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How to Remove Calcium Buildup In Pipes & Drains

How to Remove Calcium Buildup In Pipes & Drains

If you are experiencing low flow or a water pressure issue in your home, this could be due to mineral buildup in your pipes. Minerals refer to limescale or calcium buildup in drains, pipes, or plumbing fixtures. The buildup can occur in shower drains for example due to the sodium, magnesium, and other chemicals found in hard water. To help you restore your kitchen sink or shower drain, we have created an outline of ways to remove calcium buildup in your pipes.

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Ways to Remove Minerals & Blockages In Your Drain

Overall, vinegar is the best solution to mineral buildup. Cleaning certain fixtures in your home is a do-it-yourself (DIY) afternoon project with a big payoff. An overnight soak in vinegar could be the answer to your low flow problems.

However, things can become more complicated depending on the extent of the calcium buildup and its location. Try these at-home solutions, and if they do not improve your situation, call a professional plumber to fix your drain.

Use Vinegar & Baking Soda

This process can be used on sink or shower drains. White vinegar is a natural solution that can be utilized to dissolve calcium buildup. Sitting overnight, you will be able to remove lime buildup from the drain while avoiding the harsh chemicals in traditional drain cleaners. Avoid putting any store-bought chemicals down the drain. If you are having issues with your drains, water pressure, or pipes, do not attempt a do-it-yourself (DIY) solution and call a professional plumber.

What You’ll Need:

  • Pot of Water
  • Cleaning Rag
  • ½ Cup Baking Soda
  • ½ Cup Vinegar
  • Sponge


  1. Boil a pot of water
  2. Pour a ½ cup of vinegar and a ½ cup of baking soda into the drain
  3. Put cleaning rag over the top of the drain to cover it
  4. Wait 5 minutes or so while the mixture eats away at the buildup
  5. Remove rag and pour boiling water into the drain
  6. Put some vinegar on the sponge and wipe down the drain fixture

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Soak Your Shower Head

Cleaning the shower head in the bathroom is a simple do-it-yourself (DIY) project. Follow these simple steps to dissolve the calcium buildup on your shower head.

What You’ll Need:

  • Pipe Wrench
  • Pliers
  • Rags
  • Vinegar
  • Plastic Bag or Tupperware Container


  1. To protect the finish of your fixture, wrap the shower head with a rag before using the pipe wrench and pliers.
  2. Unscrew the shower head with a pipe wrench and pliers.
  3. Soak the shower head in a vinegar bath (you can use a Tupperware container filled with vinegar for this)
  4. Soak it overnight
  5. Rinse in tap water
  6. Screw back on

Another Way: If you don’t have a pipe wrench or pliers, you can still clean your shower head. Try putting vinegar in a plastic bag. Then tie it around your shower head, keeping the shower head fully submerged in the vinegar overnight.

How to Remove Calcium Buildup In Pipes & Drains

Water Softeners

Water softening equipment is the most effective and long-term solution to hard water. This will prevent mineral buildup over time and make your water more comfortable for showering and cleaning. There is no need to clean anything if your water is already soft. Talk to a professional plumber about water softening solutions. A certified technician can install a water softener in your living space for your health and safety.

Signs of Hard Water and Mineral Buildup

  • Clogged water pipes
  • Damage to appliances or plumbing fixtures
  • Spots and streaks on dishes
  • Skin irritation
  • Soap scum
  • Difficulty cleaning clothes
  • Lime scale (hard deposits left behind by dried hard water)
  • High water heater energy use

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Other Projects

  1. Dishwasher – Add a cup of white vinegar to your dishwasher and run it through one cycle. Do this monthly for the best upkeep results.
  2. Washing Machine – Add a gallon of white vinegar to your washing machine. Run it through one cycle with hot water – no clothes!
  3. Coffee Maker – Fill the water reservoir with white vinegar. Run it for one brewing cycle. Then run two more cycles with water to make sure the smell and taste of vinegar don’t linger.
  4. Shower Doors – Simple spray the glass shower doors with white vinegar. This will remove lime scales and hard water stains from the glass.
  5. Faucets – Wrap a rag soaked in vinegar or a plastic bag filled with vinegar around the fixture overnight. You can always opt to unscrew the fixture and soak it in a vinegar bath instead. Both ways should do the trick.

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Professional Drain Cleaning Services

If you’re experiencing drain clogs, call a our team of licensed plumbers. Our technicians offer exceptional drain cleaning services for homeowners in New Jersey. In addition, our staff offers other types of emergency plumbing services such as sewer line repair, water line replacement, sump pump installation, sewer line replacement, and water heater repair. We have drain cleaning and high-pressure water jetting services that clean pipes effectively and precisely. Give our team of technicians a call by phone at (732) 638-4317 to receive assistance with a clogged drain or damaged pipe.

Warning: Do not use harsh chemicals that come from the store to clean your drains. They can cause more damage than they are worth. Learn about Bio-Clean, the best all-natural drain cleaner.