How to Remove Water Hardness Stains from Showers, Toilet, Sinks, Cars & MORE!

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Water hardness stains will turn your once-bright chrome faucet and glass shower doors and toilets into dingy stained unites. However, the trick to getting them all bright again is by removing the hard water stains.

Limescale is a result of these stains. It usually contains extreme amounts of calcium and magnesium buildup. When these dissolves, they leave scum flakes and marks once heated. These hard stains deposits are known as limescale.

Here are 33 methods using household items you may already have to get rid of these things.

How to Remove Water Hardness Stains

It is possible to get rid of hard water stains in the kitchen, dishwasher, and shower, but without softening your water, these things will return in a short amount of time. Nevertheless, the right products combination, elbow grease, and following tips will aid in the removal of soap scums and hard water stains – for good.

Shall we begin?

How to Clean Hard Water Stains from Showers & Bathtubs

The right water flow and the use of some lathering products may mean that your bathroom attract hard water stains. There are, however, some quick yet effective ways to remove hard water stains from tubs and showers.

Remove Hard Water Stains with Vinegar

  • Just mix equal fresh water and white vinegar in a spray bottle for an excellent bathroom cleaner.
  • Once done, completely saturate surfaces and allow the vinegar solution sit for about 15 minutes.
  • Then grab a dry microfiber towel and wipe clean


Did that work, if no, then try the next step:

  • For additional scrubbing power, add white vinegar directly to baking soda until it’s wet enough to form a nice paste.
  • Then spread the above paste on surfaces affected and allow it sit for 15 minutes before wiping clean with a dry microfiber cleaning cloth.

Note: Do this weekly to reduce spots & brighten bathroom surfaces for home with hard water.

If your shower, tub, or sink features rusty, red, and/or hard water stains, you may need something stronger (like CLR Pro Spray Cleaner – CHECK ON AMAZON). Ensure you follow the directions on the product to get the best results while staying safe.

how to remove water hardness stains

Removing Hard Water Stains on Showerheads & Faucets

  • Grab a large, deep bowl and fill it with an equal part of hot water and CLR.
  • Remove your tub faucet or showerhead, and place each one separately in the bowl for 2-3 minutes.
  • If your fixtures don’t seem to come off, completely submerge them by holding the bowl in place for 2-3 minutes.
  • Buy a soft, non-abrasive brush or sponge, loosen any grime or deposits. You should repeat this process until all visible stains and mineral buildup are fully eradicated. Lastly, rinse your tub faucet and showerhead with warm water and then wipe dry using a clean microfiber cloth.
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Cleaning Hard Water Stains on Shower Glass

As you shower, it is normal for product residue and water droplets to splash onto the walls. Homes running hard water leaves thick soap scum and spots behind.

If the cleaners you have tried doesn’t get rid of stubborn stains, then the baking soda paste (mentioned above) is ideal.

To reduce stains from occurring (and to reduce bacteria growth speed), use a small squeegee to wipe down shower walls and glass after each use.

Getting Rid of Hard Water Stains in Toilets

Since toilets and bathtubs are typically made from the same porcelain material, the methods stated above should give you success in the removal of hard water stains from your toilet.

You should always make sure you carry out a spot test first, but cleaning stones can be effective tools at gently removing calcium’s, rust, and iron buildup.

ALSO SEE: How to Soften Water at Home

ALSO SEE: How To Remove Water Hardness From Pool 

ALSO SEE: How to Soften Hard Water for Plants

What Causes Pink Toilet Stains?

Pink stains in toilet bowls are generally caused by the bacteria Serratia Marcescens, but can be easily gotten rid of by using a Disinfecting Surface Cleaner (CHECK ON AMAZON).

  • To do this: Spray a hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant (CHECK ON AMAZON) on toilet stains, and let it sit for 10-minutes,
  • The scrub with a toilet brush, and flush.

How to Keep Dishes and Glasses Spot-Free

How to Keep Dishes and Glasses Spot-Free

The easiest method of preventing hard water and soap from building up is through cleaning your dishwasher each month.

