Got Hard Water? Follow These Cleaning Tips While You Wait For A Water Softening Device

Water softening refers to the process of removing magnesium, calcium, and other metal cations found in hard water. Households with hard water experience a variety of problems due to the buildup of limescale. These problems include rapid corrosion, sewage system interference, and foul plumbing. If you have hard water, the best thing you can do for your wallet and your stress level is to invest in a water softener, like a reverse osmosis or ion-exchange polymer filtration system. While you wait for your new water softening filtration system, take some time to remove the mineral buildup around you home with by following these cleaning tips:

Cleaning Tools & Supplies Needed:

  • White vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Bleach
  • Commercial lime cleaning product
  • Plastic sandwich bags
  • Rubber bands
  • Soft cloth
  • Toothbrush
  • Clean spray bottle
  • Stiff brush
  • Sponge
  • Razor blade
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses

How To Remove Lime From A Shower Head

Lime presents as a chalky white buildup around the bottom edge of the shower head. To prevent any cleaning products from dripping on your clothes or your skin, it's best to remove the showerhead from the pipe for cleaning. Also, this is a good time to wear safety glasses and rubber gloves to prevent injury to your eyes and hands. To safely and effectively clean your shower head, follow these steps:

  1. Take a clear plastic sandwich bag and fill it with ½ cup of bleach. Then add 2 cups of hot water to the bleach. If you don't want to use bleach, white vinegar usually works also.
  2. Put the shower head into the plastic bag and seal it. Let the shower head soak in the bleach and water solution for half an hour.
  3. Remove the shower head from the bag.
  4. If there are stubborn lime deposits still on the shower head, use a stiff brush or toothbrush dipped into white vinegar, lemon juice, or dish soap to scrub it off.
  5. Finally, rinse the shower head off with warm water for 2 minutes to make sure all the cleaning products are washed off.

How To Remove Lime From A Faucet

Just like on a shower head, lime on a faucet looks like a chalky white buildup. It can appear on any faucet in your home, including the kitchen and bathroom sink faucets and the bathtub and shower faucets. To remove the lime from any faucet in your home, follow these instructions:

  1. Take a clear plastic sandwich bag and fill it with white vinegar.
  2. Use a rubber band to secure the bag onto the faucet, with the faucet positioned so it's inside the bag and submerged in the vinegar. Let it sit over night.
  3. Carefully take the bag off the faucet. Next, rinse the faucet with warm water. Finish cleaning by polishing the faucet with a soft cloth.

If there is a stubborn lime deposit still hanging around on the faucet after it sat overnight, dip a toothbrush into white vinegar, lemon juice, or dish soap and scrub it off.

How To Remove Lime From Toilets, Sinks, Tubs, and Shower Doors

Lime and other hard water buildup will also collect in toilets, sinks, tubs, and, especially, shower doors. Here, the lime often takes a yellow tint. Cleaning these items is very similar to cleaning lime off of shower heads and faucets.

  1. Fill a clean spray bottle with white vinegar and generously spray the lime buildup on your toilet, sink, tub, or shower doors. Then, let it sit for 45 minutes to an hour.
  2. Wipe the vinegar off with a damp sponge. If there are still lime stains remaining, repeat the process.
  3. If there are areas of significant buildup, use a stiff brush or sharp razor blade to scrape the lime off.
  4. If you prefer to use a stronger chemical cleaner to remove the lime in your home, there are several different brands and products available at your local home improvement center, hardware store, and grocery store. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to use the cleaning product properly.

Now that you've removed the lime buildup in your kitchen and bathroom, you can have a water softener system installed to prevent lime from building up again. You may see a small amount of lime around the bottom edge of your faucets, shower heads, and in other areas of your home, but not to the extent you did before you had a water softener. For more information about getting a water softener, visit