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How Can I Get Rid of Hard Water Stains in a Shower?

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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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Getting rid of hard water stains in a shower typically takes a fair amount of upkeep, as letting stains sit for too long can begin to erode your shower enclosure or glass. Store-bought cleaners that contain acids and are meant to remove difficult soap scum are usually best, although homemade cleaners that include natural acids can also help to remove hard water stains in a shower. Apply your cleaner to the stains or deposits on both the enclosure and the glass, if applicable, and let it sit before scrubbing away the marks. After the stains are removed, the best way to eliminate the problem is to soften your water.

The first step to reversing hard water damage is to get rid of the stains. For this, you will need a cleaner that is strong enough to cut through the hard water stains in a shower. Bathroom sprays, gels, or foams that are meant for tough soap scum are typically best, and those that contain sulfuric, phosphoric, or hydrochloric acid are usually the most effective. Despite this, care should be taken when using these products due to the chemicals. For those opposed to harsh cleaners, distilled white vinegar or lemon juice can also be effective, although it can be difficult to get them to sit long enough on the stains to break through the deposits.

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Once you have decided on a cleaner, thoroughly spray or apply the product to any hard water stains in a shower enclosure or glass. Let it sit for as long as possible or according to the manufacturer directions. In most cases, 15 to 20 minutes is best. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and to use a scrub brush or sponge to clean the hard water deposits thoroughly, rinsing the area with hot water from your shower head or faucet. You may need to repeat the process for very tough stains.

While you can certainly continue cleaning hard water stains in a shower on a regular basis, this can become tedious, and may ultimately cause permanent damage. For this reason, fixing the root of the problem is typically the best way to remove hard water stains in a shower. To do this, purchase a mechanical water-softening tank and attach it to the main line that supplies water to your home. This piece of equipment will help to remove the deposits in your water, preventing them from accumulating on your shower. For those who rent a home or who prefer limited maintenance, these types of water softening devices are often available for rent through a variety of companies.

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Laotionne
Post 3

Hard water stains are terrible. They make your tub and shower look old. Once you get the stains removed with a deep cleaning like the article explains, try using toothpaste to keep them under control. This is what I do in my bathroom sink. The toothpaste is already there and I use the toothpaste and an old toothbrush to go at the stains before they get too bad. Unfortunately, I haven't been doing the same thing with the ones in my shower.

mobilian33
Post 2

These methods of getting rid of the hard water stains talked about in this article sound like they might work well. Personally, I would go with the vinegar because I know vinegar is a good all-purpose cleaner.

No matter how you get the hard water stains cleaned out of the shower, you need to take steps to keep them from coming back. A good way to do this is to use one of those after shower cleaners that you just spray in the shower after each time you use it. There are several brands of them in the stores.

These kinds of cleaners don't require you to scrub or even wipe the tub and shower. Just spray and let the cleaners set and they do the work. If you do this after each shower and then clean the shower once a week with a cleaner like vinegar then you shouldn't have any hard water stains to speak of.

Drentel
Post 1

I agree with the last paragraph of the article. If you fail to get something to soften your water then you will always be fighting a losing battle with hard water stains. My mother always complained about how hard it was to keep her shower and tub clean and white, but my parents never took any steps to soften the water so she always had some level of hard water stains in the tub and in the sinks and in the toilet.

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