How To Clean Hard Water Deposits

Close-up of stainless steel kitchen faucet with marble subway backsplash
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For many of us dealing with hard water is a daily challenge. Hard water deposits collect on plumbing fixtures and inside pipes slowly through daily use. These deposits can affect the function of plumbing fixtures and they can be quite unsightly. To keep faucets and fixtures looking nice and working correctly it’s a good idea to clean hard water deposits regularly. There is no need to purchase special cleaning products because regular white vinegar can be used effectively to clean hard water deposits.


Kitchen and bathroom faucets can quickly accumulate hard water deposits anywhere that water tends to collect. This can make even a relatively new faucet look old and dingy because regular cleaning doesn’t remove the buildup. Vinegar can be used to help loosen the hard water film and buildup before scrubbing.

  1. Drape a vinegar soaked rag on the faucet making sure to have direct contact with all of the hard water deposits.
  2. Allow the vinegar time to work by letting the rag sit for a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour (more time is fine).
  3. Remove the rag and use a non-scratch scrub sponge to scrub the faucet focusing on areas with the most buildup. Repeat these three steps as necessary to remove all of the hard water deposits.

Note: Avoid scratching the faucet finish by using only non-scratch __ and making sure to use plenty of water. Even a non-scratch sponge can scratch the finish if both the sponge and faucet are dry.


 Although hard water deposits in a faucet aerator may not be visible they can really affect the flow of water. If you notice water isn’t flowing the same, reduced water pressure, or an erratic spray it is likely that the aerator is clogged. To clean hard water deposits in an aerator is very simple.

  1. Remove the aerator carefully to avoid scratching or denting it.
  2. Take the washer out from inside the aerator and set it aside.
  3. Remove any loose debris from inside the aerator and rinse it out with water. Then soak it in vinegar for a few minutes.
  4. Using a small scrub brush or an old toothbrush remove any remaining debris from the aerator screen and rinse it with water once again.
  5. Finally, replace the aerator (don’t forget the gasket) and test the water flow.


 If you are tired of dealing with hard water and the various problems it causes consider installing a water softener system to treat your home’s water supply.