How to Remove Lime Buildup in a Shower Drain

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If your shower drain is clogged and the water no longer drains properly, you might have limescale deposits. Limescale (calcium carbonate) or calcium buildup in your shower drain occurs more often if you have hard water, which is full of minerals. You can often clean up a limescale problem in the shower using household items.

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DIY Calcium Removal Remedy

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You don't have to open the drain and look inside to determine if there is calcium buildup in your shower drain. If you notice water spots or a white, chalklike substance on the shower walls, then odds are there is also a hard, white buildup in your shower drain; this is limescale or calcium buildup. Calcium buildup has a natural enemy in acid-based products, though.

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Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove. While waiting for the water to boil, pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of baking soda. These two ingredients can break down the calcium buildup in the drain; this mixture also works well as a regular shower drain cleaner.

Place a clean rag over the drain. Wait for approximately five minutes; then pour the boiling water down the drain to rinse away the mixture. To finish, wipe down the drain cover with a touch of vinegar and a rag.

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Chemical Drain Cleaners

If the limescale deposits are too stubborn for a home remedy, consider purchasing a limescale or calcium removal product. CLR is a well-known solution that can remove calcium, lime, and rust deposits on a multitude of surfaces and is easy to use.

Place 2 ounces of undiluted product directly into the drain for five days in a row. For safety reasons, use gloves and protective eyewear to protect your eyes and skin. For regular maintenance, pour 2 ounces of the product in the drain once a month, or use a different CLR product.

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Sometimes, limescale is so pervasive and stubborn that neither a DIY method nor products designed specifically to deal with it are effective. If so, it's time to call in a professional plumber to resolve the problem.

Preventing Calcium Buildup

If you don't want to install a whole-house water softener to solve your hard water problem, a good way to help prevent future buildup in your shower is to install a new water-softening showerhead or a filter that can be attached to an existing showerhead. Either product will result in cleaner water and cleaner shower drains for you and your family.

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