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How to Clean Hard Water Stains from Your Bath & Kitchen Fixtures


How to Clean Hard Water Stains from Your Bath & Kitchen Fixtures

When a home has hard water, the fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen may constantly look dirty or even gritty. If the stains are not removed, they can tarnish the fixtures and prevent them from working properly. To avoid this, homeowners should remove the stains as soon as they appear.

What Causes Hard Water Stains?

Hard water contains large amounts of minerals that can buildup on plumbing and fixtures over time. Some of these minerals, like calcium and limestone, create a crust around faucets and fixtures as the water molecules evaporate. While the water itself is perfectly safe to use, the minerals can impede water flow and degrade the look of the bath and kitchen fixtures over time. To keep the bath and kitchen looking pristine, the hard water stains should be regularly cleaned.

Cleaning Light Hard Water Stains

Light hard water stains can be cleaned using a white vinegar and water mixture. Using a simple spray bottle filled with 50 percent warm water and 50 percent vinegar, the spots should be lightly sprayed. Once the mixture sits for a few minutes, the stains should easily come up once the surface is wiped with a towel. The area should then be rinsed and dried to prevent more spots from forming.

Dealing with Problematic Hard Water Stains

If the hard water stains have been around for some time or the fixtures have crusty buildup, the spots may be harder to remove. Homeowners can try soaking an old towel in white vinegar and letting that towel sit on the stain. After about 10 minutes or so, the mineral deposits may be soft enough to remove. A scrub brush may also be useful for larger or thicker deposits.

When Home Remedies are not Enough

For tougher stains, white vinegar may not be strong enough to handle the stains. A bathroom cleaner that specifically states that it was made to remove hard water stains can be used. The cleaner can be sprayed directly on the spot. After it soaks for a minute or two, a damp cloth can be used to wipe away the cleaner and the stain. The area should be rinsed with clean water and dried to prevent more stains from showing up.

Because hydrochloric acid is usually the main ingredient in these cleaners, the bathroom or kitchen should be well ventilated when the cleaner is used. Additionally, homeowners should always use gloves when handling harsh chemicals.

Preventing Hard Water Stains

As long as the home has hard water, the stains will return unless homeowners take care to prevent the stains from coming back. One of the easiest ways is to simply dry any surface that gets wet before the water molecules evaporate. This removes the deposits before they have a chance to dry.

A more permanent solution is to purchase a water softener system. Although this system can be expensive, the water softener removes some of the minerals that cause the stains. Further, homeowners may notice that their bathroom and kitchen fixtures will appear brighter and need less cleaning over time.

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Bath & Kitchen Showplace offers everything you need for your bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects. We offer more than 50 years of experience to help our customers in the Austin, Dallas and Arlington areas find the best plumbing and fixture products for every budget. Please browse our site and let us know how we can help you.