Have you ever noticed a white, stony residue building up on your faucets? If your faucets are more than a few years old, odds are you probably have. When it gets bad enough, this residue, known as lime, can eventually build up to the point where it restricts water flow and potentially even damages the faucet itself. What’s worse, if you’ve ever taken a scrub brush to this material, you may have noticed that it’s quite stubborn and doesn’t like to go anywhere. However, if that’s the case you probably weren’t armed with the right tools. Read our blog how you can make cleaning lime scale quickly and easily.
Use Something Acidic
Lime scale is composed of calcium, magnesium, and other elements which are found in trace amounts in your water. While these minerals aren’t necessarily bad for you, they do have the tendency to stick to and bond with the metal in your faucets and plumbing, eventually causing clogs and nasty buildup. However, these elements are not particularly strong against acidic substances, which can quickly eat away at their bonds with the metal and dissolve them away, leaving your surfaces fresh and clean.
There are several acidic substances that work extremely well in this application:
- Lemon juice
- White vinegar
- Phosphoric acid cleaners
- Sulfuric acid
- Muriatic acid (though only use this one on really large, tough deposits, and only when diluted at a 5:1 ratio and in a well-ventilated area.
Whenever working with acids, you’ll want to remember to use your head and think safety first. Acids can be corrosive to human skin, so you’ll want to make sure you wear protective equipment like rubber gloves, long sleeves, and safety goggles at all times. Also, make sure you wear old clothes you don’t mind staining and grab assisting tools like an old sponge or toothbrush that can help you chip and scrub away at the lime scale deposits.
Take the Faucet Apart
While some DIY websites may tell you just to place a plastic bag with the cleaning fluid over your faucet tip, this doesn’t really solve your problem beyond removing the scale from the surface. If you want to get your faucet really clean, you’ll need to remove the aerator or faucet head and soak each individual piece in the acid. If you’re working with a sink, start by removing the aerator, which you may need pliers to accomplish (use a towel between the tool and the aerator to avoid scratching it). If you’re working with a showerhead, wrap an old towel or rag around the head and twist counter-clockwise. If removing it still seems impossible, use pliers.
Once both of these parts are removed, soak the entire piece in a good amount of your chosen cleaning substance. Make sure you dilute your substance as necessary to ensure it’s not too strong or it might corrode the metal you’re trying to clean!
From there, use a little extra of your cleaning material to soak an old rag, then wrap the rag around the base of your faucet or shower fixture if any calcium or lime scale has built up there as well.
Once an hour or two has passed use a soft cloth, sponge, or toothbrush to scrub the soaked parts and base of your fixtures and remove the scale that may have built up. You’ll want to make sure you get all of the remaining acid off your fixture; any remaining acids can eat away at the metals if they’re left on long enough. Once the fixtures are clean and rinsed with distilled water, reconnect them back together and make sure all gaskets and seals are lined up and tight to prevent any leaks!If you need your home cleaned thoroughly, call the D.C. home cleaning experts from Elite Cleaning Services, LLC today at (888) 627-1497 to schedule a service!