I Tried the Super-Simple TikTok Method for Cleaning My Faucet — And It Totally Works!

published Apr 5, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

If you, like me, have hard water, you’ve probably noticed how quickly limescale (made up mostly of calcium deposits) can build up around your home, including in and around your faucet and appliances that use water. Ignore it for too long and it can affect the flow of water. Your faucet may start spraying every which way, or your coffee maker may stop working. Luckily, there are several easy ways to descale a faucet — and you don’t usually need any fancy or expensive store-bought products to do any of them!

Credit: Ashley Abramson

You’ve probably heard of or even tried the vinegar trick, in which you soak a faucet head in a plastic bag of white vinegar to cut through limescale. While that little hack has consistently yielded great results in my house, I wanted to try a method that doesn’t require a plastic bag. Enter: this popular TikTok hack, which suggests using half a lemon on a faucet head in place of vinegar in a baggie. 

In the viral video, the U.K.-based creator Clean With Kayleigh simply cuts a lemon in half, then pushes it onto the end of a faucet. It looks deceptively easy — and I happened to have a few lemons on hand, plus a couple of limescale-y spouts — so I decided to try her hack for myself. 

Credit: Ashley Abramson

My first observation: I have really big faucets! The tiny heads in the TikTok video appear to work great for lemons, but mine were much too big. I tried it in my kitchen first, but after much finagling, I realized my giant faucet head would be better suited for, say, a grapefruit instead. I moved on to my smaller bathroom faucet and learned that the lemon half fit there — I had to use a rubber band to secure it (but at least I wasn’t using a plastic bag). 

I was curious if the trick would extend the life of an already-used lemon, so I grabbed one I’d already squeezed the juice out of. The video didn’t indicate exactly how long to leave the lemon half on for, so I left it for about an hour, or until I needed to use the sink again. After I took the lemon off, I could still see some limescale around the end of the faucet, so I used the lemon half to scrub at it and rubbed away the rest with a wet washcloth. 

This hack required a little more scrubbing work compared to the vinegar trick, but I liked that I wasn’t using a plastic bag and the fact that I was extending the life of a halved lemon. I think the spent half worked just as well as the fresh one would, so when I use this trick in the future, I’ll go with a juiced one to get even more use out of my groceries.

You can definitely compost your lemon when you’re done, but I like to send a cut-up lemon down the garbage disposal with a couple of ice cubes to knock away stuck-on debris and freshen the smell. Either way, this trick seems just as effective — and definitely less wasteful — than the vinegar option.

How do you deal with limescale? Tell us in the comments below.