Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Scale?

The presence of limescale in your water can be a big problem. Faucets and showerheads get blocked, and your kettles get clogged up. It can also lead to the breakdown of your washing machine.

Therefore, although scale is not poisonous, most individuals are looking for ways to remove it from water.

So, does reverse osmosis remove scale? Yes. Reverse osmosis is the most effective water filtration method for removing limescale from your water.

The technology eliminates all minerals that cause scale buildup in your water.

What is Limescale in Water?

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Scale

Limescale is a result of hard water formed by magnesium and calcium. If scale deposits are showing on your sink surfaces, water glasses, tea carafes, teakettle, etc., there is likely a hard water problem in your home.

Limescale is a hard, chalky deposit that lurks where hard water is left standing. It usually builds up in less visible areas like in pipes, inside your taps, washing machines, radiators, and dishwashers.

Is Limescale in Water Bad for You?

From a purely drinking perspective, limescale is not necessarily bad. When taken in small quantities, it does not have any harmful effects on your health.

In fact, the mineral water you purchase in stores has calcium and magnesium that are beneficial to the body. Spring water also comes with these minerals to help you stay healthy.

Why is Limescale a Problem?

Limescale can pose several problems in your home. Some of its downsides include:

  • Residue buildup in plumbing pipes and appliances which can lead to blockage
  • Leaves watermarks on your clean dishes
  • It makes it difficult to wash clothes and dishes
  • A high concentration of limescale in hard water can cause scalp irritation
  • It can clog your skin pores, making it rough and dry
  • Reduces the efficiency of home appliances
  • Can discolor your tiles
  • Forms brown dirty rings in sinks and toilets.
  • It makes you use more washing powder and detergents
  • It makes your clothes and towels stiff and rough
  • Increases the maintenance cost of appliances

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Scale?

Reverse osmosis is quite effective at removing scale from your water, thanks to the tinny pores of the semi-permeable membrane.

The RO membrane allows only water molecules to pass through and blocks larger scale-forming molecules of calcium and magnesium.

However, the downside of using reverse osmosis to remove scale is that , high mineral content in the water can damage the RO system.

 Scale can block the membrane’s pores, making it ineffective over time. If it’s not kept in check, it can result in system shutdown.

A damaged membrane leaks minerals and other contaminants into your water, resulting in contamination. Therefore, if living in an area with very hard water, always check the system regularly.

You can also choose to use the RO system and a water softener. The softener will eliminate the hard water minerals as the RO system removes the rest of the contaminants.

The water softener will help expand the lifespan of the RO system.

Other Methods of Reducing Scale from Your Water

  • Ion Exchange

Water softeners use ion exchange resins to separate calcium and magnesium ions from your water to reduce hardness.

Ion exchange typically uses cation resins to reduce hardness levels by removing scale-forming magnesium (Mg2+) and calcium (Ca2+) ions.

The only downside of this method is that it can make your water slightly acidic. It might take you some time to get used to the water if you have been drinking the hard water for a long time.

  • Catalytic Water Conditioning Devices

Catalytic water conditioning devices, also known as electrolytic conditioners, use specific alloys or metals to provide a site for minerals to react with.

When the minerals meet these alloys, their structure is altered, and their behavior changes.

In simpler terms, the catalytic conditioner automatically changes the molecules of scale forming minerals before the water flows through your pipes.


Although reverse osmosis can remove scale-forming minerals from water, it is essential that you exercise proper maintenance to maximize efficiency.

Make sure that you change the filters and the RO membrane regularly if you want to get clean, pure water all the time.

If possible, invest in a water softener as well. You’ll not only get the purest drinking water but also increase the lifespan of your reverse osmosis system.

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