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Natural Ways to Clean Mineral Stains Around Faucets and Fixtures

Natural Ways to Clean Mineral Stains Around Faucets and Fixtures

March 23, 2018

faucet 493039 1920

Take a look at your faucets, showerheads, coffeemaker, and dishwasher. Are they covered with mineral stains and calcium buildup?

If you notice an accumulation of mineral stains around your fixtures and faucets, you definitely have hard water, but you may also have a small leak. Many times, mineral stains around plumbing fixtures indicate a leak—especially if there is staining far away from the water source.

Water Softener Solution

If you have mineral stains around fixtures, drains, and appliances, ask a professional plumber if a water softening system is right for you. They can be installed as point-of-use or whole-house, depending on your needs.

In the meantime, you’ll want to get rid of those mineral stains and get your chrome, brass, copper, steel, and porcelain shining like new again.

But before you start reaching for harsh chemicals, which can damage your plumbing system and health, try the easy, natural methods outlined below.

How to Clean Hard Water Mineral Stains Off Faucets & Fixtures (the Natural Way)


  • One gallon of generic white vinegar (less than $2).
  • Old T-shirts, rags or cloths (more than one)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Used sponge (non-scratch)
  • Used toothbrush
  • Q-tip (to test small area)

While you are deciding on whether or not to install a water softening system, you can get rid of mineral stains around plumbing fixtures by putting on rubber gloves and following the steps below:

  • Gather your supplies and put on your gloves and protective eyewear.
  • Fill a small bowl with white vinegar.
  • To be safe, test a very small area of the faucet/fixture by dipping a Q-tip into the vinegar and let it sit on the affected area for an hour or so. If there is any discoloration, remove the Q-tip, clean the area up with regular detergent and wipe clean. Contact a professional plumber or consult manufacturer instructions for instructions on proceeding.
  • Take an old rag and saturate it completely in the white vinegar.
  • Make sure the stained area is completely dry to avoid diluting the vinegar at all.
  • Place the white vinegar-soaked rag onto the affected area. Press it into all the little nooks and crannies. Pour a some more white vinegar directly on top of the rag to get it fully saturated.
  • Let the vinegar-soaked rag sit for at least an hour. Do not use the fixture during this time.
  • Take off the rag and put it back into the white vinegar bowl to soak some more (you may need it again).
  • Use a worn sponge (one with a less abrasive scouring pad) and/or a used toothbrush to scrub away the mineral stains. Do not scrub too hard—the mineral stains should come off easily. You don’t want to scratch up your fixture. If the stains are stubborn, give it another good, hour-long soak in white vinegar.

This method would work for any kind of faucet or fixture you have, including stainless steel and porcelain. Your new plumbing fixture should look as good as new!

Here are some additional techniques and methods for cleaning mineral buildup around faucets, showerheads, and other fixtures:

  • For mineral buildup around faucets, aerators, and showerheads, you can pour some vinegar into a plastic bag and then tie it around the nozzle (rubber bands work best) and let sit for a few hours or overnight. Wipe away the rest of the deposits with an old toothbrush and rag.
  • If the showerheads or aerators can easily be removed, soak it in a jug or pot of white vinegar for an hour or two. This is a better way to clean the inside and outside of faucet aerators and showerheads. You can also remove the base and other components and clean them separately, Then, clean the deposits with an old toothbrush and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Flush the device with water, dry with a soft cloth, and reattach. Some manufacturers recommend soaking the showerhead and aerator in a 50/50 vinegar and water solution, so consult the manufacturer instructions first.
  • You can also create a vinegar paste by mixing some vinegar, water, and just the right amount of baking soda to form a paste. Dip your toothbrush into it and keep scrubbing.
  • Wipe drains and faucets (chrome, brass, or copper only) with half a lemon or lemon. The citric acid will help dissolve the dried up mineral buildup. Let it sit for a little bit and then rinse thoroughly and wipe dry with a soft cloth.

Bonus Tips for Living with Hard Water

  • If you have mineral stains in and around your dishwasher and coffeemaker, try running a cup of white vinegar through the coffee maker and dishwasher rinse cycle every couple of months, or as needed. Rinse it thoroughly with water before using.
  • Set the water heater to a safer and more manageable 120-125 degrees. The lower temperature will save you money and energy, and help prevent the buildup of sediment and mineral deposits.
  • Periodically spray and wipe your faucets and fixtures with white vinegar or lemon juice. Wipe up with a soft cloth.
  • Drying off the area around your faucets and fixtures after each use will help prevent mineral buildup.

For more information on removing hard water deposits around your home, watch this video:

Remember, a water softening system can rid your home of the hard mineral stains that cause all of those white spots, stains, scaling, sediment, and mineral buildup. A water softener specifically targets:

  • Calcium and calcium carbonates
  • Iron
  • Manganese

Contact the professional plumbers at Fix-It 24/7 to test your water and recommend the best water treatment system for your home!

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