How To Get Rid Of Hard Water Stains

Remove hard water stains with ease

Are your faucets and shower doors deprived of any original shine they might have had? It’s probably because of the presence of hard water stains. Removing them stains is not easy, but isn’t impossible either. There are some things you can do at home or call in a professional cleaner, depending on the time and budget you have on hand. 

Hard water stains explained

So, what is hard water exactly? And why does water, of all things, cause stains? Hard water in this context is a type of water with excessive levels of minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, and more. Stains appear when it collects and eventually dries, leaving a trail of calcium as it disappears. The stains are usually white, but might also turn out to be brown or rust-colored, based on the minerals present inside the water.

It’s time to clean!

What’s the best way to tackle these aggressive stains? Well, there are two routes.

If you’re short on time but have the budget, it might be prudent to hire professional cleaners to do the job for you. They are equipped with the tools, knowledge, and materials needed to do a brilliant job. They will leave any stained objects brighter than ever before.

The second method is doing it on your own using a wide array of products available at home. These methods might be a bit time-consuming, but they are doable. Just make sure that you wear gloves and other safety gear, and are super careful while doing this. You don’t want to make any mistakes that could stain your faucets further.

Here are some techniques you could use to remove hard water stains. 


Vinegar’s available in every household and is a completely natural option to get rid of the stains. Take vinegar out from its original packaging and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the area where the hard water stains are present and keep it on for a maximum of 15 minutes. It’s important to keep the vinegar on for a while to break down the stains.

Make sure that the vinegar doesn’t dry and keep your surface as wet as possible for these 15 minutes. In case you’re trying to remove stains from larger glass surfaces, pour vinegar on paper towels and stick them to the glass.

Once you’ve kept the vinegar on for the appropriate time, it’s time to take out your toothbrush. Try using a bigger bristle so that you can cover a larger surface area. 

You don’t have to limit yourself to one type of vinegar! If you’re out of one kind, you can use another, including apple cider and white vinegar. If common edible vinegar isn’t in your house, you could try using cleaning vinegar instead.

Hydrogen peroxide combined with cream of tartar

This is a great solution for really stubborn stains or soap debris. These types of stains tend to fester on metal fixtures or bathtubs around your house. An ideal homemade remedy is mixing this powder with cream of tartar and applying it to the place that’s stained. Keep it there for 30 minutes then make a sponge or cloth wet and scrub. Your fixtures should be shiny and pristine.

Baking soda

In case the hard water stains are on ceramic tiles, it could be even tougher to get them out. As hard water stains include a slew of mineral deposits, even posh tiles end up looking dirty. Apart from the solutions listed above, baking soda is a great tool to solve this problem. Mix baking soda and water, and then apply this paste to the area that is affected. As it is natural, it won’t damage your original materials. 

Let the paste stay in the area damaged by stains for some minutes. This ensures that the natural cleaner penetrates well and breaks down the stain’s chemical structure. After this, scrub the area with a large toothbrush. Once done, wipe away the residue with a damp cloth. You’ll have a shiny surface as a result.

Fluoride toothpaste

Fluoride toothpaste is not only wonderful for teeth but also for removing hard water stains too. Available in every bathroom, it’s the perfect choice for glass surfaces, metal fixtures, and dishes.

The stone method of toilet cleaning

Even if you try your best to ensure that hard water stains don’t accumulate in your toilet waterline, it still happens and it becomes hard to remove. For such situations, opt for a toilet cleaning stone. The stones are crafted from crushed glass, and they automatically scrub hard water stains away without damaging your toilet. 

To use this, you need to wet the stone and scrub your toilet gently in the area with hard water deposits. This method helps break down the minerals. The best part is that you can always use these stones until they wear down. 

Water softener

A softener has the dual benefit of ejecting mineral-free water and reducing the possibility of hard water stains. Such systems eliminate minerals from the water even before they come through your water pipes. They help ensure that your plumbing and glass surfaces stay in top condition. 

This also helps prevent issues including insufficient water heating, hair that is lifeless, irritated skin, and clogs.

Easy ways to prevent hard water stains

Of course, if you try your level best to prevent stains, then the cleaning process wouldn’t be as arduous. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Keep your fixtures as dry as possible. After you use them, wipe them down with a soft cloth. These include faucets, shower doors, sinks, glass surfaces, and other areas that tend to get hard water stains. 
  • Clean your toilet bowl often, using a toilet cleaning stone or a cleaning brush. This will help dissolve any unnecessary minerals and help improve the cleaning process.
  • As mentioned before, a water softener is a great choice for prevention. You can get this installed professionally in your home’s plumbing systems. These water softeners work with the help of salt that you need to refill. The salt filters out magnesium and calcium. 
  • Call professional cleaners regularly. Hard water stains come after a lot of accumulation. If you call cleaners regularly, you won’t face a problem. They can tackle the issue before it even arises. 

We hope this guide lets you get rid of hard water stains!

Hard water stains don’t look aesthetically pleasing and can’t be removed by normal methods. However, this guide by Octopus experts is a good starting point. Try to follow these easy DIY cleaning methods and see the results. Better yet, prevent hard water stains from forming in the first place by installing water softeners and cleaning your fixtures regularly. Have any questions? Let us know in the comments.

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