White water deposits. Help!

This faucet is only about a yr old. We live in the Florida panhandle. We have well water but we have a water softener system. All of my faucets look like this with this being the worst. It's the fartherest set from the softener system, meaning the salt/softener has to travel the length of the house to get to this bathroom. It's driving me crazy. I clean it constantly. I've even worn the finish off the countertops from cleaning it. We will be replacing it again but I can't replace faucets yearly..... Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. (Oh, vinegar will take the deposits off but it also takes the finish off, so I still would have to replace because the vinegar will ruin the faucet also). Other then drilling a new deep water well, which is about $5000+, I need advice. Thanks.
q white water deposits help, bathroom ideas, home maintenance repairs, Hard water lime deposits
Hard water, lime deposits
q white water deposits help, bathroom ideas, home maintenance repairs, Hard water lime deposits
Hard water,lime deposits
q white water deposits help, bathroom ideas, home maintenance repairs, Hard water rusty colored deposits
Hard water, rusty colored deposits
  41 answers
  • Shari Shari on Sep 03, 2014
    Let me say up front that I'm no water expert but you may need more than a water softener. We have well water too and when we moved into this house 4 1/2 years ago, we had all kinds of problems with the water, even though our well is 255 feet deep. It smelled bad (not the rotten egg smell but a different kind of stinky). It left the rust colored stains in the sinks, toilets and bathtubs. Sediment would also periodically clog up my washing machine filter and all of my white laundry was dingy no matter how much bleach I used. I am NOT a country girl and this was just driving me absolutely nuts so I can empathize with you. We finally got a whole house water purification/chlorination system and a water softener and things are far better. Still not as good as the city water I used my whole life but certainly tolerable. You may have stuff in your well water that the water softener alone does not address. That's why we had to put in the purification/chlorination system in addition to the water softener. If you haven't done so already, I would recommend you have your water tested to see what it contains and then consult with several companies that sell purification systems. Those companies will test your water for you but I question how valid their test results are since their goal is to sell you a system.

  • Robin Pichelmayer Robin Pichelmayer on Sep 03, 2014
    Shari, thank you so much for the info. I will def look into a purification/chlorinator system. We had the water tested when we bought the house so I think I can call the company that did the tests for the results. It must not have been anything harmful, FHA didn't scream and holler when we closed. Haha.

  • Shari Shari on Sep 03, 2014
    Yes, we had the well water tested before purchase too because we are in an area that is mostly agricultural. Our 30 acres is bordered by orange groves, strawberry and blueberry fields on 3 sides so the possibility of pesticides in the ground water was a huge concern to us. Testing didn't reveal any problems there (or obviously we would not have bought the property) but other (non-harmful) things in the water became a problem for us later. Good luck. I hope you find a solution.

  • Morella Morella on Sep 03, 2014
    Have you tried CLR ???? It's simple but it works 99% of the times !! Good luck !

  • Amanda Gleckler Amanda Gleckler on Sep 03, 2014
    I have really bad hard water too. CLR works great. I know it takes a lot of work but if you unhook the water lines and soak the faucet hardware in a bucket it cleans it right up.

  • Robin Pichelmayer Robin Pichelmayer on Sep 03, 2014
    Thanks morella and Amanda. CLR takes the finish off the bronze fixtures. They end up looking pinkish brass :(

    • Amanda Gleckler Amanda Gleckler on Sep 03, 2014
      @Robin Pichelmayer I have a bronze faucet in the kitchen and it hasn't changed or altered the color.

  • I agree with Shari on this. Get a professional water treatment company in to test the water and suggest the necessary equipment to prevent this. While there will always be a very slight salt residue in the water after leaving the softener. This appears that the unit is not flushing properly or its being recharged to often. Water testing for home sales will not tag issues that you are having, They are looking for bacteria only. Instead of using CLR, try vinegar, Its a bit safer and will remove those deposits without harming the fixture.

