Against lime and dirt / Descale the faucet: These are the best home remedies / How to clean limescale on faucet?
Limescale deposits can accumulate on and in the tap over time, so it should be cleaned regularly.
Limescale stains on the faucet in the kitchen and bathroom not only look ugly, they can also impair the function of the fittings. Lime is also a good breeding ground for bacteria. What are the best home remedies for limescale?
Depending on where you live, the water that flows out of the pipe has a different degree of hardness. Hard water contains more lime than softer water. In principle, this is not a problem at first, but if the limescale settles on the tap and in the pipes, there is a need for action.
Limescale on the faucet is not only noticed by the visually unsightly stains on the chrome, the water flow can also be disrupted. If the water flows more slowly or sprays unevenly out of the tap, limescale can be the reason. So-called single-lever mixers can also be affected. If you cannot move the temperature adjustment lever back and forth freely, you should first try to remove the scale.
What home remedies can you use to descale the faucet?
As a limescale remover, the chemical club can be left alone. Chemical cleaning agents are neither necessary nor advisable. Since water from the tap is often drunk, it is advisable to use tried-and-tested home remedies and natural substances.
Vinegar is one of these proven home remedies. Mixing equal parts vinegar with water makes a good home remedy for limescale. Vinegar essence also helps, but it should be diluted more, in a ratio of 1:5. Citric acid is also an effective home remedy for limescale. This can be purchased in powder form at drugstores. Half a tablespoon of citric acid dissolved in 100 ml of warm water makes a good limescale remover. It is important to pay attention to the correct mixing ratio, because in concentrated form citric acid can have a corrosive effect.
Tip: When descaling, it is best to wear gloves, possibly also safety goggles. Because you work with acids, which can also attack the skin. Work is more comfortable if you don’t use water that is too hot. Heat creates fumes that can irritate the eyes and nose.
You should also ventilate the room while descaling. This will eliminate the vinegar smell.
Descaling the faucet: what should be cleaned?
If you have chosen one of the home remedies described, it is still necessary to clarify which work actually needs to be done. Because there are different ways to descale the faucet.
If the water squirts out of the tap unevenly, it may be enough to clean the aerator instead of descaling the entire fitting. The aerator is the strainer at the end of the faucet.
Cleaning can be done from the inside or outside.
Clean the outside of the aerator
This is the simplest but also the least thorough method. The aerator is only superficially cleaned from the outside, no manual skills or tools are required for this.
Fill the household remedy into a bag (a balloon, a small plastic bag or a condom can be used).
Put the bag over the tap from below and pull it up until the aerator is completely immersed in the household product. If necessary, the bag must be attached to the tap, a household rubber is suitable for this.
Leave on for a few hours. The dirt and lime should be completely softened by the home remedy of choice.
Remove pouch. Remove any dirt residue with a brush, such as an old toothbrush.
Rinse thoroughly from the outside and run water through the tap before using it again for drinking or washing your hands.
Clean the inside of the aerator
The aerator can be removed from the tap relatively easily. This allows for a more thorough cleaning.
Unscrew the aerator from the tap. This sometimes works simply by hand, but depending on the calcification, the aerator can also get stuck. There are special fitting pliers for loosening the nut, but a simple pipe wrench will also do the trick. If you use tongs, it is advisable to wrap a tea towel around the tap beforehand to avoid scratching the fittings.
If the aerator is separated from the tap, it can be disassembled into three parts, a union nut, a sieve and a rubber ring. The union nut and the sieve can then be placed in a container in the household remedy of choice.
Then leave it on for a few hours until the lime has softened.
The rubber ring should be cleaned individually with water, as household products can make it porous.
Then rinse everything thoroughly and remove any remaining dirt with an old toothbrush.
Reassemble the three pieces and screw back onto the tap.
Descale the faucet from the inside
The aerator is one of the most vulnerable places on the faucet where limescale can form. Therefore, cleaning should be done at least once a year. If the aerator cleaning is not sufficient, i.e. the water still runs slowly out of the tap, limescale may also have formed in the tap.
Descaling the entire faucet is a bit more complex, but limescale deposits inside the faucet can also limit its function and form the basis for bacteria in the water.
First you have to turn off the water supply. This works via two angle valves (cold and hot water) under the sink. If you want to be on the safe side, you can also turn off the main tap.
Turn on the faucet until no more water flows. On the one hand, this serves to check that the inlets are really closed, and on the other hand, there should be as little water as possible in the pipe.
Put a bucket under the sink. A little water always remains in the pipe, this can be collected in this way.
The hose connections on the corner valves under the washbasin can then be loosened with a pipe wrench. One hose for hot water, one hose for cold water. This is where the bucket comes into play. As a precaution, place it under the respective hose closure before loosening it.
Then you have to loosen the retaining plates under the sink. Then you can remove the pane and then pull out the water tap together with the hoses.
Then let the whole package of tap and hoses soak in a bucket of the household remedy of your choice. The home remedy should completely cover the fittings. It is also important to ensure that no air bubbles remain in the hoses so that the household remedy can take effect everywhere.
Let soak for a few hours, overnight if possible. Dirt and lime should be completely softened and loosened, as you cannot scrub inside the hoses.
Then rinse everything thoroughly.
Reinstall the faucet and hoses and screw everything back together in reverse order to disassembly. Make sure that the sealing rings in the hose connections are present and not porous, otherwise water can leak out.
At the end, turn on the water supply again. Clean water should now flow from the tap.
How long should you soak the faucet in vinegar?
Vinegar is a useful household remedy that can be used in many areas of the household. If you want to remove limescale from the tap, you should plan a few hours for the softening. The exact exposure time depends on the degree of soiling, but the longer the better. It is best to start work in the evening, let the aerator or the faucet soak overnight and rinse everything out the next day and then put everything back together.
How often should you descale the faucet?
Of course, how often you should descale the fittings also depends on the degree of hardness of the water. The harder the water, the higher the lime content, and the more lime can settle.
Tip: The more limescale you see on the outside of the fittings and the more limescale builds up in the kettle, the harder the water is. You can also ask the local water company about the water hardness or get a test strip from the pharmacy.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend descaling once a year. This prevents limescale deposits, which can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.