removing hard water stains

Hard water is quite common throughout the United States. All this really means is that the water contains a high concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium. Over time, these minerals tend to settle out of the water, leaving stains on your faucets, fixtures, sinks, and even some appliances. Luckily, getting rid of these hard water stains is not all that tough if you follow the tips below.

1. Remove showerheads and aerators, and soak them in vinegar.

Mineral deposits on your showerhead and on your aerators don’t just look ugly. They also block the flow of water through these plumbing fixtures. Luckily, most showerheads and aerators twist off quite easily. Remove them and set them in a cup of vinegar to soak. You’ll need to soak them for at least 4 hours for good results — leaving them overnight is even better! The acidic vinegar will eat through the mineral deposits, allowing water to flow freely again. 

2. Try using baking soda to scrub stains away.

For stains on the non-removable parts of your fixtures, and for those inside stainless steel sinks, you can try using a paste made from baking soda and water. Add just enough water to the baking soda to make a thick, yet spreadable paste. Smear it on the mineral-stained area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then use an old toothbrush to scrub, scrub, scrub. Rinse the stained area, and then repeat this process if needed. The thicker your mineral stains, the more scrubbing you will need to do.

3. If necessary, use limescale remover.

If your hard water stains are really bad, baking soda and vinegar may not quite cut it. You may need to buy a limescale remover from your local home and garden store. These cleaners are really effective, but you do need to be careful not to get them on your skin or in your eyes. (This is why it’s safest to try baking soda and vinegar first!)

 Keep kids and pets out of the room while you’re using the cleaner. Follow the instructions on the bottle, which will generally tell you to spray the stained area, wait a few minutes, and then wipe the cleaner away. Always rinse the sink, fixture, or appliance really well after using a limescale remover.

4. Address stains earlier.

Don’t wait for hard water stains to be thick, white, and obvious before you treat them. If you act while the stains are still faint, you’ll have better luck getting rid of them with just baking soda and vinegar. Some people like to remove and soak their aerators and shower heads once a month as a preventative measure. You can also scrub your fixtures with baking soda monthly, even if you can’t quite see the stains yet.

Hard water stains aren’t pretty, but they’re easily cleared up with some elbow grease and the right products. Contact Hassle Free Home Services if you need help with this and other cleaning tasks.