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9 Ways to Remove Hard Water Stains

9 Ways to Remove Hard Water Stains

May 24, 2019

Dealing with hard water in your home is an uphill battle. Not only does hard water cause skin irritation and exacerbate preexisting conditions, like eczema, but it causes unsightly stains. Are you ready to eliminate these dreadful stains for good? Well, the team at Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is here to join you in the fight by sharing 9 ways to remove hard water stains!

What Are Hard Water Stains?

In order to know what the best removal methods are for hard water stains, you must first understand what these stains are made of. If you have hard water in your home, it means there is a high level of magnesium, calcium, and other dissolved minerals. Every time you turn on your faucets, your hard water leaves behind these alkaline mineral deposits on the surfaces it touches. Over time, these minerals build up and the result is white, blue, or orange stains on your appliances, countertops, and dishes. However, these stains, although unsightly, are the least of your worries, because they can also damage your plumbing and pipes.

To Remove Hard Water Stains from Glass

Whether they appear as spots on your windows, mirrors, or shower doors, hard water stains are an undeniable eyesore. Moreover, when these stains make an appearance on your favorite glass drinkware, it can become personal! If you are facing this issue in your home, here are some solutions to remove these unsightly stains

  • Use an Acidic Cleaner
    As you now know, hard water stains consist of alkaline mineral deposits. Therefore, any commercial cleaning product you purchase should contain phosphoric, hydrochloric, or sulfuric acid for the best results. Because acid-based cleaners are toxic, you should always follow the cleaning instructions on the label, wearing protective gloves, and keeping the space you’re cleaning well-ventilated.
  • Remove the Buildup with a Saltwater Mixture
    For a more natural cleaner, you can use a clean cloth to scrub the affected surface with a mixture of salt and water to break down the mineral deposits. As an effective scrubbing powder, this mixture can cut through hard water stains easily.
  • Clean it with White Vinegar
    To create your own DIY acid-based cleaner, you can mix some vinegar and lemon juice into a natural cleaning solution. Once you’ve poured the mixture into a spray bottle, we recommend warming it in the microwave for a few seconds for the best results. After you’ve warmed the solution, spray it onto the affected surface, and let it stand for 2-3 minutes. After the 2-3 minutes are up, simply wipe the glass surface clean with a dry cloth or paper towel. If you use this solution to remove hard water stains from dishware or glassware, soak them in a basin filled with 50% water and 50% vinegar for several hours. Then, thoroughly rinse them.
  • Add a Rinsing Agent to Your Dishwasher
    Another effective way to remove hard water stains from your dishes is by adding a rinsing agent to the designated compartment. In many cases, the combination of this rinsing agent and your regular dishwashing detergent is just the extra nudge your machine needs to keep your favorite dishes stain-free.
  • Clean with Toothpaste
    For another DIY solution, you can try rubbing some toothpaste over the stain with a moist towel. Once you’ve applied the toothpaste, wait a couple of minutes before rinsing it off with a solution of 50% water and 50% vinegar.
  • Scrub it with Baking Soda
    In addition to using salt as an abrasive for scrubbing, you can use baking soda. However, you should use a moistened sponge or commercial cleaning pads to scrub away stains, to avoid scratching glass surfaces. While scrubbing can effectively remove fresh stains and smaller water spots, you will likely need an additional cleaning solution to break down larger stains.
To Remove Hard Water Stains from Porcelain

If you are looking for the best way to clean the hard water stains on your porcelain surfaces, such as bathroom sinks and tubs, we have a tried-and-true method for you. For effective stain removal, follow these steps:

  • Add a few squirts of mild detergent to several quarts of water (about 1 or 2 squirts of detergent for 1 quart of water is the recommended ratio.) Mix the solution thoroughly.
  • Then, use a soft sponge to wipe down the affected surface, gently scrubbing it to remove surface dirt. Once you’ve sufficiently cleaned the surface, rinse it with water and dry it with a clean towel.
  • Next, mix together a paste of one part vinegar and two parts baking soda.
  • Then, apply the paste onto the hard water stains and allow it to stand for about 5 minutes.
  • Once the paste has softened the mineral deposits, scrub the stains with a moist sponge. Then, rinse away the paste with water.
  • Finally, dry the surface with a towel. To prevent future stains, dry your sinks and tubs after use to avoid the buildup of alkaline minerals.
To Remove Hard Water Stains from Chrome

Once You have addressed the stains on your porcelain sinks, you will need to tackle the hard water stains on the chrome faucets. For the best results, follow these steps:

  • Mix together a solution of 50/50 white vinegar and water.
  • Then, soak a thick paper towel in the solution and wrap it around the affected area. Leave the towel on for 5-7 minutes to break down the mineral deposits.
  • Next, remove the paper towel from the faucet and thoroughly rinse it with water. Then, use a soft clean cloth to dry off the chrome surface.
  • Then, use a chelate-based agent, such as a dish or laundry detergent, to remove additional limescale stains from your chrome surfaces.
  • Lastly, use an acid-based cleaner with dilute hydrochloric acid to remove more stubborn stains that still remain.
To Remove Hard Water Stains from Stainless-Steel

Nothing can sully the appearance of an otherwise flawless stainless-steel surface faster than ugly hard water stains. Although many cleaning products promise to effectively remove these stains, we have a simple method using a household ingredient that works just as efficiently:

