How To Remove Green Buildup On A Faucet

Regular cleaning and maintenance can build up fast, especially if you have various appliances demanding constant attention. So, every now and again, you might fall behind on cleaning. Perhaps you’ve found the time in your busy day to give your bathroom a much-needed deep clean, and as you start cleaning, you notice bluish-green gunk on the faucet. 

Generally, this buildup results from mineral deposits left behind after water evaporates. Although the hard, chalky texture might seem tricky to remove, the process is relatively simple. We’re here to explain what causes these pesky deposits and how to remove them, so continue reading to learn more!

What Causes Green Buildup On A Faucet?

Green gunk on your faucet is usually the result of mineral buildup. It’s typically a combination of magnesium, copper, and calcium, which turns the deposits slightly green. Although mineral deposits (also called limescale) are typically white and chalky, they can take on a greenish hue if copper is present, as the oxidizing copper turns green. 

If you have hard water in your home, the culprit behind the green buildup on your faucets is likely some type of mineral deposit mixture. 

How Do You Remove Green Buildup From A Faucet?

Luckily, tackling those unsightly green marks on your beautiful faucet is simple. You can go about this process in various ways, but we’ll outline a few of the quickest and easiest ways to banish the deposits below. 


Vinegar is one of the easiest ways to eliminate mineral buildup. Most folks have it in their households, as it’s a versatile item often used for cooking, cleaning, and baking. So, put it to good use in your kitchen or bathroom. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Plastic bag (as needed)
  • Old toothbrush
  • Cloth

If the deposits are around the tip of the spout, you can use a plastic bag for a deep soak. Fill a plastic bag with enough vinegar to soak the end of the spout. Secure the bag around the faucet with a rubber band and leave it to soak for 3-4 hours or overnight. 

However, if the deposits are close to the base of the faucet or handles, a plastic bag won’t work. Instead, apply vinegar to the area and let it soak for a few hours. You might have to reapply the vinegar as it evaporates. 

After a few hours, take an old toothbrush and gently scrub the deposits to remove them from the faucet. Once you remove the deposits, use a soft cloth to wipe away the residue.  

Lemons Or Limes

Like vinegar, lemon or lime juice are handy for tackling mineral deposits. If you have a few lemons or limes on hand, use them to eliminate the gunk on your faucet. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lemons or limes (or juice)
  • Old toothbrush
  • Soft cloth

Slice a lemon or lime in half, then squeeze the juice onto the faucet. Give it a while to work, then come back and scrub the area gently with an old toothbrush to lift stubborn residue. After the deposits lift, use a soft cloth to gently wipe away residue from the faucet’s surface. 

Baking Soda

Use baking soda if you don’t have lemons, limes, or vinegar on hand. This is another common household item, so many folks have it on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Small bowl
  • Old toothbrush

Mix three parts baking soda with one part water in a small bowl to create a thick paste. Apply the paste to the troublesome areas of the faucet with your fingers or an old toothbrush. Let the paste sit for about an hour (or until dry), then rinse the residue with clean water. 

You might need to scrub the deposits lightly with a toothbrush to help lift caked-on residue. Once you finish removing the gunk, rinse the faucet and wipe it dry with a soft cloth.

Commercial Cleaner

Numerous brands offer chemical cleaners designed to dissolve mineral buildup without an issue. If you prefer to use pre-made products, consider purchasing a commercial cleaner, such as Lime-A-Way. 

It’s important to note that some commercial cleaners can damage your faucet’s finish, so be sure to choose a product that’s safe for use on your tap. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label to use these products on tough mineral deposits. 

Stop Buildup Before It Happens

Hard water can make mineral deposits throughout your home a constant battle. So, if you regularly find yourself scrubbing at those pesky deposits, you might want to consider investing in a water softener. 

Water softeners remove these minerals from your home’s water, trading the calcium and magnesium ions for sodium ions via ion exchange. This leaves the water flowing to your taps primarily free of these troublesome minerals, allowing you to skip this issue altogether. 

On top of that, soft tap water isn’t as harsh on your skin or hair, so you might notice differences after incorporating a water softener into your home. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will Hard Water Damage The Plumbing In My Home?

Over time, hard water can cause issues throughout your home. Deposits can build up inside the plumbing throughout your home, eventually restricting water flow through the pipes. This can translate to reduced water pressure and higher water bills, so it’s not ideal. 

In addition, hard water can be hard on the appliances in your home, so you might notice you need to replace water-using appliances in your home more frequently. The best way to correct these issues is with a whole-home water softener (if severe deposits build up in the pipes, you might need to re-pipe your home).

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