Did you grow up on the East Coast? I did, and, in my house, every sink had a spicket. This word is spelled spigot (I only heard the word spicket — I never saw it spelled growing up). I was confused by the spelling of this term, which was like hearing “Kernel” and seeing the spelling of “Colonel” and being really confused about what was what. All this leads to shining up the thing that the rest of the English-speaking world probably knows and says: faucet. Now that I live in Ohio, I say faucet. And we know what I mean.

So today, I notice the bathroom faucets look dirty. I scrub and clean and disinfect regularly, and they look the same.

Turns out the hard water here is full of minerals that build up wherever water sits. I can see where a water droplet was, because the water evaporated and left a white outline. The outline is the mineral deposits of calcium and magnesium. All I know is that I want it gone.

I turn to vinegar.

Cleaning vinegar, to be exact. This vinegar, which is 6% acidity, is 1% stronger than the white or apple cider vinegar we ingest as food and is still safe to use as a household cleaner. This is what we have on hand (I’m not endorsing this or any particular brand).


I already use this cleaning vinegar as a fabric softener in the washing machine, so I’m confident it’ll do the job. I soak a square of paper towel with vinegar, drape the wet towel around the faucet so it’s touching all the metal and deposits, and go on an errand.

Thirty minutes later I return and … voila. The gunk wipes away and reveals shiny metal. A white spot loosens with a flick of my fingernail. Easy as pie.

Do you use cleaning vinegar? How do you use it? Comment below. Thank you!