This Citrus Hack Will Easily Remove Hard Water Buildup From Your Faucets

Everyone's been there — you've spent hours cleaning your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, just for your faucet to be dull with a layer of hard water stains. No matter how hard you scrub or let your cleaning products sit, the stubborn stains won't budge.

Hard water stains can manifest in two ways, but they have the same root cause, according to Rayne Water. Water contents vary state by state, but hard water refers to a source with a lot of magnesium, calcium, and other dissolvable minerals. Over time, those minerals will deposit onto your faucets and plumbing appliances. Soap scum is the first type of hard water stain or deposit. The fatty acids present in most soaps don't react well to the dissolved minerals, and the end result is a grayish-white film coating your faucet. Hot water, over time, can also react negatively to the minerals, which results in limescale buildup, manifesting as a powdery white substance on your faucets. While there are endless hacks and cleaning products you can try with varying success, there's one simple, affordable, and incredibly easy way to remove the stains from your faucet.

Use a lemon

Instead of spending time and money testing different products and methods to remove hard water stains, TikTok cleaning account @cleanwith_kayleigh suggests using a sliced lemon. In the video, Kayleigh simply cuts a lemon in half and wiggles it onto the spout of her faucet. While this is only effective for the bottom part of the spout, this is where limescale and soap scum are most likely to start forming since they come into contact with water and soap the most. Let the lemon sit, then wipe the spout down with a cloth and watch the hard water stains disappear.

The lemon's juice is very acidic, which can help to dissolve and eliminate the minerals in your hard water, per HomeWater 101. If you need to remove stains farther up the spout, use can still use this hack by applying lemon juice to a cloth and buffing out the limescale and soap scum.

Other ways to remove hard water stains

While lemons and lemon juice are an incredibly cost-effective, easy way to remove hard water stains and limescale buildup on your faucets, it's not the only way. According to Harvey Water Softeners, another method for removing limescale is using an acidic solution of white vinegar. Either dilute it with water and spray onto your faucet or rub it on directly. You could also make a paste with baking soda.

Another surprising alternative method is to oscillate between using a dry and wet newspaper to scrub down the faucet, as the ink can work to remove and buff out the mineral deposits. Finally, the easiest method is to eliminate the problem in the first place. Do this by installing a water softener, which can be found online or through home improvement stores like Lowe's or Home Depot. While these can be costly upfront, they help your plumbing and improve the quality of your water in the long run.