It’s Spring Cleaning Time: Remove Hard Water Stains from Toilets and Other Plumbing Fixtures

African-American man cleaning toilet with the help of his young son

Winter is almost over, and warmer days are just ahead. That means it’s time to think about your spring cleaning routine for 2023.

Spring cleaning isn’t just about getting rid of old, unwanted items and reorganizing your kitchen, though. You should also be thinking about your plumbing appliances and how you can give them a deep cleaning as well.

We're sharing all the things that should be on your checklist this season.

Are Hard Water Stains Permanent?

Hard water is a fresh water supply that contains high amounts of natural minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. If you have hard water in your home, you know the frustration of seeing rust-colored stains in your toilet and in your shower. The good news is that you can remove them.

READ MORE: How Tell If You Have Hard Water

Did you know you can make your own hard water stain remover by combining equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle? Spray the mixture over the area you want to clean, and let it sit. Then scrub it with a toothbrush (you can use a toilet bowl brush if you’re cleaning a stained toilet.) If you still can’t remove the stain, try pouring the solution into a small bowl and adding baking soda to make a paste.

That should do the trick. When you’re done, rinse the area, then wipe it dry completely so stains don’t reappear. We also recommend wiping away water when you’re done using your faucet on a regular basis to prevent more stains from forming.

Another homemade solution you can try: Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Just don’t store this combination in a closed container because carbon dioxide could build up and cause a leak or an explosion.

Infographic: How to Remove Hard Water Stains

Can I Use WD-40 on Hard Water Stains?

You may wonder if you should use something a little tougher, particularly on very stubborn hard water stains. You can, but only if nothing else works. Use a little bit around the stained area, wait a few minutes and wipe it away. If you’re using it to clean your toilet, don’t flush it down the drain.

Don’t Forget About Your Water Softener

If you have hard water, a water softener is a necessity. These appliances help improve the taste of your water and are also easier on your hair and skin. The Water Quality Association recommends that you check the salt levels in your softener once a month, but spring cleaning is also a good time to check how your softener is working and see if it needs to be upgraded. If you need a new water softener for your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. Call 1-877-BEN-1776 or request an appointment online.

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