How to Clean Hard Water Stains in Your Bathroom, Kitchen, and Beyond

Hard water scale—that crusty or patchy buildup on faucets, shower heads, and toilets—is an unwelcome addition to most homes in Muncie. It can make your bathroom or kitchen look or feel unclean. More than that, hard water buildup can impact the performance of faucets by limiting flow or clogging pipes with scale. Muncie’s very hard water means that your home fixtures will see more buildup than average and need cleaning more often. Here’s how to remove hard water stains from glass, porcelain, metal, and more.

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Your Toilet

Water with a high iron content can leave behind reddish or brown stains on your toilet over time. For stubborn stains that don’t respond to cleaners, empty the bowl by turning off the water to your toilet and flushing it. Mix baking soda and white vinegar to a paste, apply it to the stains, and let sit for 30 minutes. When time’s up, wipe the area clean with a dry microfiber cloth and remember to turn the water back on!

Pink toilet stains are more likely to be caused by a bacteria called Serratia marcescens than hard water and require disinfecting toilet bowl cleaner.

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Your Shower or Bath

There are a few different methods for stain removal based on the material you’re cleaning:

  • To clean hard water stains on shower glass, reach for the vinegar. Cleaning vinegar works the best, but you can also try household varieties, like white or apple cider vinegar. Mix equal parts vinegar and water and use a spray bottle to apply vinegar to glass shower doors, re-spraying as necessary to keep them damp for 5-15 minutes. Scrub with a soft bristle brush, then rinse thoroughly with cool water.

  • For tile and grout, mix baking soda and water to form a paste. Spread it on the stains and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Use an old toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush to scrub lightly until the buildup loosens. Rinse the walls with water or wipe away the excess baking soda with a damp cloth.

  • When cleaning a showerhead, fill a plastic bag halfway with distilled vinegar. Then use thick rubber bands to secure it to your showerhead, letting it sit overnight. Remove the bag in the morning, gently scrub with a soft-bristle brush, and run clean water through the showerhead for several minutes to rinse the vinegar out.

How to Remove Hard Water Buildup from a Faucet

Start by wrapping your whole faucet in vinegar-soaked paper towels. Leave them for at least an hour before removing and wiping the metal clean with a dry paper towel. If that doesn’t remove all the stains and buildup, use an old toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste (any standard toothpaste will work). Scrub at each tough stain for a minute using the brush and toothpaste, then let the toothpaste sit for at least ten minutes. Rinse with cold water and dry the faucet to avoid water spots.

How to Remove Hard Water and Soap Buildup

Hydrogen peroxide, which you may already have in your medicine cabinet, breaks down tough soap scum residue found in your sink or shower. Soak a cloth or sponge with hydrogen peroxide, then scrub everything from porcelain and plastic to metal. If the stains are particularly stubborn, head to your spice cabinet for some cream of tartar. Mix with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste, spread it over tough stains, and let it sit for half an hour. Wipe away with a damp cloth.

Preventing Future Hard Water Buildup with Professional Water Softener Installation

You can clean hard water stains regularly to keep your bathroom and kitchen fresh or remove the problem at the source with a whole-home water softener. The punctual plumbers at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Muncie will install your new water softener, removing minerals before the water reaches your faucets, toilets, or showers. Enjoy the benefits of softened water when you call us at (765) 248-3693 or book an appointment online.