  • 3KsMom 3KsMom on Sep 03, 2014
    Have you tried vinegar? Cheap so worth the try. Soak a cloth in cider vinegar and lay against the faucet overnight if possible. Vinegar removes all kinds of mineral deposits if that is what is what is causing the problem.

    • See 1 previous
    • Marlene Marlene on Sep 04, 2014
      She said in her letter, vinegar also takes the finish off, so no.

  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Sep 04, 2014
    You don't need a deep well. I've lived about 30 miles away from Panama City most all my life, and had a state licensed community well. My well man put it about 90 feet into coral. Huge difference. I also had a Culligan system on it. Salt is cheaper at Walmart BTW. The old 450' well put in back in the 60's had turned to salt. That same aquifer runs east and west along the coast, and it effects everyone there with a well. I found a well man that was very knowledgeable, and of good reputation, who's father had put in wells for my dad's houses.

    • Lynn5280 Lynn5280 on Sep 04, 2014
      @Adrianne C I'm glad the aquifer runs east and not south. Am in Bushnell with well water but is fine

  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Sep 04, 2014
    Go to www.happyhandyman.com and see What Johnnie Chuoke has to say.He can get you the right stuff to take care of this problem.

  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Sep 04, 2014
    We have a home in South Georgia. For each test performed, a different sample bottle must be collected. Our well contained arsenic. Please, please, PLEASE, contact a professional water testing facility. Not a treatment company. You live in the same "arsenic reef" that we do. I can not stress enough that the water you are drinking comes from way north of you, not just from your immediate area.

  • Betty Betty on Sep 04, 2014
    Hot vinegar works great.,

    • See 5 previous
    • Betty B Betty B on Dec 10, 2014
      @Marlene Did you not notice that I am Betty B in Texas NOT Betty in Sparks NV.

  • Rosemary Kelly Rosemary Kelly on Sep 04, 2014
    It could be the plating on the faucet too. We got some inexpensive bathroom fixtures that were made in China and the plating is corroded. Never has happened before. We have city water.

    • Mssmatch Mssmatch on Sep 04, 2014
      I bought gold plated finish faucets -$259.00 in 1984- they always have water scale on them so guess price doesn't matter

  • Karen Karen on Sep 04, 2014
    As well as being on the faucets, fixtures and drains, this residue is all over my dishes in the dishwasher, is that common? I've had city water all my life and this is new to me, I'm in an apartment complex now (Norristown, PA), also new to me. Can anyone comment on apartment water supply systems? I'm in a basement apartment and don't know if that has any impact on the situation. Not sure but I think the problem is becoming progressively worse. Thanks for any input.

  • DJJASON DJJASON on Sep 04, 2014
    See if you can find white plastic faucets. They look great and are unaffected by vinegar or toilet bowl cleaner.

  • Karin From B'ham Karin From B'ham on Sep 04, 2014
    Cola products (diet or regular) will clean rust from patio furniture and corrosion from car batteries, so you might give that a shot. Cheap, off-brand soda is about 69 cents for 3 liters. (A reason I don't drink soft drinks! Anything that will dissolve rust doesn't need to go into my body!)

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Sep 04, 2014
    My sister lives on the gulf coast and all her faucets are a mess...well water too. My question to her is always, "don't you know your insides look like that too?" I keep telling her to have her water tested but she doesn't! I have trouble even drinking coffee at her house! I would NEVER have well water without having it tested regularly. There is a difference between treated and filtered water!

  • Linda Linda on Sep 04, 2014
    You may not need a softner, just a rust and sediment filter. Have your water checked by the county, or someone independent first. This problem is totally avoided with the rust and sediment filter and you are not adding unneeded salt to your water

    • See 1 previous
    • Linda Linda on Sep 05, 2014
      @Jootsie Sivad Yes you do need a plumber, it is a unit that is similar to the softner, but just backwashes every week or so. It is on a timer and takes care of that itself. once it is installed, you never have to do anything with it, it takes care of the problem. Any plumber should be able to tell you about it and install it

  • Dana J Grant Dana J Grant on Sep 04, 2014
    Mix equal parts vinegar and Dawn dish soap. Mix and put a little in one of those hands wand dish soap dish washers, Keep it by the sink. For the first time leave it on for two hours with out being disturbed, then take a none abrasive pad and wipe it. It should come off.

