Keeping your house fresh and clean can take a lot of hard work. This task can be more challenging if you are using hard water. Hard water can leave hard water stains that make your toilets, bathrooms, doors, taps, and fixtures unpleasant.
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water is water with a high concentration of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. Groundwater picks up these elements as it passes through rocks and soil.
Experts measure water hardness in parts per million (ppm), grains per gallon (GPG), and milligrams per liter (mg/L). U.S. Geological Survey states that water is hard if it contains more than 1 GPG or 17.1 ppm. About 85% of water across the U.S. is hard water.
Signs of Hard Water
Your home can have hard water if you notice stains, limescale, and mineral deposits on surfaces like stainless steel, tile, glass, porcelain, fiberglass, and enamel. Stains or build-ups may also be on dishes, sinks, and bathroom fixtures.
Besides calcium and magnesium, hard water solution can also have brass, copper, iron, and manganese. Manganese stains appear black or brownish, while water having iron leaves red deposits or those that seem like white slime. Green or blue spots around your fixtures can show your water is slightly acidic. Acidic water can erode copper or brass pipes.
Problems Caused by Hard Water
Hard water can cause these issues in your home:
- Clothes wear out quickly or look dingy
- Clogged showerheads
- Soap scum on showers, tubs, and other surfaces
- Make cleaning more challenging
- Permanent damage to your glass shower doors
- Damage plumbing fixtures
- Streaks and spots on glasses and dishes
- Skin irritation
- Clogged water pipes
- Water heater energy inefficiency
- Damaged appliances
How To Clean Limescale and Hard Water Stains
Clean hard water stains and limescale regularly before they penetrate your surfaces. You can remove these stains using nontoxic, natural cleaners, such as vinegar, lemon juice, white wine, and baking soda. You may also buy cleaning products for this work. Here are some cleaning methods and DIY tips for cleaning limescale and hard water stains:
1. Clean Soap Scum Using a Spray Bottle
Mix white distilled vinegar and water in a spray bottle to remove soap scum in your bathroom. Spray the solution on the stained surfaces and let it sit for 3–5 minutes before wiping down your shower. Vinegar’s acidity helps to combat hard water deposits’ alkaline minerals. A squeegee can help you clean glass shower mirrors and doors.
2. Stained Fixtures
If your sinks and other fixtures have a chalky residue, soak paper towels in white vinegar for a few seconds. Wrap them around the fixture’s base and leave them for one hour. Rinse the fixture with water and wipe the remaining scum.
3. Toilet Hard Water Stains
Pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar into a stained toilet bowl. This solution creates a chemical reaction that can help you clean these stains using a toilet brush. Use a cup of white vinegar and another cup of vinegar.
4. Make Stain-Fighting Paste
This cleaning hack can be helpful when dealing with stubborn stains, like those on ceramic tile and grout. Create a paste using baking soda or Borax with white vinegar. Use more powdered components to form a thicker paste. Spread the mixture on problem areas and wait for 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing these areas.
5. Clogged Showerheads
Mineral deposits can block your showerhead and reduce water pressure gradually. Remove the showerhead and soak it in a jar containing white vinegar for 2–4 hours before scrubbing it clean with a brush.
You may also mix baking soda and vinegar in a plastic bag. Place the mixture over your showerhead using a rubber band to soak it.
6. Lemon Juice Solution
Lemon juice can be an excellent alternative if you exhaust your white vinegar during other cleaning hacks. Spraying lemon juice on stained fixtures can cause the same result as using chemical cleaners.
7. Use CLR for Limescale
Calcium Lime Rust (CLR) can clean household items that many cleaning products cannot clean. This compound can dissolve and remove tough stains caused by mineral deposits from hard water.
Here are the cleaners for various hard water stains:
- Red or reddish-brown stains (from iron or rust): Paste a mixture of tartar and water on the stained surfaces. Let the mix dry, then rinse.
- Green or blue-green spots (from acid water or copper): Put ammonia and soap suds on the stained surfaces, then rinse.
- Black or brown spots (from manganese or other chemicals): Put a paste comprising tartar and hydrogen peroxide on stained surfaces. Let it stand for a few minutes, then rinse.
- Soap scum and hard water spots: Put a paste comprising of baking soda and white vinegar on the stained surfaces. Let it stand for some minutes, then rinse.
Ways To Prevent Stained Surfaces When Using Hard Water
Pick any hard water tip below to prevent the water from staining your surfaces:
- Wipe surfaces dry to avoid hard water minerals remaining on them when the water evaporates.
- Use a spray cleaner on glass and shower doors to prevent stains if you don’t desire to squeegee them.
- Soak various surfaces with cleaning chemicals and household products, like baking soda, white vinegar, and lemon juice, before wiping/scrubbing and rinsing them.
- Get water softening equipment to remove stain-causing chemicals and minerals in water before distributing it in your home.
Hard water stains can make your surfaces unpleasant and complicate your household cleaning. Using the right solutions and methods can help you clean these surfaces. You’ll make them elegant in a short period. Contact Aquarius Home Services to get Kinetico water softeners that help prevent scale build up and hard water stains.