As often as you clean your shower and as detailed you are with your cleaning, calcium buildup is hard to avoid, especially if you’re dealing with hard water in your area.
Luckily, multiple cleaning methods are relatively efficient when removing accumulated calcium residue from your shower.
In this guide, we will look at the best cleaning methods that won’t damage your shower and the reasons behind this issue, which will help you prevent it in the future.
What causes calcium buildup in the shower?
Calcium buildup in the shower is a common problem caused by hard water.
When water evaporates, it leaves behind mineral deposits, leading to calcium buildup on surfaces like shower walls and doors.
This can cause your shower to look dirty and can be challenging to clean.
Calcium buildup can also affect the mechanism of your shower, making it difficult to open and close the door.
In extreme cases, calcium buildup can cause your shower to leak.
In some cases, calcium buildup can cause your shower head to become clogged and can prevent water from flowing freely through the shower.
1. Hard water
ard water has a high concentration of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.
These minerals can cause various problems, making cleaning dishes and clothing difficult and leaving behind unsightly mineral deposits.
The shower is a common place to find hard water.
The high temperatures and steam make it the perfect environment for calcium deposits to form.
Over time, these deposits can build up and become difficult to remove.
Hard water can create several issues in your household, including :
- Soap scum: This is a film that forms on surfaces when soap comes into contact with hard water. Soap scum can be challenging to remove and can make surfaces appear dirty.
- Hard water stains: Hard water can leave behind mineral deposits that can stain fixtures and tiles.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water can strip away natural oils from skin and hair, leaving them feeling dry and irritated.
2. Irregular cleaning
Irregular cleaning is another factor that may lead to calcium buildup in your shower.
If you don’t take the time to clean your shower regularly, this can create an environment ripe for calcium buildup.
Be sure to clean your shower regularly, paying particular attention to areas where there may be water pooling or sitting.
3. Old shower elements
Remember that mineral buildup and all the other hard water stains will be much harder to clean if you have old, rusty shower elements – especially if they’re damaged.
The accumulated minerals will enter any nooks and crevices that may appear in the structure of your old shower set, so you want to replace any damaged and worn-out elements that are impossible to clean properly.
How to clean calcium buildup in the shower
While hard water isn’t something you can change, there are very effective methods to clean calcium buildup in your shower and prevent it from damaging your shower elements.
Remember that regular cleaning is the best strategy, no matter what cleaning method you choose.
1. Water and vinegar solution
Combine equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
Spray the solution onto the calcium deposits and let it sit for a few minutes.
Scrub the area with a brush or sponge and rinse with water.
Repeat the process as many times as needed.
Remember that this is a natural cleaning solution, so removing the calcium deposits may take a few applications.
2. Lemon juice
Lemon juice is another natural source of acid that can help to break down calcium deposits.
Apply fresh lemon juice to the deposits and let it sit for about 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
You may also combine the lemon juice with vinegar to clean stubborn shower stains.
Here’s how to make your cleaning solution using lemon juice and vinegar:
- Combine 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1/2 cup vinegar in a bowl.
- Apply the mixture to the calcium deposits using a clean cloth.
- Leave the mixture on the stains for about 15 minutes.
- Scrub the area with a brush or sponge, then rinse it with water.
Salt can also be used to clean calcium deposits.
Make a paste by combining salt and water, then apply it to the area and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
Some people prefer to combine salt with vinegar to create an even more powerful cleaner.
To do so, combine 1/2 cup of salt with 1/2 cup of vinegar and follow the instructions above.
4. Commercial cleaner
Many different types of cleaners available can effectively remove calcium deposits.
Be sure to read the labels carefully and follow the directions on how to use the product.
When using a commercial cleaner, it is essential to use caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Some cleaners are very powerful and can cause damage to surfaces if misused.
5. Power washer
If you have access to a power washer, this can be an effective way to remove calcium deposits.
Use a low-pressure setting and hold the nozzle at least 12 inches from the surface to avoid damaging the tile or grout.
Make sure to test the power washer on an inconspicuous area first to ensure the pressure is not too high.
6. Pumice stone
Pumice stones can remove calcium deposits from many surfaces, including showers.
Wet the surface of the calcium deposit and then rub the pumice stone over it in a circular motion.
Rinse the area well when you’re finished.
Pumice stone is a volcanic rock and when used wet, it can be very effective in removing calcium deposits.
Keep in mind that when using a pumice stone, you’re scratching your shower’s surface.
So, if you have a delicate finish on your shower, it’s best to avoid using this method, especially if the calcium buildup isn’t too thick.
7. Hire a professional
If the calcium deposits are stubborn and won’t come off with any of the above methods, you can consider hiring a professional to clean your shower.
Some of the professional calcium removal methods include :
- Hydro jetting
- Ultrasonic cleaning
While these methods are effective, they can also be expensive, so get multiple quotes from different companies before making a decision.
8. Purchase a hard water filter
A highly efficient way of dealing with hard water in your area is by purchasing a filter.
This prevents the need to regularly clean calcium buildup in your shower, saving you time and energy.
This hard water filter for your shower works because it will remove the magnesium and calcium from the water before it goes through your shower head or onto any other surface in your bathroom.
This means you won’t have to worry about any mineral buildups that can come with hard water.
Here’s how to install a hard water filter in your shower:
- Remove the shower head.
- Take off the filter canister (usually located under the sink).
- Reattach the shower head.
- Screw on the new filter.
- Turn on the water and check for leaks.
Now that you know how to install a hard water filter in your shower, you’ll be able to enjoy clean, mineral-free water every time you shower.
Not to mention, you won’t have to spend time scrubbing away calcium buildup.
How to descale a shower head?
If you have hard water, calcium deposits may have built up on your shower head.
Not only is this unsightly, but it can also affect the water pressure.
Fortunately, descaling a shower head is relatively easy and only takes a few minutes.
You can use various methods to descale a shower head, but the most common is to use a vinegar solution.
Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl, then soak the shower head in the mixture for 30 minutes.
Once 30 minutes have passed, remove the shower head and scrub away any remaining deposits with a toothbrush.
You can also use lemon juice or a commercial descaling solution if you don’t have vinegar.
Whichever method you choose, descaling your shower head will help improve water pressure and prevent unsightly calcium buildup.