  • Marlene Marlene on Sep 04, 2014
    I can't believe all you people! You obviously can't read! She stated very plainly, vinegar also ruins the finish on her faucets! SHISH!!!

  • Tess Tess on Sep 04, 2014
    LOL...vinegar ;) I don't think anyone is reading...

  • Susan Alkire Susan Alkire on Sep 04, 2014
    If you live in FL, it will not take you very long to know that the salt air as well as the water is very corrosive. You may fix the problem temporarily but unless your home is totally air tight you will always have corrosion due to the salt in the air.

  • Pat Pat on Sep 04, 2014
    Could you ask a plumber? One that is from your area and see what they say. The big box stores that sell faucets should be able to tell you what to use. I am guessing it is the salt air that is corrosive and adding vinegar to the mix would not be good. I am sure a plumber would have some ideas.

  • Sue Dunlap Sue Dunlap on Sep 04, 2014
    I clean houses for a living. I have seen a lot of corrosion. I like to use Comet Bathroom cleaner. Not the powder, the spray. It has citric acid in it. It works great ! I don't know if it will hurt your faucets, though.

  • Susan S Susan S on Sep 04, 2014
    White vinegar...soak a towel with white vinegar and wrap it securely around the faucet and or any other mineral deposited fixture. White vinegar brought to a boil in a wide mouth pot left in a closed room with cigarette smoke will neutralize the smell of the smoke. White vinegar put into the electric coffee pot and allowed to go through the cycle several times will help to remove hard water deposits and then put clear water through it a few times. Putting a good amount of vinegar down a drain will help keep a drain do what it is a drain does best. And for the best of the rest...soak your feet in white vinegar for 20 or 30 mins and then you can easily rub calluses of your feet. A money saving treatment for toe nail fungus which I have tried and it worked for me...soak your feet in white vinegar for 20 to 30 mins. Be sure to carefully cut the toenail/s as short as you can without harming you toenail. I never had a problem like this until I went to have a pedi. It has taken 2 years and a lot of vinegar but the nails are healthy and all but one has grown to the "clear of fungus" stain but, it is well on its way. Keep the nail as short as possible, again be carefully not to cut the nail below the quick where it might hurt.

    • BONNIE J BONNIE J on Sep 07, 2014

  • Maggie Bancroft Maggie Bancroft on Sep 04, 2014
    A white vinegar soaked rag or face cloth wrapped around the faucet for a couple of hours. Wipe dry and apply mineral oil.let dry and buff. I have used this method on my bronze faucet and it works just fine and will not eat the finish.

  • Bridget Bridget on Sep 04, 2014
    Have you tried CLR? It's suppose to be non-corrosive and I use it the clean stainless steel and my shower head once a year. It works great. It's available at the home improvement stores and even in the grocery store cleaning aisles.

  • Morgan Morgan on Sep 04, 2014
    I've used Bar Keeper's Friend cleanser with great results for hard water stains on our chrome and stainless finish faucets. Only thing that's removed the rust stains from the porcelain too, it's strong and very versatile. Not sure if it would work on your finishes or not, I'd test it in back first. Frustrating problem, I know, good luck with it!

  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Sep 05, 2014
    It isn't necessarily the salt in the air, it's the moisture from the ground and air. It's Florida.

    • See 1 previous
    • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Sep 05, 2014
      @Shari I had a similar problem with a house I had that was built in 1964. I also had old galvanized plumbing in some places, and the electrical ground for the house was connected to those water lines which isn't uncommon. That created a lot of corrosion problems too. All the faucets, tubs, sinks, were ruined.

  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Sep 05, 2014
    Why not contact the company who made them? Ask them what to use they made them and I'm sure they tried out all kinds of stains. Monen is a great company by the way. They have replaced faucets for me due to lifetime warranty they have.

