If you live in an area with hard water, you will be seeing a white film or scaly deposits on your bathroom fittings and even on the floor. It is also possible that your shower doesn’t have enough pressure. All of this is because of the mineral and calcium buildup caused as a result of the hard water.

Hard water is rich in a variety of minerals, including calcium carbonate, magnesium, lime, and silica. Once the hard water dries, the minerals leave beyond unsightly deposits on the surface of everything they touch. They also leave deposits inside showerheads, reducing their efficiency.

In this short read, we’re going to discuss effective methods of removing calcium and other mineral buildups from showers, showerheads, and other parts of the bathroom.

How to remove calcium deposits from shower heads

shower head maintenance

This method is not only effective in removing calcium deposits from shower heads, but it also helps remove mineral deposits from bathroom and kitchen faucets. And best of all, it uses a condiment that we all stock at home: white vinegar.

Let’s begin by understanding what makes vinegar so effective as a cleaning agent. White vinegar contains acetic acid, a solvent, which dissolves calcium and other minerals that, as a result of hard water drying out, form scaly deposits that block the flow of water from faucets and shower heads.

  • Take a plastic bag and fill it halfway up with white vinegar.
  • Tie this bag to the shower head using a rubber band, and leave it there for at least two hours.
  • Remove the bag and scrub the showerhead with an old toothbrush or a rag. You’ll find that your showerhead is surprisingly clean.

Removing deposits from porcelain toilets, sinks, tubs, and ceramic tiles

Once again, we’re going to use common household items to clean these surfaces. All you’ll need is mild dish soap, a sponge, vinegar, and baking soda.

  1. Mix the mild soap with hot water, and apply this onto the surface.
  2. Scrub the surface with a sponge and wipe it dry using a dry towel.
  3. Make a paste using two parts baking soda with one part vinegar. Apply this to the surface, especially where the mineral buildup is concentrated.
  4. Allow it to rest for around five minutes before wiping it off with a wet sponge.

Pro tip

You can substitute vinegar with lemon juice to clean ceramic tiles.

Removing mineral deposits from glass surfaces

cleaning calcium deposits in glass

If your shower has a glass enclosure, then it is bound to have deposits on it as well. And once again, we’re going to clean it using household items: white vinegar and water.

  1. Create a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Pour it into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray this solution onto the glass, and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. 
  3. Wipe it clean with a dry cloth. You will find that the cloudy mineral stains have all disappeared.

Some people find the smell of vinegar overbearing. If you’re one of those people, here’s an alternate approach to cleaning your glass shower enclosure.

  1. Make a paste using baking soda and water.
  2. Apply this onto the glass using a clean cloth.
  3. Rinse the shower enclosure away with warm water to reveal stain-free glass.

Removing mineral deposits from pipes and drains

clean calcium deposits in plumbing

While it is easy to spot scaling and stains on the surface, what a lot of us do not realize is that hard water forms deposits inside pipes and drains, clogging them. Left unchecked, you may even need to eventually change the pipes.

The only way to clean the insides of pipes and drains temporarily is to use a chemical drain cleaner, such as a CLR drain cleaner. However, these chemicals are extremely toxic and must be used with extreme caution.

Long term solution

So far, we’ve only taken you through solutions to clean your shower and remove stains, scales, and mineral deposits. However, all of these are temporary solutions that do not really address the main reason you’re facing these problems: hard water.

The only long-term solution to dealing with hard water is installing a water softener for your entire home. There are different types of water softeners for you to choose from, based on your personal requirements, and once you’ve invested in one, you will no longer have to worry about calcium deposits clogging your shower head or forming stains on your bathroom fittings.

How to clean calcium buildup in showers effectively was last modified: June 22nd, 2022 by Narayan Shrouthy
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I think I need something stronger than vinegar for this, does anyone know if this “acetic acid” vinegar component is sold somewhere?