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How to Remove Hard Water Stains?

by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated September 05, 2022
Regular cleaning will not always prevent lasting water stains on your glass shower door and chrome faucet. These stains are often caused by hard water. If left to accumulate, the residues from the stain can slow or clog your drains. What is the solution? Start by identifying the source of these stains and devise the fastest and most effective means of removing them.

What Are Hard Water Stains?

Hard water is a type of water with high amounts of minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, and others. The surfaces touched by hard water are the most likely spots for hard water stains to form. These chalky white or brown, rust-colored stains result from the accumulation of mineral deposits from the source water. The color of the stain often depends on the specific minerals present in the hard water.
Hard water stains are more common in homes that rely on wells or water sources containing high amounts of minerals. These mineral deposits can also combine with shampoo and soap molecules to form soap scum, a leading cause of glass stains. Surfaces can only stay clean and without stains when you prevent the accumulation of mineral deposits.

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Glassware?

The first step is to prepare a basin large enough to contain the whole of your glassware in vinegar. Once that is ready, follow the steps below;
Step 1 – Warm up some white vinegar in your microwave. Transfer the heated vinegar into the basin.
Step 2 – Leave the glasses in the vinegar solution for about ten minutes. Ensure all the sides are fully submerged.
Step 3 – Take out the glasses from the vinegar solution and sprinkle a sufficient amount of baking soda on them.
Step 4 – Rub the baking soda on the surface of the glasses using your fingers, then rinse and buff dry.
clean bathroom

How to Remove Hard Water Stains on Sinks and Bathtubs?

Follow the steps below if the stains are on your bathtubs and sinks;
Step 1 – Combine equal amounts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the entire tub or sink generously with the solution.
Step 2 – Allow the vinegar and water solution to stay on the hard water stains for about 20 minutes. Then respray the stained spots and use a toothbrush to scrub clean.
Step 3 – Pour hot water into the tub or sink to rinse properly. You can combine water and baking soda to form a paste and then apply the paste to any stubborn stains. Rinse again for the last time.

What Are the Indications of Hard Water?

You will most likely find signs of hard water everywhere around your bathrooms and kitchen. These include mineral buildups on drinking glasses, faucets, and the bathtub. While hard water is the culprit in most cases, these stains may also come from other sources in some situations.

Soap Scum

Soap and shampoo do not dissolve easily in hard water. Instead of rinsing away, these particles stick to the porcelain and tile surfaces, forming thick films of scummy residues on the affected surfaces.

Accumulation of Minerals Around Faucets

Minerals may build up in spots where hard water dries up, especially around drains and faucets. The whitish mineral deposits are not easy to scrub away in most cases.
hard water stains on a shower

Skin Dryness and Itchiness

Like porcelain and tile surfaces, hard water residue also forms on the skin, leading to dryness, irritation, and itchiness. Another surface where these residues thrive is in the hair, causing hair dullness. You can reduce the irritation and itchiness that comes with depositing these residues on the skin by using hypoallergenic body wash and shampoo. However, nothing works better than treating the source water.

How to Deal with Hard Water?

These systems resolve this problem by removing minerals from your source water before it gets into your pipes. The elimination of these minerals ensures they do not accumulate to form stains or clogs in your plumbing fixtures. Water softeners also eliminate other hard water issues like irritated skin, lifeless hair, slow water heater, and clogged faucets.
Unlike hard water, soft water doesn’t contain high levels of minerals. Soft water can form lather when washing hands with sanitizer. In addition, soft water doesn’t lower the pressure of water delivered to your household. It also can protect your home appliances due to a low mineral composition.

To Wrap Up

Hard water is a significant concern in most homes today. It can adversely affect the performance and lifespan of your water appliances and fixtures. However, installing a water filtration system prevents most of these issues. An efficient water filtration system can remove the impurities from your water, keeping your home clean and your appliances in great shape for as long as possible. You also save water and time by avoiding the accumulation of minerals.