How to Remove Hard Water Stains


Hard water stains can be a pain to remove, but there are several ways to remove them quickly.

The key is to keep these spots from forming in the first place. Regular cleaning and wiping down your shower, sink, dishwasher, and other surfaces that often see hard water will help prevent stains.


One of the best ways to remove hard water stains is with vinegar. It’s a safe, all-natural household cleaner that can give glass, ceramic, and even stainless steel an extra shine.

Vinegar can also break down minerals in hard water, which makes it an effective stain-fighting ingredient for sinks, faucets, and showerheads. You can spray it all over the areas you’re cleaning, or use a mix of equal parts vinegar and water.

If you have a stubborn hard water stain, try soaking it in vinegar before scrubbing it away. This will make it much easier to get rid of the colors.

It’s best to take care of these stains immediately before they become permanent, so you don’t have to worry about the problem coming back down the road. For example, if you notice a hard water spot in your dishwasher, add white vinegar to the rinse cycle instead of the usual dishwashing detergent.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an everyday kitchen staple used for various purposes. It is also a mild abrasive that can remove hard water stains from most surfaces, such as bathroom tiles.

When baking soda is mixed with a liquid, a chemical reaction creates carbon dioxide gas bubbles. This is what helps baked goods rise or expand inside a hot oven.

You may be familiar with baking soda as a leavening agent, but it’s also a popular cleaning solution for most home cleaning jobs. It can also help nix unpleasant odors and soothe sunburn or insect bites.

The easiest way to use baking soda to clean hard water stains is to apply a paste of equal parts baking soda and water. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a sponge or cloth. This will break down the minerals that cause the stains and make them easier to remove.

Fluoride Toothpaste

We all know toothpaste is excellent at keeping your teeth clean and white, but did you also know it’s an excellent natural cleaner for removing hard water stains? Fluoride toothpaste is a standard bathroom staple that can help remove the most challenging limescale deposits from glass surfaces and metal fixtures.

The fluoride in toothpaste reacts with calcium and magnesium salts to break them up. This makes it perfect for removing hard water stains from glass, stone, and chrome fixtures.

You can use a small amount of non-gel fluoride toothpaste on a soft cloth to remove mild hard water stains from windows, mirrors, and other vertical surfaces. Leave it on the stained area for five to ten minutes, then wipe it away with a wet towel or sponge.

While toothpaste is a safe way to remove hard water stains from surfaces, it should only be used as directed by your dentist or dental hygienist. In addition, children under the age of 3 should not be brushed with fluoride toothpaste unless their dentist has recommended it.

Water Softener

Water softeners can be a great way to remove hard water stains. They replace minerals in your water supply with sodium or potassium, preventing calcium and magnesium from building up on appliances and surfaces in your home.

A water softener uses a tank filled with polystyrene resin beads to absorb the hard minerals in your water. The negatively charged beads attract the positively charged calcium and magnesium particles in your water, trapping them inside the beads.

Occasionally, the resin beads become fouled with iron and manganese, which must be removed. Commercial cleaning agents are available for this process.

Ion-bonding water softeners bind the calcium and magnesium in your hard water to a semi-solid polyphosphate called PolyHalt. This secures the minerals so they can no longer stick to surfaces or appliances. This prevents white spots on faucets and shower heads and helps keep laundry from looking dingy or streaked with mineral buildup.