Hard water stains are very persistent and hard to clean away, and they often return. This problem is caused by the dissolved mineral content that’s left behind after the water has evaporated. A hard water stain looks like a chalky white scale that accumulates over time to form an unsightly crust on plumbing fixtures. This is a recurring problem unless the homeowner takes steps to address the underlying issues, which is the supply of hard water. In this article, we will look at three proven techniques to remove those hard water stains.
Baking Soda and Elbow Grease
Baking soda can be used to make a wide variety of cleaning products for your home. Chemical cleaning products can damage your home plumbing system, and you should try to avoid using them wherever possible. But, baking soda is benign, and it adds a great deal of cleaning power when combined with good old elbow grease. Simply sprinkle some baking soda over the hard water stain and rub the area with a slightly damp cloth or sponge. This will take some time, but be patient, the stain will eventually break apart, and you will see the clean plumbing fixture emerge.
A Homemade Vinegar Cleaner
White vinegar is another useful item to keep around the home because it can be used in many different cleaning tasks. Some people pour white vinegar into their kettles or coffee makers to clear away scale deposits that have accumulated inside those machines. This cleaning method follows a similar principle with a small twist to make the vinegar easier to use for general cleaning. Get a clean spray bottle; pour in a 50/50 ratio of clean water and white vinegar to create an effective cleaning spray. Spray the hard water stain and leave it a short while, so the vinegar has time to work. Then scrub the area with an old toothbrush or a sponge to break up the scale deposits. The vinegar will smell, so you may want to leave a window open when you’re cleaning. Don’t worry about the vinegar odor too much; it dissipates quickly, and you can rinse the fixture with water when you’re finished.
Cleaners Containing Hydrochloric Acid
There are store bought cleaning products that are specifically designed to clean hard water stains. But, many of these chemical cleaners actually contain hydrochloric acid, which is an extremely hard chemical to use in your home. This should be the very last resort, and even then, it’s probably a bad idea to use these products. If you do feel the need to resort to this cleaning method, make sure to wear thick gloves, and ensure that the room is very well ventilated. This will protect your hands from chemical burns and your lungs from damage during the cleaning process.
These hard water stain cleaning methods are effective, but the stains will return if the hard water problem is not fixed. Installing a water softener will remove the minerals that cause your water to be hard and softer water is much easier to live with.
Contact a local certified plumber for expert help and advice to guide you through the available options that are best suited to your home.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.