How to Remove Hard Water Stains Off Every Bathroom Surface

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At Luce Home, we’ve tackled all kinds of dirt, grime, and stain that plagues the bathroom. None more so than hard water stains that sully any surface of the bathroom, resulting in cloudy, rough patches of haze on glass and tiles. 

Hard water stains pose a problem in every bathroom where water meets surfaces, leaving behind a chalky, white film of minerals on the surface. These minerals give a rough feel to your bathroom, as well as any glass surfaces that come in contact with water.

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What Are Hard Water Stains?

You may find it hard to believe that there is such a thing as hard water, as we can’t really get a feel of the texture of water. Hard water, however, can form white or yellow stains here and there. You’ll eventually figure out whether you have hard or soft water in your pipes, as soft water does not leave any streaky residue after it has dried.

Ever left your car out in the rain, and when you check on it once dried, you found specks of mud and pollution from the air that was brought by the rain droplets? Hard water stains work the same way, except hard water contains particles that get left behind after the water evaporates. 

These stains are challenging to remove when you don’t know how, and can be frustrating to handle for any homeowner. They tend to leave a dull appearance onto surfaces, which is especially upsetting when the hard water stains are on glass and clear acrylic surfaces. 

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What Causes Hard Water Stains?

Hard water is called so due to the dissolved minerals in the water, and hard water stains are the products of these minerals. Natural minerals found in water, such as calcium carbonate, limescale, and silica, present as cloudy, white or yellow stains on any surface where water has evaporated. 

Rust particles, iron, and other metals can also be found in hard water, and leave rust-coloured markings on the surface of your bathroom amenities. These stains happen when the particles build up over time, and the bathroom isn’t cleaned often enough to prevent these mineral deposits from forming.

Woman wiping bathroom mirror
Everyday cleaning prevents hard water stains.


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How to Remove Hard Water Stains From Every Bathroom Surface

The best way to remove these hard water stains is to dissolve the minerals that cause them. At Luce Home, our cleaners are equipped with gentle, yet powerful cleaning solutions that clears out any stain from your bathroom, but for the DIY enthusiast homeowner, you can try your hand with some vinegar, lemon, or other acidic solutions.

Adding gentle abrasives like baking soda and salt provide a consistent scrubbing solution that can remove hard water stains, while keeping the surface of your bathroom fixtures smooth and scratch-free. You can DIY a hard water stain remover by combining an acid with an abrasive. 

If you don’t know how to remove hard water stains from your bathroom, don’t fret! Check out our guides below for the ultimate solution to getting rid of hard water stains once and for all in every area of your bathroom. 

Clean Shower Area with Vinegar in Spray Bottle

The shower is particularly susceptible to hard water stains, since this area is in constant contact with hard water coming from the shower head and the faucet. If your shower area is tiled, the mineral deposits can get deep into the porous material, and can start to build up from there. 

Glass shower doors and partitions, on the other hand, get visibly grimey due to the clear material putting spotlight on any hazy areas. Shower pans get the brunt of the stains, since we tend to forget about cleaning the shower floors. 

To clean the shower area, all you’ll need is some distilled white vinegar, water, and a spray bottle. Simply fill the spray bottle with white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio, and use it to liberally spray the solution all over your shower area and shower doors. Let the solution sit for 10-20 minutes to dissolve the minerals, and wipe clean with a dry cloth. 

Doing this method as part of your cleaning regimen prevents hard water stains from coming back into your shower, making your shower area look clean and pristine at all times. Remove hard water stains before they settle to make cleaning easier.

Clean Shower Head with Baking Soda

Besides the shower walls and floors, the shower head gets mineral deposits in its nozzles, handle, and hose since these are where the water flows through. An overnight solution of vinegar and baking soda works wonders in clearing out the mineral deposits, and unclogs the nozzles of your shower head too!

To clean your shower head, wipe the whole fixture dry with a clean, microfiber cloth. Take a plastic bag big enough to place the entire shower head in, and fill the bag with some vinegar and baking soda. Secure the bag around the shower head, and let it sit overnight. Alternatively, you can make a baking soda paste out of the two ingredients and let it sit on the shower head.

