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Frugal Cleaning Tip: Hard-Water Stains of Faucets

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Thursday, August 02, 2012 | 2 comments
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Cleaning Hard-Water Stains of FaucetsWhen I saw this tip on Pinterest, I posted: "I am going to try this one and post about it in a couple of days! "

Some readers commented on our Facebook fan page that the before and after picture (shown below) posted by the original Pinterest user was not the same taps.

There was some debate if the picture was just taken at a different angle - but I promised to post pictures of my own taps while I did the test.

My taps were nowhere near as bad as the picture posted, but you should still be able to see the stain around the tap base in the picture I took and posted above.

Please Note: Don't use vinegar on anything marble (marble countertops or tile) it will etch the marble and ruin it.

pin it

The Power of VinegarFrugal Cleaning Tip: Soak paper towels in vinegar and wrap around faucets. Wait an hour and wipe off.

I took a spray bottle filled with vinegar and sprayed the towels every time I walked past.

After about 20 minutes I took the towels off and scrubbed off the hard water with an old toothbrush.

Some areas had thick hard water and I had to put the towels back on and wait another hour and repeat. I didn't have to scrub really hard, the hard water came off easily after soaking in vinegar.

From: thethriftyhome.com

Taps wrapped in vinegar-soaked paper towels
Back to my test: I didn't want to use a spray bottle and coming back every few minutes - who has time for that??

So I put in the sink plug and filled the sink with just enough vinegar, and soaked the paper towels and put them dripping wet on the taps.

Then I left them for about an hour.

Mary E. Swerens posted: Wouldn't a Magic Eraser take that right off without the vinegar and such?

So I tried it on the other side of the taps, and no, for me it did not work using a Magic Eraser.

I did scrub a bit with an old toothbrush, but it all came up pretty well with just vinegar!
I did scrub a bit with an old toothbrush, but it all came up pretty well with just vinegar!

What do you think? Compare this picture on the right to the one at the top of my post.

Anyone else going to try this? Report back with your results!

Photo credit: Catherine McDiarmid-Watt
All rights reserved

From our Facebook fan page:

Ann MacNeil posted: We use vinegar in a kettle to take off the hard water, don't see why it wouldn't work there.

Deedee Warner posted: Vinegar DOES work well for hard water. I fill a freezer bag with vinegar and wrap a rubber band around it tightly to hold it to my shower-head. After a half an hour or so, the deposits wipe right off.

Jennifer WeTopia Lawrence posted: If you take a sandwich bag full of vinegar and put it over your shower-head (secure with a rubber band) leave it for a couple hours and take off and rinse, your shower-head will be clean and free of hard water/calcium stains. My grandma taught me that when I was little and I have been doing it most of my life

Francine CouncilwomanElect Adams posted: It works. Vinegar is good for cleaning a lot of things.

Ann MacNeil posted: No vinegar or lemon on marble, or anything else acidic really.

Serena Goss posted: I have tried vinegar for our hard water stains and it works WONDERS!! We had faucets that looked like the photo on the left and I left a sponge soaked in vinegar on the stains and they came right off. I had tried all kinds of cleaners previous to that and had no luck. I swear by vinegar now--cleans our shower doors too!

Sheri Cost posted: I have done this before and it does work. It works better then any lime cleaner hard water cleaner around.

Dolly Mistry posted: It works we used that method lots

Mel Mays posted: I use vinegar to clean my bathrooms and kitchen...I LOVE it

Gwenn Melis posted: There should be a lot of info online about the benefits of vinegar.

Betty N Trimble posted: I have done this for years. However I used an old sock and leave it on over night. Works beautifully. After doing this process and faucets are all clean and shinny rub them with cloth dipped in cheap baby oil. Keeps the soap scum and water spots off for weeks. I also use baby oil to polish my shower doors and shower heads, etc. keeps soap scum from sticking.
I am presently trying a new hint: use liquid soap instead of bar soap. Liquid soap does not leave soap scum. I have taken bar soaps out of shower and tub and replaced with a nice Herbal liquid soap. Of course it is not the Antibacterial type which is not good for us. Only carry that stuff in my car/purse for emergencies.

Michaela Meyer Martin posted: On counter tops that you aren't sure what they are made of, a mixture of equal parts water and rubbing alcohol work well. Cleans and disinfects.

Anne Girucky posted: white vinegar is the best

Karen Gilday posted: Cool...but I hate the smell of some vinegars...especially white and apple cider... balsamic is too expensive..Sooo..I use Lime Away

Jeanie Linder Deveau posted: Yes, It works really well. You can also use lemon juice because it has acid in it and it makes it shiny as well, and some people like it better than vinegar because of the smell.

Jeanie Linder Deveau posted: Instead of keep on spraying every once in a while, You can put plastic wrap or bags over it and use a rubber band (if it fits) to keep it on. You won't have to keep re-wetting, and it works better as it gets warm...

Sharon M Servidio posted: Vinegar being acidic will also rot those gaskets !

Vivienne Diaz-Davila posted: I have used vinegar like that also - and for more stubborn stains left it with soaked with some bounty for 20 minutes or so. Then finish off with a scrub of baking soda.

Gale Cline posted: Ketchup works as well!

Chef's Quality Distilled White Vinegar - 1 jug, 1 gallonSparkle ps 2717201RL, Premium Towel Roll, 2-Ply, 70 Sheets/Roll, White - Premium roll towels are the right towels for any cleaning challenge.
Shopping Suggestions:
Chef's Quality Distilled White Vinegar
Sparkle Premium Towel Roll
Marianna Travel Size Spray Bottle
Colgate Plus Toothbrush
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Lime-A-Way Lime, Calcium and Rust Cleaner

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About Catherine: I have been writing frugal tips since 1982, when I was a young divorced mom of two - for my baby product company, Born to Love. I am now mom to three sons, who are all grown up - and re-married to a wonderful man. We have rescued two little dogs, Denny and Dexter - and Bella, the cat.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this to us. This adds more knowledge about the effects of using hard water.

  2. Susan says:

    I already commented on Pinterest, but I'd like to comment here as well. The following is what I posted:

    This really works! I kept bugging my husband to replace our kitchen faucet, it looked so bad. Then, I came across this tip. I had so much hard water build up I couldn't get it off without using a chisel. I wrapped paper towels soaked with white vinegar around my kitchen faucet for most of the day and it left my faucet looking brand new! Great tip!


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