Cleaning with Vinegar and Getting Rid of Hard Water Deposits

Since we started moving the Nuts into their new bedrooms in the addition, I have been doing some serious cleaning around The Nut House. We have so much space now! The addition we have been building for over 2 years almost doubles the size of the original house be bought just over 7 years {and 4 children} ago! We are still working on the addition, the downstairs is not even close to being done, and there is still a bit more to do upstairs, but clearing out everything has gotten me on a major cleaning kick…AND I am not even pregnant. This major cleaning and organizing event is not even brought on by nesting, lol.

I am finding myself not only moving the kids upstairs, but also scrubbing and dusting off every last little thing. Moving everything else around the house, cleaning under things, digging up old toothbrushes to get into the small spaces. I have thrown away countless bags of garbage {with no idea how my kids can collect so much junk}, had a yard sale and made more money than I ever did at any other yard sale, and have enough oddities to fill my mini van twice to take to the Goodwill. How did we manage to collect so many unneeded things in such a small space?!?

Since I started this cleaning spree, I have gone through 2 gallons of vinegar! And was very sad to realize this morning that I am out. Vinegar is a great cleaning friend, and I am one of those odd ones who love the smell of vinegar. Bonus. Here are just a few ways that I use vinegar to clean, and we have some serious hard water, so without it, many places in my kitchen, bath and laundry room always look dingy.

Also known as Hard Water Stains, Mineral Deposits, and Calcium Build-up, Lime Deposits around your faucets, in your sinks and tubs and in your coffee pot can be a nuisance, and now they can be a thing of the past! With just a little bit of vinegar you can get rid of the lime deposits that are built up and continue to use it to keep them from coming back. Additionally, Vinegar is a great disinfectant and was used by many hospitals for years to clean beds and floors in rooms.

Cleaning Out a Sluggish Coffee Pot:

Fill the coffee pot to the highest level with vinegar, turn it on and let the vinegar run thought it. If this is the first time you have done this, you may have to repeat the process several times to remove all of the lime deposits.

To keep the mineral deposits from coming back and clogging up your coffee pot in the future, run a half a pot of vinegar through your machine once a week and you will always have free flowing coffee.

Cleaning Out Your Dishwasher:

You can get lime deposits in both the dishwasher and in the pipes and hoses that go into and out of your dishwasher. You can keep this from happening by simply adding a few cups of vinegar to your dishwashers rinse cycle at least once a week. There is no need to run an empty dishwasher and the vinegar will also help to remove any hard water deposits that can build up on your glasses. It doesn’t hurt to add a few cups of vinegar to every rinse cycle if you have extremely hard water and will help your dishes come out clear.

Removing Build-Up From Around Faucets:

There are two ways to remove the white calcium deposits from around your faucets.

The first way is to soak a rag in vinegar and wrap it around your faucets and handles and let it set for a few hours. The vinegar will help to break up the lime deposits and you can wipe them away. If you have heavy build-up, you may have to do this overnight.

Another way to get rid of the lime deposits from around your faucets is to dip an old toothbrush in vinegar and scrub the deposits. You can also do a combination of both soaking with a rag and then following up with the toothbrush.

Once you have removed all of the mineral deposits, you can keep them from coming back by spraying the faucets down with vinegar once a week and letting it sit for a few minutes and then wiping it clean. You may have to do this more than once a week if you have very hard water. The smell of the vinegar will go away once it has dried.

Removing Build-Up From Inside a Shower Head:

Remove the shower head by unscrewing it from the pipe that comes out of the wall. Place the shower head in a tall container that will hold it as well as allow it to be completely covered by vinegar. Pour the vinegar over the shower head and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Make sure to move the shower head around a bit to get rid of any air pockets that might be trapped in it.

If there is too much build up on the entire shower head and you can not unscrew it, you will need to soak it for several hours or overnight to loosen the mineral deposits. You can fill a heavy duty Zip-Lock bag with vinegar and attach it to your shower head with rubber bands. This is how my mother always did it when I was growing up as we had extremely hard water. After you get the shower head loose, you are still going to need to soak it in a container to remove the lime deposits from all parts of the shower head. If you can not get it off, rotate and adjust the shower head so that it is in a different position and repeat the process of attaching a baggie full of vinegar. Even if you can’t get it off, this will help to clear out any areas inside the showerhead that didn’t get the vinegar soak due to air pockets.

