Calcium deposits on sinks, showers and appliances are a common problem in areas with hard water. Excess calcium in the water sticks to metal surfaces, creating a white film or crust. These deposits are also called lime scale, since the calcium frequently comes from limestone. Fortunately, these deposits are relatively easy to remove, and don't require expensive cleaners. Most home pantries contain one or more products that can remove calcium deposits using safe, inexpensive home remedies.
Vinegar is a mild acid, and can be used to remove calcium deposits on faucets, on shower and bath fixtures, and even on coffee and teapots. Soaking a paper towel or cloth in white vinegar, then wrapping it around the affected area, can remove stains on metal fixtures. For coffee or teapots, bringing two cups of pure vinegar to a boil inside a pot, or running a brewing cycle with vinegar instead of grounds and water, is quite effective. Homeowners should make sure to rinse all faucets and appliances thoroughly after cleaning and before using them again to prevent a vinegary taste in the water or beverage.
Lemon juice can also be used to remove calcium deposits. According to The F.U.N. Place, filling a coffee or tea pot with ice cubes, a cut-up lemon and salt, and then allowing the mixture to sit overnight, will remove mineral deposits such as calcium. It's also possible to soak a rag in lemon juice and wrap it around the deposit, as with vinegar. Lemon juice is a good alternative for people who dislike the odour of vinegar, as it leaves a pleasant citrus smell. As with vinegar, it's a good idea to rinse the surface before using an appliance or faucet for food preparation.
Baking soda is a mild abrasive, and can be used to remove stubborn lime scale. According to the Natural Handyman, a paste of baking soda and white vinegar can be applied to the deposit and allowed to stand for several hours or overnight. When the paste is rinsed away, it should take the calcium with it. A paste of baking soda and water can also be used to scrub problem areas. Baking soda is abrasive enough to remove the scale, but soft enough not to scratch the finish on stainless steel fixtures.