Does your faucet look dull and cloudy? Or perhaps the faucet levers are difficult to operate? These are both signs of calcium buildup caused by hard water, which is a common issue here in Tuscon. Our city has some of the hardest water in all of Arizona, and you’ll notice the impact it has on your faucets, showerheads, and cooking equipment. Luckily, hard water stains are usually reversible with the right techniques and materials.
As a local plumbing company, Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has provided Tuscon homeowners with water quality solutions for more than six decades. We know first-hand how pesky and persistent calcium deposits can be, and that’s why we have a couple of professional tricks up our sleeve that we’d like to share with you. Keep reading to learn several DIY-friendly ways to remove calcium buildup on faucets.
Best Materials for Calcium Deposit Removal
You’ll find a range of industrial-strength descalers on the shelves of your local hardware store, but the truth is that you already have everything you need at home. Commercial calcium removers are powerful, but they’re also dangerous. That’s why many homeowners choose safer, natural alternatives. Here’s a list of some of the most common household cleaners you can use to remove calcium buildup:
- Vinegar: A common kitchen staple, vinegar contains acetic acid, which is great for breaking down calcium deposits. The best type of vinegar for cleaning is 3% white distilled vinegar.
- Soft drinks: A clear, fizzy soft drink can dissolve calcium because it contains phosphoric acid. Try to steer clear of dark colas because they can leave a sticky residue behind.
- Citrus juice: Citric juices like lemon juice and lime juice contain citric acid, which will loosen the calcium scale and make it easier to scrub off. Lemon and lime juice are the best options, but orange juice and tomato juice can work in a pinch, but much more slowly.
- Milk: Milk contains a small amount of lactic acid, which can break down calcium. However, the low acid ratio means milk works much slower than the other options on the list.
Cleaning the Faucet’s Exterior
Does the surface of your once-shiny kitchen faucet look dull and cloudy? When a layer of calcium builds up on the exterior of a faucet, it loses its metallic gleam. Calcium is stubborn and can’t be wiped away with a simple swipe from a rag. Luckily, with the right treatment, you can restore your faucet to its bright and shiny appearance.
The best way to descale the exterior of a kitchen faucet is with a rag soaked in your cleaner of choice. We recommend using vinegar since it’s fast-acting and easy to clean up. To get started, simply soak a rag or paper towel in vinegar and wrap it around the faucet for a few hours. This should dissolve the calcium and make it easier to rub away. This method also works with less potent acids like milk and tomato juice, but be prepared to leave the solution on for a day or longer.
Remove Calcium Deposits With a Scouring Mixture
If you need a quick, effective way to remove calcium from the sink, you can create a DIY solution with ingredients from your pantry. Adding vinegar to a powder-like flour, talc, or laundry detergent will thicken the vinegar into a paste.
If you decide to mix up a scouring solution, just be sure to avoid mixing vinegar with baking soda. The alkaline in the baking soda will neutralize the acid in the vinegar, rendering it unable to properly break down calcium. Instead, you’ll just have a big mess of bubbles!
Once you have the solution mixed, apply it to the area you want to clean and scrub it with a toothbrush. Every couple of minutes, wash away the solution to see what progress you’re making. Keep reapplying the solution and scrubbing until the surface is shiny.
Remove Scale From Faucet’s Interior
In severe cases of calcium buildup, you may notice issues like low water flow and jammed faucet handles. When this happens, many homeowners get tricked into thinking they have to replace the faucet, but that’s not the case. You can fix these issues by taking apart the faucet and cleaning the individual components. Simply place the handles, valve, and any other clogged components into a bowl of vinegar and allow them to soak. If you’d rather not use vinegar, lemon juice is a highly effective alternative. You should notice results after just a day of soaking.
If you choose this method, be sure not to soak rubber components like the o-rings and gaskets. The acidic solution can break down the rubber and lead to a leaky faucet.
Fixing Stuck Handles
In some cases, there may be so much calcium deposited around the faucet handle that you can’t remove it during disassembly. Luckily, there’s a tool for that! It’s called a handle puller, and it’s available at most local hardware stores. A handle puller works somewhat like a wine opener. The device is shaped like a corkscrew that affixes to the faucet body and, when turned clockwise, forces the handle off. Once the handle is removed successfully, you can soak it in a basin of vinegar or lemon juice overnight to remove the scale.
Consider a Water Filtration System
Scrubbing calcium buildup off your faucet can be icky and time-consuming, so many homeowners opt to put down the toothbrush and install a water filtration system. This whole-house system is designed to filter impurities out of your home’s water supply. That means no more mineral deposits, scaling, or scratched glass.
Here at Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we install high-quality, salt-free water filtration systems. The system is designed to remove hard water impurities from your home’s water supply.
Residential Plumbing Solutions by Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing
Scrubbing off calcium deposits can be a dirty, time-consuming job. If you’re interested in upgrading your plumbing system with a water filtration system, look no further than Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We carry trusted water filtration solutions that are sure to fit your needs and budget.
We opened our doors back in 1959, and in the following decades, we built a reputation for providing top-notch service. Our dedication to customer satisfaction is evident in our many five-star Google reviews. We’re also happy to be a top-rated employer supporting more than 200 local families. It’s our commitment to hiring the best local technicians that earned us a runner-up position for the 2019 Daily Star Best In Tucson award for best midsize local employer.
For all of your residential plumbing needs, you can count on the team at Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We provide everything from plumbing repairs to drain cleaning and water heater service. We also have all of your home heating and cooling needs covered.
For a water filtration system that works for your home, call Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today to get your estimate!