Limescale and hard water stains are a nuisance when it comes to cleaning. Whether in the shower or on the sink, these stains can be nasty eyesores. Therefore, we are going to look at some DIY methods to clean these stains effectively. But before we do, where do they come from? In addition, what even is hard water?
What is Hard Water?
To put it simply, hard water is water that contains a high number of minerals. These minerals become present in the water as it percolates through deposits of limestone, chalk, or gypsum. It is the opposite of soft water, which has minimal or no minerals, like rainwater.
How Do Hard Water Stains Form?
As hard water finds its way into your house through pipes, it leaves behind deposits of magnesium and calcium in the form of hard water stains as the water evaporates. These stains become more prominent in heating elements like kettles and boilers since they experience faster evaporation rates. Apart from these areas, the limescale can also accumulate on your toilet bowl, bathroom glass doors, porcelain, and metal surfaces.
Over time, the limescale becomes more pronounced and harder to remove. The stains have the potential to become permanent if left unchecked. It is therefore important that you nip these hard water stains in the bud.
We have put together 5 DIY cleaning hacks you could use to clean hard water stains and other issues.
1. Baking Soda and Vinegar Combination
For this method, you will need baking soda, vinegar, and a zip-lock bag. With a ratio of one portion of baking soda to two portions of vinegar, mix these two in the zip-lock bag and tie it up well with a rubber band. Ensure it is airtight and let it soak overnight.
In the morning, you will wake up to a very effective stain remover. You can use a towel to apply this cleaning agent to the stains in your sink. The cleaning hack works by removing the mineral deposits of magnesium and calcium, so you need to let it sit for a while. You should let it sit for at least thirty minutes.
You can then scrub the stains with a brush and wash them off with clean water. Use a clean towel to wipe off and give your sink a sparkle.
2. Vinegar-soaked Paper Towels For Faucets
The collection of limescale on your faucet can leave ugly white spots on it. This is very irritating as you use the sink frequently and seeing the stains can become annoying. However, this simple cleaning hack seeks to change that.
To use this method, you need some paper towels and vinegar. Soak the paper towels in vinegar and wrap them around the faucet. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the faucet for the best results. Leave these paper towels for an hour and then remove and clean the faucet with dry paper towels and voila! Your faucet is as clean as new.
This DIY solution helps to eliminate the accumulation of hard water mineral deposits on the faucet. It is important to do this regularly, especially if you use hard water solutions, like a well. Such water has a high content of minerals and this cleaning hack can help you remove stains on your faucet.
3. Use CLR for Limescale
Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover, or simply CLR, is a common cleaning agent for hard water stains and rust. Its heavy-duty nature is quite effective at removing hard water stains, including limescale.
Limescale is a hard and chalky deposit that usually forms inside pipes and boilers, especially where hot water is involved. These deposits form after the hard water solution evaporates and leaves behind solid calcium carbonate. Such deposits can restrict the flow of water in the pipes, and can ultimately lead to blockages and reduced efficiency of heating components. In the end, this translates to increased maintenance costs incurred by you. Therefore, we advise you to use the CLR remover to avoid such eventualities.
Mix one part of CLR with eight parts of water and shake thoroughly. Use this solution to clean your kettles and boilers. You can also use it for your toilet bowl. After washing the affected parts, let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with cold water. This method is effective in obliterating limescale.
4. Vinegar Spray For Glass Shower Doors
Your classy glass shower doors can appear ugly and distasteful when covered in hard water stains. You can barely see through it and these stains can be irking. Over time, these stains accumulate as the hard water flows on the glass doors, leaving behind deposits. This simple method can ensure your glass bathroom doors stay crystal clear.
For application, you only need vinegar and water. In a spray bottle, mix the water and vinegar in equal portions and shake well. Spray this solution generously onto the glass doors. Ensure you wet the entire door with this mixture. Afterward, wash the door with plenty of clean cold water. You can use a toothbrush to scrub the stubborn stains that may remain. Wipe off with a clean towel to give it a final sparkle.
5. Your Fluoride Toothpaste!
Did you know that your normal toothpaste could help you get rid of hard water stains? Well, you had better believe it. Fluoride toothpaste contains active ingredients that can aggressively remove hard water stains. This method is as simple as it gets; you only need toothpaste and an old toothbrush.
With minimal fuss, you can remove hard water stains from the faucets, mirrors, and even some porcelain dishes by brushing thoroughly for at least 1 minute. You should let the toothpaste sit for at least 5-10 minutes before washing it off with cold water and cleaning with a dry towel. This is a simple DIY cleaning hack that you can employ in your home to get rid of hard water stains.
Hard water stains are bound to form in one place or another in the house, especially when using hard water. Although there is no evidence to show that hard water is harmful to your health, it is important to clean these stains regularly to avoid accumulation. As always, it is better to prevent than to cure.