new range of kettles, fitted with BRITA technology, so that you only ever have clear water in your cup of tea. Hard water has more of an effect on your trusty kettle than you'd expect, as blogger 'Fuss Free Helen' testifies to below.
As a child I found it great fun to be able to grab a lump of chalk from the garden and to be able to draw on the garden paving, impromptu hopscotch or pictures made for endless entertainment. On holidays to the West Country I was fascinated that soap produced more bubbles – and noticeably vanished faster – and that water tasted different.As I grew older I started to drink tea and coffee and noticed a very thin layer of scum floating on my tea and coffee, which became even more obvious as I started drinking both black. There is also the difference in taste, with tea and coffee at home lacking the full flavours we find when it's made using softer water.
The reason – hard water. My parents live on the edge of the North Downs, which of course are solid chalk, and the calcium from the chalk dissolved in the water precipitates out when the water is boiled, leaving limescale in the kettle and the layer of scum on tea and coffee. Horrible!
If I run my finger around the inside of my parents' kettle, I easily scrape off a layer of fuzzy soft limescale; that on the element is harder, but can still be removed without difficulty. It is something of a ritual that whenever I am at home I spend about 5 minutes rubbing, then rinsing the inside of the kettle to remove the scale, (then picking out the solid bits from the kitchen sink).
Now that I live in London it's not so much of a problem, but the inside of the kettle still gets a coating of scale; treated occasionally (as is the dishwasher and washing machine) by a proprietary de-scaler. We deal with the build up on taps and sinks by using white wine vinegar, sprayed on, left for a short while, and then wiped off. Cheap, chemical free and easy, but it does mean that you have to open the windows for a while otherwise there is the hint of chippy in the air.
Aware of the difficulties created by hard water, Morphy Richards have launched a new range of kettles incorporating a Brita filter; which filters the water as you fill the kettle, resulting in properly tasting tea and coffee. For those of us afflicted by hard water, and don't want scummy tea or coffee, they're well worth a look.