Getting Started with Descalers

Getting Started with Descalers

Getting started with descalers is easy – a descaler is a solution used to remove a coating, layer, or crust (scales) from a surface. Scale consists of mineral deposits accumulated over time on a surface (usually an appliance or piece of machinery).

Descalers can be used for small cleaning jobs, like coffee machines, or big jobs, like wastewater treatment facilities. Different descalers are formulated for different jobs.

While descaling as a process is fundamentally the same, different formulations are created for different scale, speed, or safety depending on the type of job. Read more about descalers in our What is a Descaler article.

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How Does Descaling Work?

Descalers are chemical compounds that typically feature an acidic agent to do the dirty work of removing scale. The process of descaling happens when an acidic agent, like hydrochloric acid, reacts with calcium & magnesium carbonate found in common types of scale.

The reaction caused by an acidic agent and calcium or magnesium carbonate creates carbon dioxide gas and soluble salts from the broken down scale. The gas and the salt both easily escape from the system being flushed out by a descaling agent.

How Scale Forms

Scale is the accumulation of minerals such as calcium and magnesium on the waterside of boiler heating surfaces. When boiler water turns to steam, residual minerals are left in the boiler. These minerals then settle out of the boiler water and form scale on the boiler heating surfaces. 

If the water delivered to the boiler contains even small amounts of scale-forming materials, the internal heating surfaces of the boilers can soon become coated with scale, leading to overheating, increased fuel consumption and subsequent tube failures. Even light or spotty scale deposition can be the foundation for hot spots, cracking, and distortion. For this reason, regularly cleaning the interior of steam generator systems is imperative.

What Chemicals are in Descaler solutions?

Most descalers are a chemical composition consisting of an acidic agent and various buffering chemicals specific to the intended use of the compound. A descaling compound with more acidic agent content will typically be more dangerous to humans, while a compound with more buffering agents is intended to be safer for people or easier on machine surfaces.

The amounts and types of buffering agent will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Make sure to read the label of any descaling agent before you use it–they are all different and may not be safe for human contact!

RYDLYME The World’s Leading Biodegradable Descaler

For more than 80 years, RYDLYME has been the most trusted brand for removing scale from boilers, cooling towers, heat exchangers, condensers, chillers, and so much more. If you have further questions pertaining to the effectiveness of “The World’s Leading Biodegradable Descaler,” RYDLYME, please feel free to contact our main office.

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