  • To clean, take away the filter, attachments, and removable baskets
  • Dip an old toothbrush in a solution of warm water and a couple of Natural Dish soap.
  • Gently scrub the areas where dirt and food collect.
  • Fill a cup with white vinegar and place it on the dishwasher top rack. Then run it for 1 cycle on hot.
  • Sprinkle baking soda along the bottom of the empty dishwasher and allow it run one more time.
  • As soon as the dishwasher completes its drying cycle, return the removable parts and you should be ready to go.


How to Avoid Spots on Dishes when HandWashing

The easiest means to avoid soap buildup when handwashing dishes is by using Natural Dish Soap (CHECK ON AMAZON) to ‘sheet” water, meaning fewer water droplets to dry off and a streak-free finish.

Removing Hard Water Stains on Granite & Marble

Marble and granite are costly to acquire, and using harsh acidic cleaners can compromise their seal and dull their shine.

To eradicate hardwater stains on marble and granite, either spray the area with:

Either of the method you pick will work fine. However, ensure you use one trigger per 2’ x 2’ surface area and allow the solution sit for a couple of minutes. Then, scrub with an old toothbrush or non-scratch sponge (that’s designed for natural stone).

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Metal

Hydrogen Peroxide & Cream of Tartar (CHECK ON AMAZON) combo will help to get rid of water stains from metals.

  • Use hydrogen peroxide to work away stubborn soap scum and water stains
  • For additional power, make a paste using baking powder, and a cream of tartar, and apply it to the stained area.

How to Get Rid of Hard Water Stains on Car

You should mix equal ration of white distilled vinegar and water then pour into a spray bottle or simply use to wet the glass.

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Another alternative would be soaking the solution on a towel and applying it to the surface. Then let the vinegar to sit on the spots for at least 5 minutes so that the vinegar acidity can counteract the mineral deposits.


How to Remove Limescale From A Kettle

Buying a kettle-cleaning kit (CHECK ON AMAZON) to deal with your problem of limescale deposits might work but we prefer a natural approach. The best part is that this method can be just as effective.

  • Fill your kettle with an equal amount of white vinegar (lemon juice) or water.
  • Leave this solution to soak for 60 minutes.
  • Boil the kettle
  • Then tip the mixture away and give the kettle a good rinse
  • Then simply wipe down the kettle outside with your water and vinegar mix.

How to clean a sink and remove hard water stains

How to Clean A Sink and Remove Hard Water Stains

While stains on porcelain sinks might be more visible than a stainless-steel sink, both are quite annoying to see discolored, and rough.

Porcelain sinks in particular are more likely to be marked wen cleaning with abrasive cleaners so a gentle method of getting rid of limescale is recommended.

To Remove Limescale From A Porcelain Sink

  • Use warm water, washing up liquid and a soft sponge to get rid of any surface grease or dirt
  • Use it in combination of white vinegar (1 part) with bicarbonate of soda 92 parts) and blend into a paste
  • Take a finger and use it to rub this white paste into any hard water stains.
  • Next, wait for 5 minutes. The paste should have soften the limescale patches by this time.
  • Now, gently scrub each stain with your soft sponge
  • Rinse the sink to get rid of any remaining paste
  • Dry the sink and polish the taps

To Remove Limescale From A Stainless-Steel Sink

  • You should mix up a white vinegar (1 part) and a solution of water (5 parts)
  • Use a sponge or a soft cloth to carefully clean away each hard water stain.
  • Then rinse the sink to get rid of any remaining solution
  • Dry the sink to get rid of any remaining solution.
  • Dry the sink and polish the taps

You can shop for commercial descaling products on AMAZON. In fact, they too are effective alternatives for stubborn hard water stains.

How to Clean Hard Water Stains Off Granite

  • Using a non-abrasive scrubbing pad, washing-up liquid, and warm water, you should clean your granite sink.
  • Dry your sink off and check for limescale deposits
  • If the stains are still visible, clean your granite sink again using a paste made from water (1 part) & bicarbonate of soda (3 parts).
  • For stubborn stains leave this paste in position for a few hours before rinsing

How to Remove Limescale From A Toilet

You can remove limescale from a toilet by:

  • Putting on a pair of protective gloves
  • Then empty the bowl of water. You can achieve this by scooping it out or pushing it around the bend using a toilet brush
  • Now, pour enough undiluted white vinegar into the bowl to cover the limescale deposits
  • Leave for a couple of hours)
  • Scrub the bowl with the toilet brush then flush

How to Deal with Hard Water Stains on Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops are more stain resistant but can attract a bit of hard water stains, which can be more visible when they show up even more if you use a dark theme in your kitchen.