Removing Lime Deposits From Glass Shower Doors:

If your glass shower doors have started getting a cloudy appearance, spray them down with vinegar, let them sit for a few minutes and wipe them down. The shower doors don’t stay wet for very long, so you may have to spray them down again if you have heavy build up. You can clean out the runners at the bottom of the door with an old toothbrush as well. If you quickly spray your shower doors down with vinegar after every shower, or at least several times a week, you will be able to eliminate hard water build up on them and get rid of that cloudy appearance all together. Simply spray the doors down and wipe them with a rag. You can spray the runners down and walk away without doing anything, the vinegar smell will go away once the vinegar dries.

Cleaning out a Humidifier:

We use our humidifier quite a bit in the winter months and it really helps the kids sleep better and get over colds faster when they do get sick. Even though I clean it out every morning, mineral deposits can get in all the pieces and parts and can clog everything up. Once certain parts get too clogged up, there is no turning back and no way to really clean it out.

Depending on how often it gets used, you should clean it out with vinegar every week or so, about every 7 uses. Add several cups of vinegar to your humidifier, more or less depending on size, then fill it up to the proper level for running and run it through until it is empty. You might want to put it in a closed off room with an open window if the smell of vinegar becomes too strong. The smell of the vinegar will dissipate after awhile as well.

Removing Build-Up in Your Washing Machine:

Add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of every load of wash and it will help to keep lime deposits from forming around your washing machine and in the hoses that drain out of the machine. Vinegar is also a great way to remove odors from clothing, your clothes will never have a vinegar smell when they come out of the dryer.

So there are a few of my favorite ways to use vinegar to help clean up hard water stains and build up 🙂

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27 Responses to Cleaning with Vinegar and Getting Rid of Hard Water Deposits

  1. Kim De on August 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Isnt vinegar WONDERFUL???

  2. Organic Mamma on July 30, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Don’t you just love vinegar? I use it on everything. I just wish it smelled a little better. 🙁

    • Hazel Nut on July 30, 2010 at 9:49 am

      Haha, I love the smell. And it goes away quickly enough that my husband doesn’t mind too much.

  3. Ann Marie on July 29, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I love using vinegar to clean, but my husband has the hardest time when the house smells like vinegar…LOL!! I really do need to get some essential oils to put in it. Have you ever tried to use essential oils to make a better smelling product? Any advice would be appreciated!!!

    • Hazel Nut on July 30, 2010 at 9:50 am

      It really depends on what I am using it for. I like to add citrus essential oils if I am cleaning the kitchen, and lavender around the rest of the house. I never know what to use in the bathroom though, I have tried all different scents, but never really found one I like for that room.

  4. dawn on July 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Great tips! Love this post! I’m stopping by from Blog Frog! I’m your newest follower- love your blog!

    • Hazel Nut on July 29, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks Dawn, nice to meet you!

  5. Lana on July 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I mostly use vinegar in my laundry in place of fabric softener. I need to try it in my dishwasher though. I noticed this morning that it looks like it needs to be cleaned.

    • Hazel Nut on July 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm

      I love the way vinegar makes my clothes feel!

  6. Jackie on July 27, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks for stopping by our blog & becoming a follower. I get so excited to make new blog-0-friends!

    And, I love this post! We have crazy hard water & I was just complaining about all those problem areas to my H the other day. I’m off to try a few new tricks!

  7. Jennifer on July 27, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I LOVE vinegar. I first discovered it when I worked for a cleaning company and what I thought was a picky customer insited we use it for almost her entire house. Now with five little ones around I find vinegar to be a “friendly” cleaner. I would much rather smell it than bleach or any other chemical type cleaner.

    • Hazel Nut on July 27, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      I love the smell of vinegar, lol!

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