How To Get Rid of Calcium Buildup On Faucets, Pipes, and Drains

Calcium buildup (aka limescale) can be an irritating problem for homeowners, as it can lead to clogged pipes, slow water flow, and even damage to appliances. However, there are a variety of methods you can use to remove calcium buildup and keep your plumbing systems clean and efficient.

Whether you choose to use natural remedies, chemical products, or professional services to remove limescale buildup, it is important to take steps to ensure that the issue is taken care of.

Below, we’ll take you through how to get rid of calcium buildup and how to prevent it from forming in the future.

Why Mineral Buildup Forms on Your Shower Head or Faucets & What to Do About it

Calcium deposits (lime) and other minerals such as magnesium are a common problem in plumbing systems in many households. These mineral buildups can block pipes, reduce water flow, and damage home appliances, causing higher energy bills and posing possible health risks.

limescale on faucet
Limescale deposits can cause a host of problems for your plumbing fittings & fixtures.

In this article, we look into what causes calcium buildup, and the available techniques to address it – from natural remedies and store-bought chemical products to professional services. 

Through a deeper comprehension of this issue, we hope you can take the action needed to keep your plumbing system functioning as it should.

Read on to learn how to get rid of calcium buildup in your plumbing fixtures.

Key Takeaways:

  • Calcium deposits form due to hard water, poor plumbing maintenance, and old pipes.
  • Calcium buildups can reduce water flow, increase energy costs, cause leaks and clogs, and damage appliances like water heaters or dishwashers.
  • There are various natural and chemical solutions available for removing calcium buildup – several of which use regular household items such as vinegar.
  • Regular maintenance, installing water softeners, and making changes to water usage can help prevent calcium buildup in your pipes and fixtures in the future.

How to Get Rid of Calcium Buildup: Natural Solutions 

Limescale buildup can be unsightly and difficult to remove. If you prefer a more natural solution than store-bought chemicals, there are several potential household items you can use to do the job.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

vinegar and baking soda
A common cleaning solution, baking soda and vinegar is great at removing limescale.

White vinegar and baking soda is a simple and cost-effective method for those looking for a natural acid to remove calcium buildup.

  1. Make a paste with equal parts baking soda and white vinegar (the amount you need will depend on the size of the affected area).
  2. Using an old toothbrush, rub the vinegar and baking soda paste into your drains/sinks/shower heads. 
  3. Go relax for an hour or two and let the vinegar paste soak.
  4. After a couple of hours, come back and scrub the affected area with a brush and rinse off any residue with water.
  5. Pour boiling water over the area and wipe it down with a cloth or paper towels

If the lime deposit is particularly stubborn, you may need to repeat the process.

This is also a great mixture to oust limescale buildup in your drains or toilet. Simply dump this mixture down either and leave it to soak. Then simply flush or run the tap to flush it out of the pipes.

Lemon Juice

Acid lemon juice can help remove calcium deposits (and leave a nice smell).

Homeowners can combat limescale with a natural solution: lemon juice! With its high citric acid content, lemon juice is a great descaler that has the power to break down even the most stubborn calcium deposit. 

Simply rub a slice of lemon or squeeze the juice over the drain, faucet, or glass, let it soak for a few hours, and then scrub it away. Finish off by using a sponge or cloth to wipe up any wet spots. It’s easy, safe, and all-natural — perfect for keeping your plumbing fixtures clear of mineral buildups!

…and it smells nice too!

Salt & White Vinegar

baking soda and salt mix
Adding salt and vinegar is another natural solution.

Salt and vinegar is a natural fix that can help dissolve any mineral buildup and get your drain, shower glass, and fixtures squeaky clean.

By combining salt and white vinegar, homeowners can create an effective mixture to remove unsightly deposits on their sink faucets, bathroom drain, and shower. Apply the vinegar and salt paste over the area, let it soak for a few hours, then brush and rinse away – simple and easy! 

If you want to remove hard water deposits from the faucet screen, fill a bag with this mixture, wrap it around the sink faucet and use a rubber band to hold it in place.

Natural Descaling Agents

If regular vinegar or lemons don’t sound like the right fit, consider trying a natural descaling agent to remove your fixtures’ limescale. These safe and natural acid alternatives come in many forms – liquid, powder, and tablets – and are tailor-made for easy removal of all mineral deposits. 

You can buy large bottles and decant into a small spray bottle for savings. All in all, this is a great option for eco-conscious homeowners looking for a fast yet natural solution.

How to Dissolve Calcium Deposits With Chemical Products

pouring drain cleaner down the drain
If all else fails then there’s many commercial descaling agents on the market

If you’re looking for a speedy and reliable solution to your limescale problem, try one of the many commercial descaling agents on the market. These specialized products (usually marketed as a “calcium, lime, and rust remover”) are formulated to dissolve deposits on various surfaces, including faucets, pipes, and drains.

Chemical descalers should be used with caution as they are toxic, corrosive to your skin, and can damage your plumbing fixtures or surfaces if used incorrectly. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wear protective gloves and eye protection.

Professional Solutions for Mineral Deposits

Sometimes, you need to call in professional help. If you’re unable to remove the deposit using any of the solutions above or you can see that your plumbing system has been damaged, then it’s best to call a professional plumber.

How to Prevent Calcium Buildup


If you are looking for a long-term solution to preventing lime deposits, then follow these suggestions.

Regular Maintenance

By regularly cleaning your drains, faucets and shower head, you can prevent mineral growth from forming. While you’re at it, it’s also wise to give your shower drain and pipes a good clean, too.

Install a Water Softener

If you live in a hard water area, you may want to install a water softener. These work by removing minerals from the water, thus preventing them from attaching to your fixtures or fittings.

Making Changes to Water Usage

Using less hot water, reducing the amount of time you spend in the shower, and installing low-flow showerheads can all help reduce the amount of mineral buildup that forms in your plumbing.

Causes of Calcium Carbonate & The Effects on Your Plumbing System

limescale buildup on inside of plumbing pipes
Limescale buildup can cause significant problems to your homes plumbing if not addressed.

Mineral deposits in plumbing systems can be caused by a number of factors, including poor plumbing maintenance, old pipes, and hard water. 

Buildups can also have a number of negative effects on your plumbing, including:

  • As limescale builds on the inside of pipes, it restricts the flow of water, resulting in lower water pressure at your shower head or tap.
  • Providing you with a hot water supply becomes more expensive as it takes more energy to heat.
  • Buildups can also cause corrosive materials to form that damage your pipes and fittings, resulting in more leaks and clogs.
  • Any appliance that has a water supply can become damaged or inoperable.


Calcium buildup can be a big problem for homeowners, but there are many solutions available to remove it. We hope you found one to suit your needs on the above list! 

If you have any comments or further suggestions we would love to hear them in the comments below.

About the author

An accomplished plumber with more than 15 years of experience in the industry, David "Fitz" Fitzgerald began as an apprentice and steadily worked his way up to become a fully licensed and certified master plumber.

With extensive training in all aspects of plumbing. David is well-versed in the installation, repair, and maintenance of plumbing systems, including pipes, fixtures, and appliances, and is able to troubleshoot and solve even the most complex plumbing issues.

He loves to share his wealth of knowledge and looks forward to engaging with the community here on No Hassle Plumbing.

Leave a Comment