If you live in an area with hard water, you have probably already met the reality of hard water spots being all over your bathroom, waiting to be cleaned. These spots are caused by minerals in your home’s water supply. You can also see it being called scale, lime, mineral deposit or calcium buildup. This mineral buildup can be found on glass, tiles, shower heads and other surfaces. In this article we will tell you how to properly remove it from all those places.
Before you attempt to clean it, make sure you check what it is. If you scratch it with your fingernail and it comes off, it is probably soap scum. If you cannot scrape it off easily, it is mineral deposit and you should try these methods instead. Be aware that professional cleaners also use these methods when cleaning:
To remove hard water spots from glass shower doors – mix white vinegar and water in a 1:1 solution. Spray it on the glass door and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. For more stubborn spots, soak paper towels in the same solution and place them all over your glass surface. Leave them on for about 15 minutes, remove them and wipe the door after.
To remove hard water spots from tiled surfaces – having crusty hard water stains all over your tiles is definitely not a good look. You can try using a damp melamine sponge and if the stains are too stubborn, use some scrubbing powder with some baking soda if needed. For very stubborn stains, use a damp dryer sheet and leave it on there for 30-60 minutes before scrubbing. Fabric softener sheets have surfactants that dissolve hard water stains and help lift them away.
To remove hard water spots from jetted tubs – if you have a whirlpool tub, you probably have noticed the black gunk that sometimes comes out of the jets, or the pink mould that grows around them. This happens because the pipes of your jetted tub don’t completely dry between uses. What is more, the hard water buildup on your whirlpool tub may clog the jets. You may also find spots on and around the tub. Fill in your tub with hot water and pour 2 liters of white vinegar in there. Add 3 tbsp of powder dish detergent ( do not use liquid instead). Run the jets for 15 minutes, let the solution sit in for another 10. Drain your tub, fill it in with cold water and run your jets for 10 more minutes. Drain the tub and wipe with a microfiber cloth.
To remove hard water stains from faucets – dip paper towels in a 1:1 white vinegar and water solution. Wrap it around the faucet and leave it on there for 5-10 minutes (depending on how bad the spots are), then remove and scrub with an old toothbrush. For extremely stubborn stains make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar or baking soda. Apply with a cotton swab, leave on for 30 minutes then rinse.
To remove hard water stains from toilets – toilets sometimes get hard water stains as well. Do not waste time scrubbing your toilet with a pumice stone or anything too abrasive. Yes, people used to do that in the past but toilets nowadays get scratched pretty easily. If you scratch your toilet, it will start developing odours and stains much faster after (you definitely don’t want that). What you can do is turn off the water supply for your toilet and flush it to get rid of the water in it. Spray the bowl with pure white vinegar and let it sit for 20 minutes, then scrub and flush. For stubborn stains, use a paste of borax and vinegar, apply it all over your toilet bowl and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Spray with vinegar to keep the paste moist. Scrub with a toilet brush and flush when done.
To remove hard water stains from shower heads – you can clean your shower head in place, without removing it from the pipe. Place a plastic bag full of vinegar over your showerhead. Fix it into place with rubber bands and let it sit for an hour. After 1 hour, remove the bag and insert a toothpick into the head’s nozzles to remove any debris. Wipe the head and run water to rinse away any residue. You can also submerge your whole showehead into vinegar, let it sit for an hour and rinse it after. Never use chlorine bleach on your showerhead – you may damage the gasket and filter screen.
If you want to prevent hard water stains from occurring, you may try:
- Wiping your bathroom dry after a shower. Use a squeegee or a microfiber towel. You can apply windshield rain repelling product or car wax all over the places that you usually find hard water stains on.
- If you have a toilet that is not used that often ( the bathroom in the guest bedroom etc.) flush it once a day just to get it moving. Washing your toilets once a week will prevent mildew and hard water spots.
- Installing a water softening system for your house will benefit you in so many ways. Not only will it prevent hard water stains from occurring on any surface, it will also improve the quality of your water. ( softened water cleans better, did you know?)