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Scrub Away Hard Water Buildup




Hard water can be a hard problem to solve when it leaves mineral deposits in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. The minerals in hard water, like calcium and lime, are left behind when the water dries. Over time, this causes mineral buildup and unattractive stains on glass and ceramic surfaces. Stop scowling and the scum and scrub it away with these hard water cleaning hacks.

A simple solution

A simple solution for hard water scum is a simple mixture of half water, half white vinegar. It’s important to use white vinegar because apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar aren’t effective in removing the stains. The easiest way to apply the vinegar water solution is to purchase a spray bottle similar to the ones used for over the counter cleaning products. Simply spray the stained surface thoroughly and scrub away the scum. This technique works great for shower doors or floor tiles but don’t apply the vinegar water to wooden surfaces. Vinegar water damages wood. Once the area is wiped off, rinse and dry the area.

cleaning around faucet

Soak the scum

If your shower head is covered in hard water buildup, it might take more work to clean away the scum. One option is to remove the faucet or shower head and let it soak in a bucket of vinegar water. Depending on your faucet attachment, it might be easier to fill a gallon bag with vinegar water and secure it to the fixture with rubber bands. Allow the fixture to soak in the vinegar water for several minutes before scrubbing away the mineral buildup.

Flush away the mineral stains

Don’t forget to clean the hard water stains out of your toilet, too. While this job is less glamorous and often avoided, a lot of water is flushed through your toilet bowl. Pour one to two cups of vinegar into your toilet bowl and let it soak for a few minutes. Use the toilet cleaner to scrub off the stains and break up the buildup. Once you’ve finished, flush away the vinegar water.

Other ingredients to remove scum

Other non-toxic, household ingredients that are effective at removing stains include lemon juice and baking soda. If household remedies aren’t enough to break up your hard water scum, look for cleaning products with hydrochloric or phosphoric acids. Both of these acids deactivate the minerals in hard water that cause buildup and stains. Cleaners that contain these chemicals are really strong so wear gloves and only work in a well-ventilated room.

baking soda and lemon

Prevent hard water stains

To prevent future stains from hard water buildup, wipe your kitchen and bathroom surfaces dry after use. This will prevent the hard water minerals from staining your shower walls and the kitchen sink. Water softener liquids and powders can be added to your washing machine or dishwasher to prevent mineral buildup in your appliances. If hard water continues to be a problem for you, consider investing in a water softener system for your home. This will soften the water throughout your home so you’re not left scrubbing away hard water buildup.