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Let us show you the best hard water stain remover for every surface in your home – stainless steel, glass, and wood.
We’ve all been there – you find the perfect piece of furniture for your home. You couldn’t love it more, and then it gets stained. Now what? From kids’ paint smeared on your white couch to red wine spilled on your new living room rug, stains are an unfortunate but unavoidable part of life. They are just going to happen. Does that mean we need to toss our favorite throw pillow because the dog walked over it with muddy paws? Nope. There are so many great stain removing solutions out there. Today, let’s talk about getting rid of hard water stains.
What Are Hard Water Stains?
Many of us have what is known as “hard water”, water that contains a lot of minerals. That mineral-heavy water can leave behind a white, chalky build up that is hard to remove. Hard water stains can be known as limescale or mineral deposits, but if you have a hard water stain problem, the stains can also be known as dang annoying!
Hard water stains can be very hard to remove. We’ve gathered the best tips and tricks around to tackle these stubborn stains.
How Not to Remove Hard Water Stains
Hard water stains are very alkaline, so they need an acidic cleaner to remove them. Using alkaline cleaners like bleach or dish soap won’t work because they won’t break down the chalky mineral deposit buildup that hard water leaves behind. Acidic cleaners are the way to go when it comes to hard water stain remover. Examples of acidic cleaners are vinegar and rubbing alcohol.
Here are the best ways to remove hard water stains on any surface.
Hard Water Stain Remover For Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel is prime territory for hard water stain problems because a lot of sinks and water faucets are made of stainless steel. (Wait? Isn’t “stainless” in the name? How can it get stained?!) Yes, stainless steel can get stains despite its name, and even though we think of steel as being indestructible, we need to be careful when cleaning our stainless steel. Not cleaning it correctly can lead to rusting and damaging the surface.
White Vinegar Soak
Vinegar is a great fighter of hard water stains because it’s acidic and works to break down those mineral deposits. It’s also easy to find, versatile, and budget friendly. It’s a win, for sure! To remove hard water stains, apply white vinegar to the surface by spraying it or wiping it on with a cleaning cloth. Instead of your typical light spray, really soak the surface with the vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse with water. Repeat as needed.
Stainless Steel Specialty Cleaners
Usually, I try to steer away from specialty cleaners that only do one thing. I feel like they are a waste of money when there are so many all-purpose cleaners that clean everything well for a budget price. However, stainless steel is one surface that needs to be babied a bit, and specialty cleaners like Method Stainless Steel Cleaner and Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner work wonders.
Spraying the steel with a hard water stain remover like Method Stainless Steel Cleaner and then buffing in a circular motion with a microfiber cloth will remove the chalky residue hard water leaves behind.
Want to know what is the best stainless steel cleaner on the market? We tested different stainless steel cleaners to find the best one.
Rubbing alcohol is slightly acidic meaning it’s acidic enough to break down hard water stains but gentle enough to not corrode stainless steel. Pour a liberal amount of rubbing alcohol onto a cleaning rag and work it into the steel stains. The hard water stains should wipe away.
Hard Water Stain Remover For Wood Surfaces
Wood is another surface that tends to get lots of difficult water stains. The real problem with water stains on wood is that wooden tables tend to be porous even when they have a finish on them. That porous surface soaks water in easily. The thing to remember when removing any stains from wood – be gentle! Wood scratches and dents easily. No super scrubbers like steel wool or scouring pads.
The Iron Method
Try this method for hard water stains on wood: place a thin rag or cloth over the water stain, and heat your iron on its lowest setting. Press your iron onto the cloth for a few seconds. Lift the cloth, and check the stain. Repeat until the stain is gone.
Believe it or not, toothpaste can be used as a cleaning product! You use it to clean your teeth, so why not your house? It’s got scrubbing power, and it smells minty fresh. Put a little toothpaste on a cleaning cloth. (Make sure it’s not a gel toothpaste. It won’t work.) Rub the toothpaste into the stain using a circular motion. Wipe away with a damp rag.
Deeper Stains: Sand And Stain
Sometimes stains are too far gone for cleaning products. The good news for wooden surfaces is that there is still an option for getting rid of stains even if cleaning products have failed. It is the last resort option, but most wood surfaces can be sanded and re-stained if need be.
Hard Water Stain Remover For Glass
We have glass all over our bathrooms, and every time we shower or wash our hands, we are leaving behind hard water stains on our mirrors, shower doors, and windows. Our bathrooms will definitely benefit from some hard water stain remover methods!
White Vinegar Soak
The trick with getting hard water stains from glass using vinegar is getting the vinegar to stay on the surface long enough to work its magic. Most glass surfaces in our homes are vertical like mirrors, glass doors, and glass windows, so once we apply the vinegar to them, the cleaner will just roll off and down to the floor. We need the vinegar to sit on the glass for at least a few minutes, so what should we do? Soak a cleaning cloth in vinegar, and lay it over the glass surface. Come back in a few minutes and rinse with water.
Windex and A Steel Wool Pad
Windex alone isn’t enough to remove stubborn water stains, but paired with a powerful scrubber like a steel wood pad, it can successfully remove water stains. Spray the glass surface with Windex and very gently scrub with the wool pad. Wipe the surface with a paper towel and then squeegee the surface until the glass is dry and streak free.
You’re already in the bathroom, so why not use some toothpaste to clean your bathroom glass? Put a little bit of toothpaste (not the gel kind) on a cleaning cloth and work it into the stain in a circular motion. Rinse away with water and squeegee until dry and streak free.
Hard water stains live up to their name – they are hard to remove, and because we can’t fix what type of water we may have access to, they will keep coming back. But, with a few helpful tricks and the right tools, you can keep your surfaces water stain free! Want more hard water stain cleaning tips? Check out this post about removing water stains from toilets.
Do you have a cool hard water stain remover trick? Let us know in the comments!