Remove the plastic bag the next day, and use a soft scrubbing brush to clear away any loosened dirt. The acidity of the vinegar, coupled with the abrasion of the baking soda, clears away any mineral deposits that may have been left in the nozzles of your shower head. Run the shower for a few seconds to rinse out any remaining residue. 

Clean Toilet Bowls using Toilet Brush

When it comes to bathroom grime, the toilet is the prime suspect in any case. The toilet bowl is prone to getting unsightly rings around where the water’s edge is, and that’s where the mineral deposits start to grow. Removing these rings will require some time and effort, but the results are worth it! 

There’s a myth that Coca-cola can clean toilets, particularly toilet rings, and while that may have some truth to it, we don’t recommend you immediately pour in a litre of Coca-cola into your toilet without exhausting other options first. Coca-cola is sticky, and takes a long time to work, so it is better to find alternative solutions instead.

Using the same solution of white vinegar and baking soda, pour a concentrated supply of the mixture right into your toilet bowl, circling the sides of the bowl to get a good coverage. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to an hour, and use a toilet brush to scrub the mineral deposits away. Flush the toilet to “rinse” it out, and repeat for stubborn hard water stains. 

Clean around Sinks and Countertops

Removing hard water stains from your sinks and countertops will need some gentle hard water stain remover such as lemon, vinegar, or castile soap. Depending on the material of your countertops, you will need to use cleaning solutions that won’t etch the surface.

Marble and other natural stones are also minerals, and they don’t go well with acidic solutions that may damage and dissolve their protective layer. Instead, clean marble and natural stone surfaces with diluted castille soap, which gently lifts the hard water stains from the surface, and clears them away from your countertops.

Acrylic, glass, ceramic, and other materials can be cleaned with lemons, which provide both a delightful scent, and a natural scrubber to dissolve and clean the surface at the same time. Take half a lemon, and use it as a scrubber to remove hard water stains. Wipe dry afterwards. 

Polishing Chrome Fixtures

Chrome fixtures can show grime very visibly, as the shinier the surface, the more noticeable the grime. Polishing chrome fixtures, and removing hard water stains from them, is as easy as brushing your teeth. 

The best tool for polishing your chrome fixtures is the same paste you use to polish your teeth: toothpaste! Little known fact that toothpaste contains miniscule particles that are added in to remove plaque, dirt, and polish your teeth after every brushing. The same miniscule particles can be used to gently scrub out mineral deposits, and bring the shine back to your fixtures.

First, take soft cloth and dampen it with some vinegar. Use the cloth to wipe down the chrome fixtures, and soften the hard water stains. Place toothpaste directly on the stained areas, and lightly rub it in, removing hard water stains in the process. Wipe dry, and repeat as needed in removing hard water stains from your chrome fixtures.

Cleaning Bathtub with Lemon and Salt Scrub

You’re not the only one who could benefit from an exfoliating body scrub, your bathtub could use a scrubbing too, especially when plagued with hard water stains. Remove hard water stains from your bathtub with some lemon juice and salt, which will leave you with a bathtub ready for your next self-care day!

To clean, sprinkle salt all over your damp bathtub, focusing on areas where there are visible hard water stains. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon all over the area, and use the rind to scrub the stains away with a gentle, but firm circular motion. You’ll need a bit of elbow grease with this method, then rinse away the lemon and salt scrub once you’re satisfied with the cleaning.

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How to Prevent Hard Water Stains

Proper cleaning is really the main way to prevent hard water stains, as the minerals won’t have time to build up when they’re cleared off everyday. Daily cleaning is a must for the bathroom, and making sure that the area is wiped dry guarantees that the minerals don’t get left behind on the surface of your bathroom fixtures.

Another way to prevent stains from hard water is to install a water softener to your water filtration system. Although a bit on the higher end, this will absolve any possible staining from hard water, as the water softener will filter out any minerals before they get into your bathroom. 

For the convenience of having a clean bathroom with none of the hassle, contact us at Luce Home so we can remove hard water stains for you - happiness guaranteed! Our professional house cleaners are experienced in tackling even the toughest of grime.

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