How to Remove Calcium Buildup in the Shower Drain?

Have you ever encountered a situation when your shower drain clogged because of calcium buildup? It would have been an unpleasant experience you don’t want to imagine.

Calcium Buildup clogs the shower drains and destroys the surrounding pipes as well. To clean it without exerting extra energy, you can use a set of cleaners like vinegar, lemon, muriatic acid, and much more. 

Let’s explore the grounds for this topic and learn how to overcome these situations. Also, answer your questions about calcium buildup and clear your head. 

What Happens When Build Up Clogs the Shower Drain?

When a shower drain gets blocked by calcium buildup, it not only slows down the water flow but creates an unpleasant odor in the bathroom. It also results in causing health risks, attracting molds and bacteria, and weakens your house’s overall structure. 

Health Risks

A clogged drain is one of the major reasons that cause the widespread growth of bacteria. As the drain has a blockage, the water doesn’t flow through the pipes and stays stagnant. This water body facilitates bacterial growth and contaminates the water. 

As a result, people using the shower can get serious skin allergies and other related problems. Especially children can get sick because they are more susceptible to diseases than adults. 

Unpleasant Odor

As the stagnant water accumulates in the drain, it spreads a disgusting odor in the bathroom. Due to this, the shower doesn’t stay not in a usable condition. 

The foul smell from the sewage pipes drifts up to the shower room and creates an unpleasant environment. This can cause headaches, nausea, and tiredness in people. 

Attracts Mold and Insects

Clogged shower drains also attract pests like mosquitos to the bathroom. The reason for it is that due to the stagnant water, the moisture gathers in the drain pipes. As a result, all the insects that live in moisture get attracted to the mess. 

Also, mold, like mildew, grows on the surrounding walls and damages the interior structure of the shower room.

What Causes Calcium Buildup in the Shower Drain?

Hard water is the reason why you might find your shower drain clogged by calcium buildup. Hard water contains huge deposits of calcium and other minerals that don’t dissolve in the water. They can clog your drain quickly and cause a lot of problems.

Hard water can also damage your plumbing. The minerals in hard water can corrode the pipes and fixtures in your plumbing system. This can lead to leaks, which can be very costly to repair.

The only reason why your shower drain is clogged from calcium buildup is hard water. Multiple places only have access to water that has heavy deposits of minerals like magnesium, lime, sodium, and calcium. 

If you don’t take measures like changing the type of water supplied, it will result in calcium buildups in the shower drains. Not only this but the hard water damages the surrounding pipes and appliances in the same area. 

How to Clean the Calcium Buildup From the Shower Drain?

There are natural and chemical removers to clean the calcium buildup from your shower drains. Chemical options include muriatic acid, calcium, lime, and rust (CLR) cleaner. Natural cleaners comprise white vinegar and lemon juice. 

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic Acid is a strong and concentrated form made from hydrochloric acid. It is a famous and effective descaler. Because of its intensity, Muriatic acid can remove severe deposits of calcium, magnesium, and lime from the drainage system. 

However, people should handle this solution with care. It can damage the eyes and any exposed skin. It is better to seek professional help while dealing with muriatic acid. 

Calcium, Lime, and Rust (CLR) Cleaner

CLR cleaner is a great product to help with clearing calcium buildup. It is a mild solution that can clean the white gunk that forms on the surrounding appliances, pipes, and toilets.

CLR is safe to use on most bathroom surfaces and in many other home areas. It is a good product to have around the home when removing mineral buildup.

It is usually used as a soak for dirty objects but can also be sprayed directly onto surfaces like bathtubs, tile, showers, and toilets. For best results, let the cleaner soak on the surface for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing with a non-abrasive sponge.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains citric acid. It has a pH value between 2 and 3. This feature makes lemon juice a strong cleaner to clear the calcium buildup from the drain, sink and shower head.

Baking soda is also a good cleaning agent for removing calcium. It has a pH value of about 8. This makes it a strong alkaline solution to remove the mineral buildup from the drain, sink and shower head.

Mix equal parts of lemon juice and baking soda in a bowl to make the best calcium removal solution. 

Apply this mixture to the drain, sink or shower head with a brush or sponge. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and then rinse off with clean water.


Vinegar contains a mild form of acetic acid. Combined with a base of sodium bicarbonate (the regular baking soda), it can form a cleaning solution to clear up hard calcium deposits in the drain pipe. 

How to use it: Boil a pot of water and carefully pour it over the drain. Then, mix one part vinegar with one part baking soda and pour it down the drain. Let the mixture sit for about an hour, then flush the drain with hot water.

How to Identify Calcium Buildup in a Shower Drain Trap?

Signs like a clogged shower drain, and damage to appliances and pipes, are some direct indications of calcium buildup. Other factors are skin irritation, difficulty cleaning clothes, soap scum, and deposits of white substances near the drain. 

If you find it difficult to identify whether your drain is blocked by calcium buildup, the most obvious sign is the clogged drains. This might be a vague way that is open to other options as well. 

But to confirm the cause of your blocked drain, check for white stains or buildup near your drain, surrounding pipes, and even the shower head. If you find the “white gunk,” it is the sign of mineral deposits, especially calcium buildup in the drainage system. 

Other indirect signs include skin problems and body irritation while showering and difficulty washing clothes and making soap lather. 

What Are Other Things That Can Clog Your Shower Drain?

Other than calcium buildup, other things like hair, dead skin cells, soap buildup, trash, and debris, can clog your shower drain. Sometimes, people accidentally drop shampoo bottle caps in the drain as well. 

Hair and Dead Skin Cells

People naturally shed hair and dead skin cells quite often. These things combine together and stick on the walls of the drainage pipe. When the blockage grows up, it causes the pipe to clog the pipe completely.

Trash and Debris

At times other trash and debris found in the toilet flows with the water and clog the pipe. Thus it is necessary to take care of the things present in the shower.

Soap Buildup and Grease

The scum and buildup formed from the shampoos, soap, and body washes can end up severing a clogged shower drain. If the buildup grows huge, it can restrict the water flow from draining. Thus a puddle of water forms in the shower.

Foreign Materials

If people don’t maintain the drain and be careful of things, they can drain foreign materials down the drain. Users sometimes accidentally drop shampoo caps, razors, and other small things in the drain, which clog the pipes. 

Can a Clogged Shower Drain Cause a Leak?

Yes, clogged shower drains are one of the reasons for causing a leak. Due to the blockage in the drainage pipe, the water pressure intensifies and results in a pipe burst or slow leaks through the leaks. 

For people who experience frequent drain clogs, their pipes are more prone to leak and burst. The only reason for it is the immense pressure that accumulates in the drainage pipe. 

When the drain pipes get blocked, water can no longer flow through the drainage system. As a result, the water pressure builds up and causes the pipes to weaken. If they are not managed properly, they can leak and burst out. This will cause huge damage to the interior structure of the bathroom.

At times things are exceptional and difficult to understand. In situations like these, when you cannot root out the real cause of your clogged drain pipe, you should seek professional help. This is because you can misjudge the situation and use things that react badly with the interior structure of the shower. 

Also, try calling someone with experience to guide you to use strong chemicals like muriatic and hydrochloric acid. If you take things in hand, you can mess up the entire situation. 


It is common to experience white gunk near your shower drains if you have access to hard water. But now the situation is different. After reading this blog, you are aware of all the possible solutions to clogged shower drains. I hope that going through this article will help you get a better overall experience next time.

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