How to Get Rid of Hard Water Stains

Updated on August 6, 2020

faucet with limescale deposits

Hard water is the main and probably only culprit if you’ve ever had to deal with white or yellow-ish spots on your bathroom fixtures, sinks, toilet bowl, or showerhead.

Water hardness is determined by how much calcium and magnesium crystals flow inside of it. This hardness is measured in GPG and you can test this out on your own by getting a TDS test kit. Alternatively, you can also get a professional to measure hardness levels.

In any case, removing these stains is crucial to keeping your house looking good. Not to mention that letting these stains accumulate will only make them harder to get rid of. And limescale buildup within the pipes is yet another issue that you will want to address, but for the moment, we will be focusing on stains only.

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from the Toilet Bowl

Out of all the fixtures that limescale can invade, the toilet bowl is probably the most problematic.

The accumulation of these deposits will make the bowl look yellowish, as if it hasn’t been disinfected in ages. You don’t need us to tell you what your guests might think when using your bathroom…

To solve this issue, you can get some branded cleaning products meant specifically for hard water, or you could go the smart way by getting two cheap household items: baking soda and vinegar

These two products are some of the most useful and versatile you will ever find. However, they don’t come with instructions for removing limescale, do they? So let’s see how you can use them to achieve this goal.

  1. Pour one cup of vinegar inside the toilet bowl in a swirling motion to cover as much of the affected area as possible.
  2. Use a toilet brush to swish it around even further and let it sit for about one minute.
  3. Next, add one cup of baking soda to the mix and top it off with one or two more vinegar cups and let the solution sit for about 10 minutes.
  4. Afterward, swish the solution around using the toilet brush and make sure to cover all the stains above the water level, but don’t flush just yet.
  5. Wait 30 minutes and then repeat the process again until you’ve made sure all the stains are gone, and, finally, flush it away.
clean hard water toilet stains

How to Remove Hard Water Deposits from Faucets

Vinegar comes to the rescue once again if you need to clean those nasty stains found on your faucet.

Additionally, you’ll only need a rag that you probably already have lying around somewhere. As an alternative, you can also use a clean cloth.

  1. Soak the rag or cloth in vinegar and wrap it around the faucet while making sure that it touches all the hard water spots.
  2. Let it sit for at least half an hour, preferably an entire hour.
  3. Remove the rag or cloth, get a non-scratch sponge, and start scrubbing the entire faucet, but focus especially on the places where spots are present.
  4. Repeat all these steps as needed until the faucet looks brand new again.

How to Remove Scale from Faucet Aerators

If hard water is flowing through your pipes, then the faucet aerator is bound to be affected even if you can’t see it.

Not doing anything about it will decrease the flow of water or cause erratic spraying, which can become tedious and annoying.

  1. Start by carefully removing the aerator with a pair of pliers. With most aerators, you have to turn them clockwise to make them come loose.
  2. Disassemble the aerator while taking note of each part so that you will remember how to reinstall it afterward.
  3. Place the aerator’s parts in a bowl filled with vinegar and leave them to sit overnight or for at least a couple of hours.
  4. After enough waiting, scrub the remaining debris on the aerator screen using a clean toothbrush.
  5. Rinse all the parts, reassemble them, and put the aerator back in its place.

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from the Shower Door

Vinegar comes to the rescue once again. 

  1. Fill a spray bottle with half water and half white vinegar.
  2. Spray the solution on the glass doors, making sure to cover the entirety of the affected surfaces.
  3. Leave the solution to sit for about five minutes then scrub with a non-scratch sponge.
  4. Apply the solution once more to get the maximum of desired effects.
  5. Rinse the solution with warm water and clean everything up with a cloth.

How to Prevent Hard Water Stains in the Future

Many people choose to go for salt-based water softener systems without considering their downsides.

A water softener replaces calcium and magnesium crystals inside hard water with sodium. That does indeed solve the limescale issue, but it can cause other problems down the line.

For instance, septic systems can get clogged faster, and people with increased blood pressure or nursing mothers shouldn’t ingest excess sodium.

However, saltless softening products, such as the Yarna CWD30 do exist, which uses capacitive electronic signals to alter the mineral crystals’ shape. You can also try a reverse osmosis system, or a template assisted crystallization system.

The Bottom Line

Hard water stains are annoying but they’re fairly easy to clean as long as you follow the steps mentioned above.

However, the best way to not deal with hard water stains at all is to prevent them by getting a water softening solution or device.


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