  • Mssmatch Mssmatch on Sep 05, 2014
    I have used limeaway...800-228-4722....give them a call to see what materials it cannot be used on

  • Susan Renaud Susan Renaud on Sep 05, 2014
    Guess you're screwed. Seems the only really helpful idea is going to the source, or at the very least, the store where they were purchased. And make them give you the cleaner for free.

  • Janet Richardson Janet Richardson on Sep 05, 2014
    I wished I had an answer for you cause it would solve my problem also. Same thing is happening to mine. I don't live anywhere close to sand or sea and I don't have well water, but I do have a water softener. I can tell you what not to do. Do not use vinegar it will eat the finish right off, it did on one of mine. Maybe price points on these fixtures make a difference. However, mine wasn't very cheap, it also was not the most expensive.

  • Nancy Merrell Nancy Merrell on Sep 05, 2014
    When you find a product to remove the deposits get a brush with stiff nylon bristles an clean each time. Found small tire brushes at Dollar Tree , they look like oversized toothbrushes,they work great. I used CLR one time to remove the build up and have not had a problem since.

  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Sep 06, 2014
    Perhaps when you do get it clean or replaced, maybe a good wax or marine clearcoat would help deter the deposits from sticking. Just good for thought.

  • Laura (Lori) Hendricks Laura (Lori) Hendricks on Oct 16, 2014
    Vinegar and baking powder and an old toothbrush I don't have time to wait around for this to work naturally so I speed up the process by scrubbing with a tooth brush (OLD) I wrap duck tape around the toothbrush so it will never get confused and write on it kitchen bathroom. Just in case

  • Robin Pichelmayer Robin Pichelmayer on Oct 16, 2014
    Thank you EVERYONE for the suggestions. The Vinegar seems to be the best solution and answer, but as stated in my original post, vinegar takes off the bronze finish. Also, Lime Away and CLR take the finish off. I"ve used all 3 over and over and over. It takes the lime deposits off, but also the finish of the bronze. This was a "mid" range price fixture. and someone suggested it could be the "price point" of the fixture. I do agree with that also. Some of the lesser grade fixtures (cheaper, but not cheap, lol) do not hold up as well. We have a stainless fixture in our new shower and it doesn't seem to get the build up. So........I will be replacing 2 bath sinks, a shower/tub faucet and a kitchen faucet with very expensive grade stainless steel. Not exactly the look I want but I've had to compromise on that issue. Also, one other trick someone locally shared. When you install new, give them a coat of oil (baby, olive,etc). it will help lessen the build up. Also, Hope mentioned above a coat of clear wax or marine clearcoat - that is an excellent idea!!! and I will be trying the marine clearcoat on the shower faucet in the guest bath. It isn't as bad as the above, and I have it relatively "white deposit" free. so clear coat until it can be replaced with the stainless. Thanks again!

  • Matthew Gingerella Matthew Gingerella on Oct 18, 2014
    Hi @Robin Pichelmayer, After Scale Removal or Replacement you want to apply a Self-Cleen ST3 (available on Amazon). It's a protective coating that repels water, hard water calcium, and oils. I coat my bathrooms from floor to ceiling to protect all surfaces and it cuts my cleaning time, effort and frequency in half. I don't know why everyone doesn't do this. Hope it helps, Matthew

  • Avi Heller Avi Heller on Oct 20, 2014
    or just use car wax 1x a week...

  • Beth Beth on Jan 26, 2015
    Hate to say it, but you probably need to wipe the faucets dry as much as you can. It can't build up very easily if you'll wipe it dry after using. Of course it you have kids or more than 2 people in the house, it gets harder to do. Also the next time you do have to change faucets it might be better to get a lighter color like brushed mickle so it doesn't show so much. I sympathize, we have really. Hard Waterloo, even with a softener.

  • Katie Katie on Oct 10, 2016
    Paste wax (car wax as above) before you even attach a new faucet. Couple of coats with buffing in between. Wonder if Rain X would work? Sure works on glass shower doors...