What Dissolves Calcium Carbonate

What Dissolves Calcium Carbonate: Detailed Explanation

Having a problem with the calcium sediments growing on your pipes, that’s just a regular problem for brewing.

Calcium carbonate can grow and block your brewery pipes. It happens due to the long-time flow of mineral water. This makes the pipes blocked and decreases water flow. If not worked upon, the pipes can burst.

So, what dissolves calcium carbonate? Wanna know?

Calcium carbonate can be dissolved using acid or acidic chemical compounds. Vinger, hydrochloric acid, carbonic acid, and sulfamic acid are the most used compounds for cleaning the pipes of your kegerator. But they all have different effects on different usage.

Want to learn a more detailed explanation of dissolving calcium carbonate? Jump right in for the detailed discussion. 

Chemical Analysis Of Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is a fairly common type of chemical found in nature. It’s also widely used as raw material for many different types of products. Before we try to know what can dissolve it, we need to know about its chemical structure.

Calcium carbonate can be found as white powder or crystals. But it is odorless and insoluble to water. This chemical compound is extracted from limestones. Also, it can be found in the mineral water we all consume.

These sediments went through heavy pressure and heat for millions of years to create the calcium carbonate inside limestones. In its pure form, it can be very fine powder or liquid slurry.

Dissolving Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound. As all chemical compounds’ characteristics are, they can be dissolved. But it has certain processes. In the case of your daily life usage, the process can be simple. Calcium carbonate can be dissolved using daily commodities. 

You might face calcium carbonate sediments inside your brewery pipes. This can lead to problems like your not working auto-siphon. If you need to dissolve this chemical compound, there are various processes you can use. 

Let’s now have a detailed discussion about how to dissolve calcium carbonate.

Using Vinegar

Vinegar is a household staple and a chemical. That brings a question: does vinegar dissolve calcium carbonate? The answer is yes.

Vinegar being an acidic solution can dissolve calcium carbonate. It is widely available in every household. Making it a very useful and easy way to dissolve calcium carbonate. 

To dissolve it using vinegar, you simply have to pour the vinegar solution on the calcium carbonate sediment. This process needs to be done several times. That will dissolve the calcium carbonate.

The downside of using vinegar is that it reacts very slowly. Meaning it will take a long time for the sediments to dissolve. This is why if it is slow-paced maintenance, then you can use vinegar to remove the calcium carbonate.

Here’s our recommendation for vinegar to dissolve calcium carbonate.

Hydrochloric Acid

Another option is to use hydrochloric acid to dissolve calcium carbonate. It’s a much faster option than using vinegar. Hydrochloric acid is very reactive to calcium carbonate. This makes it the ideal method to clear out sediments when you are in a hurry.

Now, why does acid dissolve calcium carbonate?

This is a bit going into the scientific nerdy area to answer. Basically, when calcium carbonate reacts with any acid, it gets dissolved.

This is due to the presence of carbon in both compounds. it converts into carbon dioxide and dilutes the calcium with the acid compound.

Using hydrochloric acid is very risky. Being a very reactive and dangerous chemical, it should be handled with care. 

In terms of long term effect, hydrochloric acid can change the pH level of water sources. Just like how to mash pH can get too low.

But to achieve an instant result, using hydrochloric acid is a good way to remove calcium sediment. Try it sometimes.

Carbonic Acid

Carbonic acid is a bit uncommon to be used in calcium carbonate reaction. As acidic materials always devour non-acidic compounds and materials. Using carbonic acid, the calcium carbonate will react and create hydrogen carbonate.

Carbonic acid has the drawback of being overly expensive in terms of supply. And the frequent cleaning, it can be a big problem in terms of cost. But that depends on what your budget on cleanup would be.

Using Sulfamic Acid

Sulfamic acid is a very common type of chemical. This is used in cleaning rust, limescale, and lots of sediment removable work. It is a very effective and safe compound that is widely used in cleanup works. You can use it to remove sediment in the spring well.

Sulfamic acid is far safer than hydrochloric acid. As well as it is more effective in dissolving calcium carbonate sediments. The calcium carbonate solubility increases when sulfamic acid is used.

It is, however, an expensive product. But the effective result and safety it provides make it worth spending. 

Here’s our recommendation for some top brands of sulfuric acid you can use.

That’s basically all we have to say about this topic. 


Does vinegar dissolve limescale?

Vinegar can easily dissolve limescale on your machines. Preventing them from jamming up. Limescale deposits can be harmful to your machines. Using a cup of vinegar and soaking the affected area with it can dissolve the sediment.

Is eggshell calcium carbonate?

Eggshells are predominantly made of minerals and various types of calcium carbonate. This gives them the rigidity to withstand immense pressure. But they aren’t totally made of calcium. This is why eggshell is a material for many calcium-based products.

Is limestone calcium carbonate?

Limestones are made from sand deposits compacted throughout millennia. The principal element in limestone is calcite. It is a type of calcium carbonate. Also, dolomite can be found within the molecular structure. This makes them very strong and good quarry rocks for cement and various art decor.


That’s all we have to say about what dissolves calcium carbonate. By going through this article we hope you have found your answer for your problem.

But preventing calcium carbonate buildup will need constant maintenance and a good water source. 

To keep up with the maintenance, it’ll be wise to hire a professional for a better job.

Happy brewing!

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