How To Remove Hard Water Stains Around Your Home

How To Remove Hard Water Stains Around Your Home

Has your once shinning tub or shower slowly become stained and dirty? Do you scrub and scrub soiled areas around your home with no luck? In all likelihood, the culprit responsible for your persistent grime is hard water stains.

Here at iWaterPurification, we believe that education is the key to empowering people, which is why this article will provide you with insight into DIY solutions (and more) for improving your hard water concerns.

Let’s get started!

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water with very high mineral content. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, roughly 85 percent of American households have hard water. Hard water stains occur when mineral-rich water vaporizes, leaving a grimy residue on your surfaces. How to tell if your home has hard water or not can be tricky, but most commonly, you’ll start noticing hard water stains in the bathroom due to the combination of hard water and shampoo on glass, ceramics, and metal surfaces. You can also find hard water stains on your dishes and clothing. 

Common Hard Water Stains Around the House

If you live in a state or region where household hard water is the norm, it’s best to clean hard water stains routinely, before they have a chance to penetrate the surfaces in your home.

Here are some areas around your home where you may begin to notice this type of buildup, plus here’s how to remove hard water stains from these areas:


Household water carries dissolved minerals that contains too much magnesium, through the home plumbing. These minerals then start building upon and around the faucets. Over time the minerals accumulate as hard, scaly deposits.

You can try wrapping paper towels, or a rag soaked in vinegar around the faucet and let it sit for several hours.


Do unsightly calcium deposits block your showerhead? Take off the showerhead and soak it in white vinegar overnight. Then, scrub it with an old toothbrush and rinse with water.

Shower doors

How to remove hard water stains from the shower is a popular question. Modern home almost always includes beautiful glass shower doors. Unfortunately, hard water can leave horrible water spots that are difficult to remove and look unsightly. You can try spraying your shower doors with white vinegar or white wine to remove limescale and hard water stains from the glass.


Hard water can have many effects on your home, but some of the most obvious ones occur in your dishwasher. Usually, the first signs that you’re having hard water problems with your dishwasher are when buildup starts to show up on

your dishes.

Soap does not wash off properly when mixed with hard water, so as a result, you may start to notice your dishes looking spotty or cloudy. This is especially visible on glassware, which will not come out as clear as you’d hoped.

Once every month you can try adding a cup of white vinegar to your dishwasher (without any dishes) and run it through a cleaning cycle.

Washing machine

Everyone loves to have soft, fresh-smelling laundry, but unfortunately for some, the hard water can make this more challenging to achieve. Try adding a gallon of white vinegar to the washing machine and run the empty washer through a wash cycle with hot water.

Also, keep the drum of your washing machine clean. This will help you avoid a buildup of limescale, which can damage the machine and reduce its cleaning performance.

Toilet tank and bowl

If you don’t know how to stay on top of your hard water problem, there’s a higher chance that you’ll encounter plumbing problems that might even lead to replacing your toilet. You can try adding 3 cups of white vinegar to your toilet tank to help to get rid of hard water stains in there. For the bowl, add 3 cups of vinegar and scrub.

Coffee maker

A clean coffee pot is sure to bring a smile to your face when you start that first pot in the morning. Sadly, no matter how often you wash the coffee pot with regular dish detergent and hot water, if you have hard water, it will leave unsightly deposits.

To tackle this issue, try running one brewing cycle with the water reservoir full of white vinegar to remove mineral deposits. Then, run two more brewing cycles with plain water to rinse the coffee maker.

Sinks and tubs

There’s nothing like sinking into the tub for a relaxing soak after a long day. However, hard water can make your tub feel like sandpaper, which is not very comfortable. Try spraying surfaces with lemon juice or vinegar, then let it sit for several hours. Depending on how much soap scum buildup there is, multiple applications may be necessary.

How To Clean Stubborn Hard Water Stains

Because hard water stains are notoriously tough to remove, here are some additional hard water stain removal tips you can try. Rest assured, though. There are also lots of ways that you can prevent hard water stains from returning once you’ve successfully removed them. Keep reading to learn more!

Use Liquid Cleaners

Because hard water stains are alkalic, it’s best to remove them with a powerful acid. Try finding a cleaning product that contains either:

  • Phosphoric
  • Sulfuric
  • hydrochloric acid

These acids should be able to break down the stains effectively.

Note: Acidic cleaning products are toxic, so be sure to take safety precautions when handling them

Mix Salt & Water

Salt acts as a scouring powder, helping cut through stains. You can try combining salt and water to remove the mineral buildup. Apply the mixture and use a clean cloth to rub the stain in a circular motion. Rinse the glass thoroughly when you’re finished to remove all saltwater remnants.

Use White Vinegar

Vinegar helps to loosen mineral deposits. Mix in

some lemon juice into the vinegar to not only increase the effectiveness but also to add a fresh lemon scent. Lemon juice has the same effect on minerals as vinegar.

Spray the solution on the glass and let it stand for roughly 2-3 minutes before wiping it clean with a dry.

Add A Rinsing Agent to Your Dishwasher

Agents like Jet-Dry can help remove hard water stains from your dishes. Fill up the appointed area in your dishwasher with the rinsing agent, add your usual dishwashing detergent, and run the dishwasher.

Add Ammonia to Basic Cleaning Products

You can try super-charging your regular all-purpose glass cleaner with some ammonia to cut through hard water stains.

Preventing Hard Water Stains in The Future

The best way to get rid of hard water stains, or preventing hard water stains in the future, is to stop stains before they begin.

Water softeners are a great option and can be added to counteract hard water. More on what a water softener does later in this article.

More tips:

  • Regularly wipe down and clean glass surfaces to stop hard water from drying into stains.

  • After each use, dry your shower doors with a lint-free towel or with a squeegee to remove all water residue or streaks.

  • Clean your glass weekly or so to stay ahead of buildup.

Again, you must act fast. The longer a stain settles, the harder it will be to remove, and it can even become permanently etched into the surface.

You can also try sealing or safeguard your glass surfaces. For example, for glass tables, use coasters under drinking glasses. They’ll catch any drips and spills and keep them from leaving ring stains on the table.

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Glass

Sometimes the above methods don’t work for everyone depending on how severe the hard water problem is. However, getting rid of hard water stains on glass is not impossible. A few tools and a whole lot of elbow grease will help get your glass looking like new in no time.

Also, don’t feel discouraged if you still have some hard water spots after the first round of scrubbing. For those tough spots, you may need to go over it a couple of times.

Here’s what you need to remove hard water stains from glass:

  • Super Fine Steel Wool
  • Sheet
  • Gloves
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Mixing bowl or measuring cup
  • Barkeepers Friend (any of the powdered kind will work)
  • Face-mask

Step 1: The vinegar soak

Depending on how awful the buildup is, you may or may not need to do this step. Soak a sheet in white vinegar and hang it over the glass. Press as much of the sheet against the glass as possible so that the glass could “soak” in vinegar. If the sheet starts to dry out, spray with additional vinegar.

Step 2: Rinse and Prepare

After roughly 30 minutes rinse with water, and now you can prepare the Barkeepers Friend paste. Put on the mask and gloves. In a bowl or cup, add about 1/4 cup of powdered Barkeepers Friend. Now slowly add water until a paste forms, mixing well.

Step 3: Scrub

Use your hand to massage the paste over a section of the glass shower door, and, using a Super Fine Steel Wool pad to start scrubbing.

Step 4: Rinse again

We’ve reached the final step here which is rinse. And don’t forget to use a glass cleaner to clean the other side of the glass.

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Toilets

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Toilets