Calcium buildup, often called limescale, comes from water that carries dissolved calcium salts (calcium carbonate or calcium bicarbonate). Water high in calcium and other minerals is called hard water. If your water is hard, you’ll notice a lot of white buildup or scale around your faucets and drains, as well as in your appliances that use water. If your water contains a lot of iron as well, the buildup may take on a rusty or yellow hue and could stain your sink. To remove the calcium buildup / limescale from your faucet, gather these few household items:
- White vinegar
- Paper towels or strips of soft rags
- Rubber bands
- Sandwich-sized plastic bags
- Sponge or textured cloth
- Optional: magic eraser; store-bought cleaner for calcium, lime and rust*
*White vinegar is usually sufficient to remove the calcium buildup, but if you plan to use store bought cleaners with these instructions, be sure to wear rubber gloves and avoid breathing the fumes as you clean.
How to Clean Calcium Buildup
After you’ve gathered your supplies, clean the exterior of the faucet: Soak several paper towels or strips of rags in the white vinegar. Wrap them around all the problem areas of the faucet, and secure them with rubber bands. Let them sit for at least an hour. Next, wipe the faucet clean with a wet sponge or cloth. You may use a magic eraser at this time if the sponge or cloth isn’t cleaning sufficiently. Finally, dry the faucet completely.