  • To start, soak a cleaning cloth in white vinegar, and then wipe and vigorously scrub the hard water stains with the cloth in a circular motion.
  • Then, rinse the cloth with warm water, wringing it until most of the vinegar is removed.
  • Once you’ve rinsed the vinegar out of the cloth, soak it in warm water, wring it out, and use it to wipe away the vinegar from the stainless-steel surface.
  • Finally, dry the affected surface with a dry towel.
To Remove Hard Water Stains from Ceramic Tile

As one of the most prevalent surfaces for hard water stains, the ceramic tile in the floors and walls of your bathrooms is an important surface to address. Although our recommended cleaning method is similar to the method used on porcelain, there are some variations to take note of. Without further ado, here are the steps for removing hard water stains from ceramic tile:

  • Start by dipping a sponge in white vinegar. With the vinegar-soaked sponge, wipe down the water stains.
  • Then, allow the vinegar to sit for 5-7 minutes to break down the mineral deposits.
  • Once you’ve allowed several minutes for the vinegar to soak into the stains, wipe more vinegar onto the affected area with your sponge, and sprinkle baking soda onto the stains.
  • Then, allow the vinegar and baking soda to react and fizz.
  • Next, soak a fresh sponge in water and scrub the affected area with it to scour the stains with the baking soda.
  • Finally, use clean water to rinse the baking soda and vinegar off the tile surface. For stubborn spots that still remain, repeat the process until they are gone. Once you’ve removed all stains, wipe the tile surface down with a dry towel.
To Remove Hard Water Stains from Plastic

A more overlooked area that can develop hard water stains is plastic window coverings. If this is a struggle you are currently facing, you can effectively remove these stains by following these steps:

  • Begin by mixing a solution of equal parts water and vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle.
  • Then, spray the solution onto the stained area, allowing it to soak for 15 minutes.
  • Next, use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away the stains, and repeat this process if necessary.
  • If vinegar proves to be no match for the stains, use an enzyme digester, such as Nature’s Miracle Hard Floor Cleaner, to remove the tough spots.
  • In addition to using an enzyme digester on tougher stains, you can also rub slices of lemon on the stains and scrub the area with a brush to work the lemon acid into the mineral deposits.
To Remove Hard Water Stains From Granite

Are your granite countertops the pride and joy of your kitchen? Well, if they are, then you understand the fury that hard water stains can invoke. To save you from that frustration, here are some tips to remove these stains and keep your countertops looking their best:

  • First of all, you should use water and mild soap, or natural products designed for stone surfaces for daily cleaning. Avoid acidic products or harsh abrasives, as they can easily damage the sealant on granite surfaces.
  • Secondly, to remove water stains, use a soft-bristled brush to lightly scrub a gentle detergent and water mixture into the affected area.
  • For more stubborn stains, you can use a poultice especially made for granite, or a homemade poultice of flour and hydrogen peroxide. To remove these tougher stains, apply a generous coat of the poultice to the affected area and cover it with a plastic sheet. In order to secure the plastic sheet, secure it with painters’ tape around the edges. Then, allow it to sit for 24 hours, before scraping away the paste and rinsing the surface with water.
  • Finally, to keep your granite countertops stain-free, be sure to clean up water spills and splatters as soon as they happen.
To Remove Hard Water Stains from Marble

Similar to the outrage of finding hard water stains on granite countertops, these stains can also turn your beautiful countertops into a real fright. Especially since marble is softer than other natural stones, like granite, it is even more susceptible to hard water stains. Therefore, routine maintenance is imperative once you’ve removed the stains. For the most effective methods in removal and maintenance, follow these steps:

  • Firstly, mix a paste of water and baking soda and rub it into the stained area with a soft cloth.
  • Then, secure a plastic sheet with painters’ tape over the paste-coated surface for 24 hours.
  • After it has had 24 hours to set, remove the plastic sheet and rinse the paste with water. Then, dry the surface with a clean towel.
  • Lastly, use grade #0000 steel wool to buff the hard water spots and wipe away the residue with a damp cloth. Then, dry the area with a towel.
To Remove Hard Water Stains from Clothing

Another frustrating problem that can arise from hard water is unattractive stains on light-colored clothing and fabrics. Although these fabrics may seem unsalvageable, there is a way to effectively remove these stains. So, before tossing your favorite white shirt away, follow these steps to remove the hard water stains:

For the removal of dull grey stains or discoloration, follow these steps:
  • Soak the stained clothes in a solution of hot water, 4 X’s the recommended amount of detergent, and 1 cup of non-precipitating water conditioner.
  • Then, run the clothes through your washer long enough for the mixture to seep into the stains and leave them to sit overnight.
  • The next morning, finish the cycle and run the load a second time. For this second cycle, only add the non-precipitating water conditioner.
  • Then, make sure the water is no longer sudsy. If it is, run another rinse cycle.
To remove yellow stains, try these methods:
  • Try adding a cleaning agent for rust stains, like CLR, to a mixture of detergent and water and soaking the stained clothes in the solution. Rinse the clothing thoroughly after soaking, before putting them in the washer.
  • Another method to try is soaking and scrubbing the stained clothes in a lemon juice and salt solution and allowing them to dry in sunlight to lift and brighten the stains.

Find Long-Term Solutions with Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

Although there are plenty of ways to remove hard water stains from your household surfaces, dishware, and clothing, there are also many long-term solutions to explore. With an Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing expert, you can discover the best long-term solutions for your hard water problems and receive reliable service to fix them! For help from our dedicated team, call us today or schedule an appointment through our website!