How to Remove Hard Water Stains

Different people call them different things: lime scale, mineral deposits, or simply as hard water stains.  There’s one thing everyone can agree on, however these stains are annoying.

Hard water has an unusually high amount of mineral content in it. These minerals leave behind a crusty gunk on any surface the water regularly contacts. The only way to completely avoid the issue of hard water stains in your home is by installing a whole-home water filter to turn hard water to soft. However, that doesn’t take care of existing stains. Here are three easy methods you can use to erase any hard water stains from your home:

For most fixtures, use the magic of vinegar

This method is best for protruding fixtures that you can easily wrap a towel around, including but not limited to showerheads, sink handles, and faucets. First, fill a shallow bowl with vinegar and soak some small hand towels in the bowl for a few minutes until they’re fully saturated. Next, take the rag and either drape over or wrap it around the fixture that has hard water stains. Make sure it’s secure and then leave the rag (or rags) in place for at least an hour, checking back occasionally to make sure they’re still saturated.

After that time, the mineral deposits that are causing the stains should have loosened up. You can then remove the rag and clean them off using a regular towel or sponge and some water.

For tubs with jets, use bleach powder

Hard water stains on the nozzles in jetted tubs can be especially hard to get at, and our previous method won’t work since there’s no way to wrap anything around them. However, there are still ways to clean out the hard water stains that have been left behind. For this method, you’ll first have to fill up your tub to just above the jets with nice, hot water. After that pour one cup of either bleach or vinegar and a half cup of powdered dishwasher detergent into the water.

Run the jets for 10 to 20 minutes and let the water sit in the tub for another hour. Empty it, refill it, run the jets again with the clean water, and empty it again. All the mineral build-up should be gone.

For hard-to-reach places, use a toothbrush and lemon juice

If you’ve done these other things but still have stains, try scrubbing them with a toothbrush soaked in lemon juice. The acidity of the juice works to loosen the minerals. You should see results after just a few minutes of scrubbing.

If you follow these tips for cleaning hard water stains and invest in a whole-home water filter to prevent future ones, you’ll scarcely have to worry about mineral build-up again. Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Dallas to find out how we can help you soften the water in your home.