Hard water stains are also called mineral deposits or lime scale. But no matter what name you call it, that stubborn crusty gunk ruins your shower, toilet, and even clothing.
Hard water picks up plenty of minerals from the rocks it flows over in waterways. This mineral content includes calcium, magnesium, and iron. High concentrations have a distinctive taste, though it is still safe to drink.
When hard water evaporates, it leaves behind white-yellow residue on the surface. These calcium and magnesium deposits solidify into the crusty stuff that is very difficult to remove.
Meanwhile, rust-colored stains below dripping faucets are caused by iron combining with air. White crusty scale on spouts and screens is caused by calcium and magnesium buildup. Gray scum layers in the shower area, on the other hand, are caused by calcium and magnesium combining with soap.
Water stains are commonly found in the bathroom – on glass, tile, porcelain and even metal surfaces.
Hard Water Stains in the Bathroom
Faucets, sinks, tubs, toilets, and tiles are all vulnerable to hard water deposits. The most problematic is the toilet because of the presence of standing water. These stains can quickly turn into rust if left unattended over time. They become very unsightly and difficult to clean.
There are cleaning products specifically designed to remove hard water deposits. Some of the most effective cleaners can be found right in your storage room. Here are some of the ways to get rid of water stains without the use of harsh chemicals.
How to remove hard water deposits from bathroom fixtures
- Get a few cleaning rags and soak them in white vinegar.
- Place the rags around the area with mineral deposits.
- Leave the rags for an hour or more.
- Add more vinegar if the rags start to dry.
- Once the mineral deposits are loose, wipe the area with a clean towel or sponge.
How to remove hard water deposits from the toilet
- Turn off the water supply valve under the toilet.
- Flush the toilet repeatedly.
- Plunge out remaining water until the bowl is empty.
- Pour a cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl in a circular motion.
- After letting the vinegar sit for a while, add the same amount of baking soda. Add another cup or two of white vinegar.
- Watch the solution fizz and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- Spread the solution around the bowl, particularly on the ring above the water line.
- Let the vinegar and baking soda solution sit for a while.
- When the stains are loose, scrub them off with a toilet brush.
- Turn the water back on and flush.
If you have very stubborn water stains, one option is to scrub it off with wet sandpaper. Be sure to use extra-fine-grit sandpaper, so you do not scratch the porcelain. Keep the sandpaper wet to prevent damage to the finish.
Note, however, that rust stains can be difficult to remove. You might need diluted hydrochloric acid for this task. Never mix acid with bleach. Scrub slowly to prevent droplets from splattering outside the bowl. This chemical can ruin carpet, tile, and vinyl, and even hurt your skin. After scrubbing, flush and rinse the bowl immediately.
How to remove hard water deposits from the tub
- Fill tub with hot water until it reaches a couple of inches above the jet nozzles.
- Pour in 1 cup bleach or vinegar and 1/2 cup dishwasher detergent powder.
- Run the jet sprays for 15 minutes. Let it soak for an hour or more.
- Empty the tub and refill with cold water.
- Run the jet sprays another 10 minutes.
- Rinse and drain.
How to remove hard water deposits from the shower
- Mix a solution of half water and half vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution in your shower. Let it sit for a few minutes.
- Wipe the shower clean.
You can also try removing water stains with baking soda and vinegar.
- Combine vinegar and baking soda to create a paste.
- Smear the paste over the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Scrub the stain away and rinse.
Another option is to remove water stains with lemon juice.
- Spray fresh lemon juice on water stains around faucets.
- Rinse after 10 minutes.
- Wipe and dry.
It is important that you wipe dry immediately so water does not leave new residue on the surface.
Hard Water Stains in the Laundry
If your business is located in a hard water area, expect water stain buildup in your laundry. The minerals in hard water also make detergent lather up slower compared to soft water.
How to remove hard water stains from linen
- Pour a cup of vinegar into the detergent slot of your washing machine.
- Pop your clothes in and run the machine on rinse setting.
- After draining the vinegar, wash the load on normal setting with high-quality laundry detergent.
- Allow the clothes to air dry instead of tumble dry. Heat could make stains or discoloration permanent.
How to protect your linen from hard water stains
- Only use high-quality laundry detergent.
- Add water softeners – liquid or tablet – to the detergent slot.
- Consider installing a water filter to prevent lime scale buildup.
Hard water stains are often a result of neglect. Your in-house janitorial staff should be diligent in cleaning bathrooms and kitchens daily. If water stains are already impossible to remove, call Prestige Property Services. Our professional cleaners are able to bring back the original luster of your fixtures in no time.