How to remove hard water stains with common pantry items
If you live in an area with exceptionally hard water, you’ll probably have started to notice a strange phenomenon occurring – your once bright and shiny faucets and shower doors are now riddled with what looks like a kind of white acne. This unpleasant staining is a direct result of the hard water in your home and while it can be difficult to remove, it’s certainly not impossible as long as you have the right tools, the right knowledge and a little patience.
While the best way to ensure the problem doesn’t happen again (or never happens in the first place) is to have a water softener installed in your house, we appreciate it might be a little too late for that in many cases. The softener works to remove hard minerals from your water before it reaches your taps or shower heads.
So, while we’d definitely recommend that softener once you’ve sorted the problem, here are a few of the best and cheapest ways to remove hard water stains from your kitchen and bathroom.
Good old-fashioned vinegar has been used as a cleaning agent by housewives for generations now and if it isn’t broken, why fix it? Vinegar is incredibly effective at removing hard water stains, though you don’t want to be too liberal with it. Simply tip some into a spray bottle and apply to the stains before stepping away for about 15 minutes to let it work its magic.
After soaking, take an old toothbrush with large bristles (or perhaps a brush with larger bristles if the surface is larger) and scrub until the desired effect is achieved. White vinegar and apple cider vinegar both work perfectly, but whatever you do, don’t use malt vinegar! You’ll never be able to get rid of the smell.
Even after the top layer of stain is removed you might be left with a thin, unpleasant residue. This can be washed away with a solution made up of baking soda and water which should be applied to the area and left to settle for about 5 minutes. Scrub with a cloth afterwards and finish off with cold water.
If this doesn’t work, you can use hydrogen peroxide instead, which is particularly useful on metal taps and bathtubs. This needs to sit for around 30 minutes, however, to have a real impact.
Note that this will only work if your toothpaste contains fluoride, as this is the substance that does all the work. It will also work best on smaller fixtures and surfaces, so you might want to try the vinegar method on your shower door. On your metal fixtures, however, fluoride toothpaste is often the strongest solution.
There is no need to dilute the toothpaste either, simply scrub it onto the affected area and scrub as if you were trying to remove plaque from your own teeth. Prepare to be legitimately surprised at how well it works!