Cleaning Limescale Off Faucets and Showerheads

We have dreadfully hard water here in West Michigan. That leads to the dreaded lime scale build-up and unusable shower heads. Cleaners like CLR and KABOOM! require using rubber gloves because the product is so strong. Forget that! First, make sure the shower head is completely dry. Water will deactivate the reaction you want.


Take a plastic storage bag, put about a cup of white vinegar in it, add several spoonfuls of baking soda and slide it over the shower head or other water source. Hold it there for about 5 minutes using duct tape or packaging tape so that the mixture completely covers the clogged head. Then take off the bag and presto!

Just run the water through it to rinse. Don't throw out the mixture, either. Use it on another shower, since the cleaning properties will last a little longer. The commercial products also need to be rinsed off completely, but this won't harm you, your family, the tub or metals.

Buy great big bottles of white vinegar on sale just for cleaning. I also keep a restaurant-style sugar dispenser filled with baking soda and a little borax to sprinkle onto faucets and sinks that have soap or lime build-up First, spray where you need to clean with a bottle of straight vinegar. sprinkle on the baking soda, then spray it again with the vinegar and watch it work. Way cool! A light wipe and rinse and the work's done for you and all for just pennies!

By Polly L from Cedar Springs, MI

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November 6, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks loads for this tip. I copied and pasted it and then printed it out so that I can remember to do this, as I have extremely hard water, also. I live in South Georgia, but I guess hard water is found everywhere, isn't it? Thanks for sharing with us and God bless you.

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November 6, 20080 found this helpful

Leave out the baking soda when you are dissolving limescale with vinegar. It just neutralizes the vinegar, which wastes it. The reason you are still able to clean with the combo is because you have not neutralized it all.

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