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Things Mother used to do

 
pioneer
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Location: Gulgong, NSW, Australia (CZ9, HZ6) UTC +10
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I am still excited by actually getting out and about today to see the forum zoom call email and log in from the last kickstarter.  So, one of the discussion points was on calcium build up in kettles and two chemical solutions to remove the scale were proffered. When we were growing up mum and dad had a great kettle that sat on the fire but it used to get a huge amount of calcium scale.  Mum used one of my glass marbles in the kettle so when it boiled, the marble would rumble around and knock the scale off.  No chemicals but she did rinse out the kettle weekly to my memory to get rid of the scale.  And if we drank a bit of deposited scale along the way it would have been good because of the mineral content.

The other discussion was on drinking water.  Did not get all of it because I was travelling on a train at the time.  We have at various times used dam water and currently use rain water collected from the roof.  To mitigate the risk of water-borne diseases our rain water is filtered three times by mechanical means and we have a water diverter on each down pipe to stop the rubbish getting to the tank.  The filters are firstly a brush type insert into the gutter so the leaves blow over the gutter rather than being in it. The second is a course filter that sits at an angle under the down pipe outlet so the large particles wash off and the third is a finer filter that traps most of the other stuff and insects.  The water diverter takes care of the dust and dirt blown onto the roof.  All the storage tanks have rooves so that no light gets in and  there is no algal growth.  We have never used any chemicals to treat our water.  Caution: some water filters take out all the chemicals and create water that is potentially cancer causing.  H2O in its pure form is very toxic.  Water is very interesting in that it poaches chemicals from its surrounds to allow it to be stable.  I have seen problems where pure water was used in steam autoclaves and the water pitted the steel lining causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.  Mum always used rain water in her steam iron because she maintained demineralised water caused problems.  Now, I understand why, it is not stable.

Having lived in PNG for a couple of years, all we did to clean our water was to filter it through a fine filter made from many layers of calico if it looked a bit suspect.  Never had a problem with bugs.  Never got sick. Just washed the bag in hot soapy water and hung in the sun.
 
master steward
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I use vinegar for calcium buildup. I not sure how it would work on something really scaly like a tea kettle. I use it on the coffee maker, ice machine and our water pik.

Actually vinegar is great for a lot of cleaning solution such as windows, kitchen floors, toilets, etc.

I use baking soda as a scouring powder.
 
pollinator
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Yep! Vinegar in the kettle!  I put about 1/2 cup to a cup of vinegar in the kettle, bring it to the boil for a minute or two depending on the amount of scaling, rinse it - job done!

As for water, when we lived in the UK, we had big sand filters for rain collected from the roof.  No shortage of water in the UK!!
 
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