How To Remove Calcium Deposits From A Bathtub

Calcium deposits plague many homes, especially those with hard water. The little deposits are something homeowners constantly contend with, whether they clean daily or every once in a while. Limescale and calcium streaks can create a dull and chalky look on your bathtub, which isn’t particularly appealing.

Luckily, removing these annoying marks isn’t particularly difficult, and all it takes is a few household items to remove the deposits and bring your bathtub back to its original glory. 

How Do You Remove Heavy Limescale From A Bathtub?

Limescale Around Bathtub

If your bathtub is sporting heavy limescale and calcium streaks, you’re probably searching for the best, easiest ways to remove it. You can quickly complete the project with a few items you probably have lying around your household. 

Alternatively, you could buy a limescale remover to simplify the process. However, keep in mind that these removers can be extremely harsh and may damage your bathtub. So, we recommend sticking to the more natural solutions, then bringing in the big guns if necessary. Bonus: there’s a good chance you already have the needed items, so it’ll save you a trip to the store. 

Use Vinegar

Vinegar is renowned for its powerful cleaning capabilities. Although it packs a punch, it’s usually safe to use on almost anything, including fiberglass and metal bathtubs. If you have a plastic bathtub, vinegar should handle the job, too. 

Vinegar is acidic, which allows it to easily cut through mineral deposits while simultaneously disinfecting the surface. So, if you have white vinegar lying around, use it to tackle the mineral deposits in your bathtub. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft, clean cloth

Mix equal parts of white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) and water in a clean spray bottle. Spray the offending areas of the bathtub, ensuring you liberally coat each problem area. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 15 minutes to give the mixture time to work. 

After 15 minutes, wipe the residue away with a clean, dry soft cloth. 

This combination is a great daily cleaner to prevent future mineral deposits and water stains. After each use, spray the tub with the solution, then wipe it dry with a soft towel or paper towel. This will prevent water droplets from evaporating and leaving mineral contents behind. 

Additionally, you can use this mixture on the tub spout and showerhead to tackle the same issue. 

Use Dish Soap And Vinegar

White vinegar

If vinegar can’t tackle the stains alone, add a few drops of dish soap to the vinegar and water mixture. Follow the same steps outlined above, but add roughly a teaspoon of dish soap to the spray bottle.

The dish soap adds a bit of extra cleaning power to the mixture, giving it the extra “oomph” it needs to remove the calcium deposits. 

Use Baking Soda And Vinegar

Sometimes, soaking the deposits just isn’t enough. If that’s the case, mix a cleansing scrub using vinegar and baking soda. The combination of the two creates a powerful cleaning scrub that can tackle stubborn calcium stains. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Clean, dry towel

Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with enough vinegar to make a thick paste. The combination of the two creates a reaction, so it’ll bubble and fizz. Once you mix the paste, apply it to the stubborn areas, then let it sit for 15 minutes. 

After 15 minutes, gently scrub the mixture into the deposits with a non-abrasive sponge. Rinse the residue with clean water, then dry the area with a soft towel. 

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another one of those things that many folks usually have on hand at home. Try diluted hydrogen peroxide if you have a fiberglass bathtub and vinegar isn’t working.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft, dry cloth

Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water in a clean spray bottle. Then, follow the exact instructions we outlined for the vinegar spray. 

Use Cream Of Tartar And Vinegar

Cream of tartar is an excellent alternative to baking soda, especially if you don’t have it on hand. Cream of tartar isn’t in every kitchen, but some folks might have it kicking around. It’s the pricier alternative to the ultra-cheap baking soda, but it’ll do in a pinch. 

So, if you don’t have baking soda, use cream of tartar to make a cleansing scrub to rid your bathtub of those pesky calcium deposits.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cream of tartar
  • Vinegar
  • Soft towel

Start by mixing a few tablespoons of cream of tartar with enough vinegar to form a thick paste. Then, apply the paste liberally to the trouble areas. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then wipe away the residue with a soft towel. 

Use Lemon Juice


Lemon and lime juice work wonders on troublesome hard water deposits. Lemon juice contains slightly more citric acid than lime juice, so it usually works better. But, if you don’t have lemons or lemon juice, lime juice will do. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lemon juice
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft, dry towel

Mix two parts lemon juice and one part water in a spray bottle. So, if you want a fair amount of the mixture, combine 1 cup lemon juice with ½ cup of water. Shake the mixture to blend it, then spray the offending surfaces liberally. 

Let the solution soak on the surface for at least 15 minutes, then wipe the excess away with a soft, dry towel. 

Use Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil is an excellent alternative to lemon juice. On top of the benefits the citric acid offers, lemon essential oil also helps prevent future mineral deposits. The oil prevents minerals from attaching to the surfaces. Of course, the oil will wash away after a few baths or showers, but it’ll help for a little while. We recommend using a 100% pure lemon essential oil, like the one offered by Wholesale Botanics, to avoid introducing harmful or unknown additives to your tub.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lemon essential oil
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft, clean towel

Pour one cup of water into a clean spray bottle. Add about ten drops of lemon essential oil to the water and swirl the mixture to combine. Once you mix it, spray the solution on the tub’s surface, focusing on the trouble areas. 

Allow the mixture to sit for about 15 minutes, then wipe away the residue with a clean, dry towel.

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