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How to Remove and Prevent Calcium Buildup on Faucets

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Calcium buildup can be frustrating as it puts a strain on your plumbing work and can make your faucets look old and dirty.

It is easy enough to clean off calcium buildup, but constantly doing this can be tiresome. This article will look at some of the best ways to remove calcium buildup on your faucets and how to prevent it in the future.

How Does Calcium Build Up On Faucets?

With water constantly flowing through the faucets in your home, you might expect them to stay relatively clean. Unfortunately, calcium buildup on faucets can be pretty common, and understanding why this buildup occurs can help you combat it.

You will probably suffer from calcium buildup on your faucets if you have a hard water source, like well-water.

Hard water has a high mineral content, including calcium carbonate, and this is caused by water passing through gypsum, limestone, or chalk. Though hard water isn’t bad for you, it can be bad for your plumbing and appliances that use water.

Calcium and limescale deposits on copper piping and faucets can look blue or green or leave a white, crusty residue around the spout.

How Do I Remove Calcium Buildup On Faucets?

If you hope to prevent future calcium buildup on your faucets, you will first have to clean the existing residue. Thankfully this is a relatively straightforward job,

Gather the following items before following the step-by-step guide below to remove calcium buildup on your faucets.

  • White vinegar mixed with water
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic sandwich bags
  • Sponge
  • Soft rags or paper towels

If your water pressure has been affected by a buildup, you should fill one of your sandwich bags with a mix of vinegar and water. You can then submerge the end of the spout in the solution before using your rubber bands to secure the bag around the faucet.

  1. You should leave the bag around the faucet head for a couple of hours, and this will give the white vinegar time to soak into and dissolve the calcium buildup.
  2. You should then remove the plastic bag and wipe any exposed areas with a wet sponge or cloth to remove the residue. Running the water will also help flush out any material deposits loosened inside the spout.
  3. You should then thoroughly dry the faucet.

This technique is also great for cleaning a shower head with a mineral buildup causing blockages. However, if calcium deposits still block your faucet aerator, you should follow the instructions in our guide on how to clean a faucet aerator.

If you only have superficial calcium buildup, you should use paper towels or a cloth that has been soaked in white vinegar and wrap them around the affected areas. Keep them secure using your rubber bands and leave for a couple of hours to work on the residue. You can then follow steps 2 and 3 from the guide above to remove calcium buildup from your faucet.

You can also make a paste by mixing one part white vinegar with two parts baking soda. This can then be rubbed onto the affected areas and left for between five and ten minutes to dissolve calcium deposits before wiping clean.

You can also look at store-bought cleaners. However, it is always worth checking what chemicals are in these, and you must work in a well-ventilated area and use rubber gloves.

Read more: The 6 Best Kitchen Faucets for Hard Water

How Do I Prevent Calcium Buildup On Faucets?

Now that you know how to remove existing calcium and mineral deposits, you will need to know more about preventing them in the future.

Mineral and calcium deposits can build up over time, cause issues with water pressure, and even lead to blockages if left untreated.

One of the best ways of preventing calcium buildup is by installing a water softener system. Not only will this reduce the amount of dissolved calcium salts on your faucet, but it will also help to protect your plumbing and appliances.

What are water softeners?

Water softeners are a water filtration system for the whole house that removes mineral deposits like calcium salts from the water that passes through them before it is then free to run through your pipes without the risk that hard water poses.

How do water softeners work?

Your water softener will use the process known as ion exchange to help eliminate magnesium and calcium from your home’s water.

This process occurs when the hard water flows through resin beads located in the mineral tank. The beads are charged with sodium ions giving them a negative charge. The negative charge attracts the positive charge of magnesium and calcium minerals, attaching them to the beads and removing them from the water that passes through.

This results in softened water flowing out of the mineral tank and through the pipes of your home. The benefits of which include cleaner water, cleaner faucets, no mineral deposits clogging up your plumbing, and a longer life for appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines.

A water softener can also help prevent cloudy water in your faucet and it can also keep your faucets from corroding.

Water softener components

Your water softener will consist of three main components that work together to remove minerals from hard water, leaving your home with a soft water supply.

The components of a water softener are;

  • Mineral Tank – The mineral tank is where the water passes through and is softened. The water flows directly into the mineral tank before it is cleaned and flows out into your home’s plumbing system.
  • Control Valve – The control valve increases the efficiency of your water softener by measuring the amount of water that passes through. This helps it understand how much the resin beads can take before becoming too burdened with mineral deposits. Automatically initiating the regeneration cycle allows the water softener to continue working to a high level.
  • Brine Tank – The brine tank sits beside the mineral tank and contains a highly concentrated salt solution that is flushed through the mineral tank to restore the positive charge of the resin beads. You would usually add the salt by adding salt pellets or blocks.

How much does a water softener system cost?

Costs will vary depending on the size and model of the softener needed and any additional plumbing needs and labor rates in your area. Generally speaking, you could expect your new water filtration system installation to cost between $1,000 and $2,000.

You will also have the expense of running the system, which would work out at around $10 to $20 per month in electricity costs.

Read more: Are water softeners worth it?

Final Thoughts

Finding a solution to calcium buildup can be expensive, but you may end up saving money in the long run.

Taking the time to prevent calcium buildup can make a big difference to your plumbing and water pressure. Clogged and blocked pipes can significantly reduce the water performance in your home.

As well as poor performance, you also run the risk of damaging your plumbing fixtures and pipes, and even appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and irons.

These issues will end up costing you money to resolve that would generally be better spent on a softening system.

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