We do not recommend using harsh chemical cleaners or harsh clothes on a laminate countertop, instead we advise using a more natural approach such as:

  • Using warm water, a soft sponge and washing up liquid to eradicate any grease or dirt from your laminate surface.
  • Create a paste of water (using 1 part) and bicarbonate of soda (three parts)
  • Cover each stain with the paste
  • Then wait for 30-40 minutes
  • Wipe the laminate countertop clean and dry it thoroughly
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How to Remove Limescale From Taps

While a water softening system will protect the inside of your taps from hard water, the outside can be kept protected from limescale by using a paste, instead of a liquid solution

To Remove Limescale From Stainless Steel Taps

  • You should mix a thick paste of bicarbonate of soda (2 parts) and white vinegar (1 part)
  • Spread this paste over any limescale deposit and then leave for 30/40 minutes
  • Next, rinse it and dry

To Remove Limescale From Copper or Brass Taps

  • Now, make a mixture of a paste of white vinegar (1 part) and bicarbonate of soda (2 parts)
  • Now, rub this paste into the area of any hard water stains
  • Leave the paste in place for 30-40 minutes
  • Rinse and dry

To Remove Limescale From Chrome Taps

  • Chrome can be easily scratched, so use a gentle touch when cleaning.
  • Apply some lemon juice to a damp cloth and then rub the stained area
  • If the stain doesn’t leave, then use a bicarbonate of soda paste but only leave it on the surface for a short time.

Whichever type of tap you have; you might find an old toothbrush useful to help you get into those small spaces.

How to Clean Hard Water Stains Off A Bathtub

How to Clean Hard Water Stains Off A Bathtub

You can remove the limescale from a bathtub by:

  • Mixing equal parts of white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda into a thick paste
  • Apply this paste to the area with hard water stains
  • Allow the paste settle for 15-20 minutes
  • Rinse and then repeat as many times as needed
  • You can leave the paste on it overnight for really stubborn limescale


How to Remove Limescale From Glass

Use plenty of water to wash away limescale from glass.

Allow some time to dry between uses.

Note: This can be a time-consuming task so be prepared.

How to Remove Limescale From A Shower Door

  • Make a mixture of equal parts of white vinegar and water
  • Then add this solution into a pump action bottle and squirt onto the shower door
  • Then leave the solution on the door for anywhere from 10 minutes then wipe off
  • Rinse the door and repeat for any stubborn stains

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Drinking Glasses

Limescale deposits can make a once-clear glass cloudy. You should use warm soapy water to clean it.

  • Pour some white vinegar into a container but don’t fill it.
  • Then soak your glasses in the vinegar for 20 minutes
  • Take out the glasses and clean them in warm soapy water
  • Dry the glasses carefully

How to Get Rid of Hard Water Stains on An Aquarium without Harming My Fishes

Never use cleaning products to clean your fish tank as that can be lethal to them. Instead, use white vinegar.

  • Take away the fish from the tank and keep them somewhere safe
  • Drain the tank and empty it
  • Place the tank on a towel so you don’t damage the surrounding areas
  • Cover any areas of limescale deposit with white vinegar
  • Leave the vinegar solution in place for 10-20 minutes
  • Using a soft cloth, gently scrub the area
  • You can try using a razor blade to scrape off any hard to get rid of hard water deposits

How To Prevent Hard Water Stains And Limescale Deposits

The most effective way of preventing hardwater is investing in a professionally fitted water softener (CHECK ON AMAZON).

Other ways include:

  • Use a limescale prevention product on areas that are often wet
  • Resist the temptation of using wiper blade and dry cloth to get rid of water before it can deposit limescale on shower doors.
  • Dry sinks and taps after you have used them
  • Prevent the buildup of stains by making limescale removal part of your regular cleaning regime

Is Limescale Bad for You?

Limescale doesn’t have any ill effects on humans but it can cause some serious damage to appliances and constitute a nuisance.

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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