If you live in an area with hard water, you’ve probably found yourself wondering how to remove hard water spots from your bathroom or kitchen fixtures, shower doors, and even your tub.
WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?
Whether you think of them as lime or calcium buildup, or scale, they all come from the minerals that give hard water its name.
Those same minerals also work against most ordinary household cleaners. And, while there are many, many commercial products on the market designed to get rid of those water spots, you don’t need to look farther than your kitchen for natural products that remove hard water spots.
How To Remove Hard Water Spots
In the shower: Many people swear by Magic Erasers, while others use wet dryer sheets. For a more economical solution, use a homemade soap scum remover to remove the spots, then keep them away with a homemade daily shower spray.
In the jetted tub: Since jetted tubs don’t don’t wholly drain themselves between uses, owners often encounter two kinds of gross problems.
First is the black gunk that sometimes spews out of whirlpool jets and the pink mold that grows around them. This stuff, known as “biofilm,” is bacterial buildup from the water (and hair and dead skin cells) that sat in the whirlpool pipes between uses.
Then there’s the hard, white mineral buildup that sometimes clogs the jets. Fortunately, there’s an all-natural way to get rid of both, which I’ve used in my whirlpool tub for years now:
- Fill the tub with HOT water — at least 2 inches above the highest jet.
- Add 1/2 gallon white vinegar and two tablespoons powdered dish detergent.
- Run the jets for 15 minutes, then let sit for another 10.
- Drain the tub and refill with cold water, running the jets another 10 minutes.
- Drain the tub and wipe down with clean, soft cloth.
On shower heads: Clean them using this method.
On faucets: Moisten the fixture with a wedge of lemon or some vinegar on a microfiber cloth and let that sit for 5 minutes, then scrub again. (If the buildup is inside the faucet, shove the lemon wedge in there and let it sit 5 minutes.) Be sure to rinse the fixture thoroughly after applying lemon or vinegar to avoid etching. Buff dry.
In toilets: Turn off the water supply to the toilet then flush it to reduce the amount of water in the bowl. (Use a plunger to push additional water down the drain until the bowl is empty.) Spray the bowl with straight white vinegar and wait 20-30 minutes before scrubbing with a stiff-bristled toilet brush. For stubborn remaining spots, sprinkle on baking soda and scrub. (Yes, it will foam a bit. Don’t panic.) Turn the water supply back on and flush.
On refrigerator water dispensers: Cut a lemon in half and shove it onto the water tube. Let that sit 30 minutes then remove the lemon, scrub the tube opening with a toothbrush, and run the water to flush the line. Follow by wiping the entire dispenser area with rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining water spots.
Remember: it’s easier to prevent water spots than it is to remove them. So be sure to give your shower and tub a thorough scrub as part of your weekly bathroom cleaning routine to prevent mineral and soap scum buildup. And don’t forget to wipe your fauces as part of your daily cleaning routine to keep them shiny and buildup-free, too.